Front cover image for The knockoff economy : how imitation sparks innovation

The knockoff economy : how imitation sparks innovation

"Conventional wisdom holds that intellectual property rights are essential for innovation. But are copyright and patents really necessary to spark creativity? In The Knockoff Economy, Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman provocatively argue that creativity can not only survive in the face of copying, but can thrive. The Knockoff Economy approaches the question of incentives and innovation in a wholly new way--by exploring creative fields that do not rely on legal monopolies, such as fashion, cuisine, and even professional football. By uncovering these important but rarely studied creative worlds, Raustiala and Sprigman reveal a nuanced and fascinating relationship between imitation and innovation. In some creative fields copying is kept in check through informal industry norms enforced by private sanctions. In other cases, the freedom to copy actually promotes creativity. High fashion gave rise to the very term "knockoff," yet imitation only makes the fashion cycle run faster--and forces the fashion industry to be ever more creative. Raustiala and Sprigman carry their analysis from food to font design to football plays to finance, examining how and why each of these vibrant fields remains innovative, even in the face of sometimes-extensive imitation. There is an important thread that ties all these instances together--successful creative industries can evolve to be resistant to, and even to profit from, piracy. And there are important lessons here for copyright-focused industries, like music and film, that have struggled with piracy. Raustiala and Sprigman's arguments have been making headlines in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, Le Monde, and elsewhere. By looking where few had looked before--at industries that fall outside normal IP law--The Knockoff Economy opens up fascinating creative worlds. And it demonstrates that not only is a great deal of innovation possible without IP, but that IP's absence is sometimes better for innovation"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, ©2012
Oxford University Press, Oxford [U.K.], ©2012