ON THE WEB: Flattery or Thievery?

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The cycle of co-opting style and design is traditionally a top-down affair. Big name designers come out with their high-priced fashions and sooner or later there's a knock-off being sold on a street corner somewhere. But recently the tables have turned on a number of independent artists and designers who've had their work "inspire" collections at the hipster department store known as Urban Outfitters. These "coincidences" are documented regularly on the site UrbanCounterfeiters.com where readers can compare the similarities themselves. Hey, at least these independent folks can take solace in the fact they helped Urban Outfitters to a $34.5 million third quarter profit in their own special way.
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