When plagiarism inspires creativity

Our world is filled with copyrights in order to protect people and companies from having their ideas stolen or duplicated. But do copyrights really help industries to thrive? Johanna Blakley doesn’t think so. As Deputy Director of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, Blakley studies the impact of intellectual property rights on innovation, and finds that those industries unrestricted by copyrights – such as the fashion industry – thrive in the marketplace, and that “knock-offs” don’t actually hinder the sales of original brands. In fact, she believes the ability to “steal” a design leads to greater creativity and a faster evolution of ideas.