Taking Back The Intellectual Property Propaganda
from the a-demonstration dept
Back in May we had a post about Microsoft’s propaganda campaign/contest, called “Thought Thieves,” where they wanted kids to make films about how “intellectual property theft” harms society. Of course, in the film, you cannot use any third party intellectual property (which would be nearly impossible) and, amusingly, once you submit it, all of the intellectual property you created becomes the possession of Microsoft. The EFF is now letting us know that this contest has inspired a reverse contest, called Thought Thieve$, which is a contest for people to make a film about corporations appropriating “knowledge, culture, and creativity” from elsewhere. While they say the focus is on “big corporations,” it doesn’t seem like it should be limited to just big corporations. The idea is amusing, but it’s really taking the wrong strategy — blaming companies for misuse of intellectual property, rather than pointing out the overall flaw in the system. That is, a much better idea would be to produce films that show how the free use of intellectual property has helped create incentives for innovation and allowed for amazing new products, services and artwork by building on the inspiration of others to create something even better. Instead of highlighting the negative, why not show how more open sharing of intellectual property can benefit society and the economy — rather than toeing the line that it can only hurt the economy?