Planet Money T-Shirt Plans Include Recognizing That Copying Works For Fashion
from the good-for-them dept
Earlier this year, we wrote about how the NPR podcast Planet Money was planning to go into the t-shirt business to better understand the whole process of creating a small clothing retail operation, top to bottom. The idea was to create high quality t-shirts that people would actually want (and pay a premium for), rather than the typical cheapo t-shirts. I had been wondering what happened to that plan, because the Planet Money team hadn’t mentioned it in a while, but they’re finally back to discussing it, and the latest podcast, amazingly, hits on another topic we talk about frequently: how copying helps the fashion industry.
Unfortunately, the Planet Money folks refer to it as “stealing,” even as they talk to a bunch of folks who explain how copying is what really helps the industry thrive. They discuss the awful new fashion copyright bill, and how it’s likely to have seriously bad consequences for the industry and for consumers, noting even, that many economists recognize that intellectual property is not a good solution in many markets. If a market can thrive and be competitive without intellectual property, adding such monopolies to the mix can be a disaster, leading to greater employment for lawyers, but harm to everyone else. They describe how having something like a fashion copyright will make it so that the industry needs to “clear” pretty much everything they do with the lawyers first. That means things will be a lot more expensive, and anything that can’t be “cleared” may never get made.
It may not be “new” to folks around here, who have known all this for years, but it’s nice to see these ideas spreading.