The New Chicago School: Norms [6:20 pm]
For the fashion industry, a lack of intellectual property protection may not be a problem: The trickle-down of high-end fashion helps create obsolescence and the demand for more high-end fashion. But chefs and conjurers need a little help protecting their ideas. Lacking legal protection, they resort to professional norms.
Loshin describes the magicians norms, which encourage the selective sharing of techniques, limit copying unless a technique has been widely distributed, and credit the rediscoverer of a long-dormant technique with the same rights as the tricks inventor. Economists Emmanuelle Fauchart and Eric von Hippel report very similar norms for the sharing of recipes among French chefs.
In both cases, the norms are enforced through social pressure that can be very powerful.