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FROM THIS EPISODE

When is copying flattery, when is it thievery, and when is it sheer genius? In this hour, TED speakers explore how sampling, borrowing, and riffing make all of us innovators. Grammy-winning DJ and producer Mark Ronson discusses why certain samples work, the legal hurdles of using them and why discussions of originality in music often miss the point. Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson says nothing is original and that our most celebrated creators steal ideas — and transform them into something new. Copyright law barely touches fashion — and the industry benefits in innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. She explains what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture. Earlier this year, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk decided to give away his company's patents for free. It might seem like a strange business move, but Musk said he wanted to inspire creativity and accelerate innovation. Writer Steven Johnson says this is the way great ideas have been born throughout history.

Learn more or listen again to this week's episode at NPR.

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