Dynamist Blog

Endangered Gizmos, Monopoly Styles

The Electronic Freedom Foundation is making a list of technologically advanced, otherwise desirable gizmos threatened by folks who don't understand that intellectual property protections are supposed to spur innovation, not suppress it.

On a related note, Peter Harter calls my attention to this Cato Institute brief by Adam Thierer on why it's good that styles can't win monopoly protection. Funny, just yesterday, my hairdresser was telling the story of an old friend who'd invented the Dorothy Hamill do. The guy made plenty of money from it himself, but not nearly as much as he might have dreamed of if he'd assumed royalties. Of course, charging and collecting royalties would have dampened demand considerably. Big-time hairstylists make money by licensing their names to products, opening schools, and, of course, styling hair themselves.

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