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Why this Gucci knockoff is totally legal

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Vox

Knockoffs are everywhere in fashion. So is the controversy they inspire.

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Allbirds says Steve Madden copied their sneakers. Gucci says Forever 21 ripped off their green-red-green stripes. Adidas says Zara knocked off their Yeezys.

In the Constitution, Congress has the power to stop copying by giving authors and inventors “the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

But there’s a catch. These protections must “promote the progress” of creative industries.

Conventional wisdom holds that copying kills innovation and hurts industry progress. But within the fashion industry, experts like New York University law professor Christopher Sprigman say the ease of copying is actually good for creativity.

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

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