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The Knockoff Economy: How Copying Benefits Everyone

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Published on Oct 22, 2012

What do you think of copy-cats? Are they stealing property from the creator? Co-author of the book, The Knockoff Economy, Kal Raustiala, says no.

"A lot of innovation grows out of imitation," Raustiala tells Reason TV's Paul Detrick. "So it's not so much riding on the coattails as it is standing on the shoulders."

Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman write in their book that when you look at the inner workings of football, fashion, food, as well as many other industries: When people have the freedom to knockoff or copy items, creators and consumers benefit.

"Every time a college coach or a pro coach comes up with a new formation, that is going to be copied, if it's successful, by their opposition," says Raustiala.

About 9:23

Shot by Sharif Matar and Mark Wagner. Edited by Paul Detrick

Go to http://www.reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

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