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Technology & Innovation

When Copyright Goes Too Far

“Intellectual property law should protect businesses, but too often can be used to stifle the spread of ideas.” The Mises Economic blog on copyright sensibility, or lack thereof.

“Al Johnson back in 1973 added a Scandinavian-style sod roof and goats grazing on it, to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Wisconsin. This was a brilliant entrepreneurial decision: the goats were very popular–the slogan became ‘Come for the goats–stay for the food.’ So naturally, as success on the market leads to emulation, Tiger Mountain Markets, a restaurant in Georgia, decided to put goats on its roof too. Instead of this local Wisconsin restaurant being proud of its influence, or at least ignoring it and concentrating on providing a good service to its customers, its current owner Lars Johnson bought into the pernicious IP mentality and filed a lawsuit against the Georgia restaurant.”


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