Are fashion copycats good or bad for the industry? N.Y. Senator Charles Schumer says, “Bad” and is proposing legislation that would provide a 3 year period during which, with certain exceptions, knock-offs would represent copyright infringement. Others, though, say that fashion copies are beneficial as a source of trends and innovation.
The issue of copyright protection for fashion is a part of a much bigger debate. Do you believe, for example, that Amazon should have an exclusive, government protected right to “one-click shopping“?
The Economic Lesson
When Alexander Hamilton was concerned with protecting infant industries in a very young United States, he and James Madison supported a patent system that served a specific economic purpose. By contrast, Thomas Jefferson, himself a inventor, said that Congress should not “meddle” with “matters of invention”.