The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation
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The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  12 reviews
From the shopping mall to the corner bistro, knockoffs are everywhere in today's marketplace. Conventional wisdom holds that copying kills creativity, and that laws that protect against copies are essential to innovation--and economic success. But are copyrights and patents always necessary? In The Knockoff Economy, Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman provocatively argu...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 17th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published July 18th 2012)
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On first look The Knockoff Economy by Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman seems to deal with many an economist's favorite topic - the omnipresent cheap imitations of goods in today's global market. On second look the authors present so much more which was not only a pleasant surprise, but also a wildly fascinating, well researched and engagingly written journey through the wide world of patents, trademarks and copyright.
Did you know that a painting of a molten chocolate cake is protected by c...more
Eustacia Tan
I don't know why, but I enjoy reading books like this. They're not strictly business/economics textbooks, but they're much more interesting than the normal treatise. If I remember correctly, the last similar book I read was Overdressed by Elizabeth E. Cline. (and I have another one waiting to be read. I think).

The Knockoff Economy aims to examine the link between Copying and Innovation, and if copying has an effect on the industry itself. In the face of conventional wisdom, the book shows that...more
Very interesting and up-to-date examination of the interplay between intellectual property and copying, counterfeiting, etc.

I really enjoyed their discussion of industries that have weak or nonexistent IP protection but continue to thrive and innovate in ways that are supposedly impossible if you listen to the propaganda of the music and recording (and in some cases software) industries. The use of restaurants as an example was particularly good, because as someone who works in an IP-heavy indus...more
These authors give readers a very detailed description of the clothing design and manufacturing business with many anecdotes and company names to illustrate their argument. Where copyright and trademark purports to protect writing, music, logos, packaging, and many other original creations, clothing design has little such protection. Certain images sewn separately upon the clothing may be protected, but the over-all design of the garment itself holds no such protection. It can be freely copied,...more
Adam Shields
Short Review: The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation-This is an interesting look at parts of the economy where copyright and patent law do not apply, yet creativity is thriving. Why it works in those areas and why it may (or may not) work in other areas where copyright and patent law do apply. Quite readable. The primary illustrations are in the areas of food, fashion, football, comedy, magic & open-source software. The book ends with an epilogue that looks at music and movies...more
An insightful book that challenges the conventional wisdom regarding Intellectual Property as the required incentive to create. It also works as a nice complement to one of W. Patry's thesis in How to Fix Copyright, which states that it is time to rethink the one-size-fits-all regulatory protection for intellectual property. What this book proves is that IP needs to be rethinked to adopt regulatory solutions that take into consideration the nature of the corresponding product/service/industry an...more
This book was amazing first of all because it gives a different point of view and then because it gives so many examples in all the field, from music and games to clothing that it was very easy to understand even if I'm not very strong on economy related issues.

A lot of good analysis, although at times felt naïve. Would recommend reading though although with Megan McArdle’s thoughts in The Daily Beast, “What Would IP Free Industries Look Like? Probably Not Like Restaurants.”
Sep 09, 2013 ACRL added it
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Read by ACRL Member of the Week William M. Cross. Learn more about William on the ACRL Insider blog.
Interesting and informative, although I got a little bored towards the end of the book. But I admit it offers me a new perspective on copying and imitating.
Claudio Ruiz
Buena la idea pero se vuelve un poco monótono. Debió ser mucho más corto, un ensayo.
Interesting idea, great examples, poorly edited and repetitive.
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