We are pleased that our Article, The Law, Culture, and Economics of Fashion, attracted a long and thoughtful response from two distinguished participants who have been so influential in this debate. The simultaneous desire for differentiation and flocking is alive and well. In their response, The Piracy Paradox Revisited, Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman (RS) point out agreement on key issues, and simultaneously stress disagreement with aspects of our model, adhere to their "induced obsolescence" account of fashion trends, which we reject, and raise doubts about our policy proposal. The exchange embodies the dynamics that are pervasively in tension, in creative—including academic—pursuits.

Our differences in analysis are quite fundamental. First, we identify a key distinction between close copying and remixing, and they reject the importance of such a distinction. We think the distinction is important because of the differential effects of close copies and interpretations on innovation, which we discuss at length in our article. The lumping of the two activities together under the label of "piracy" has led to confusion here and elsewhere in intellectual property. Our purpose in emphasizing the line between the two is of course not to map how current copyright law treats copying, but rather to consider what distinction would make most sense in the fashion design context, an area that current copyright law does not reach...

 

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