What Will The Future Of Copyright Look Like? Contest Offers Prize For Best Proposal
from the crowdsourcing-change dept
Through BoingBoing we learn of an interesting contest organized by the Modern Poland Foundation, offering a crowdfunded cash prize for the best proposal to modernize copyright law:
How should a good copyright system look like? Obviously, the one our civilization uses now doesn’t fit the reality of today. Outdated, over-extended and unenforceable it leads to ridiculous court cases against random people and clearly fails to meet the needs of the digital world. Without good alternatives, the only solution some can imagine is to take what doesn’t work and get more of it, hoping that this will do the trick. It won’t.
In order to form the future of copyright system we need to step up and craft a model that will fit the digital reality, shaped by technology of today and tomorrow. There are some initial proposals, most notably Barcelona Charter or Washington Declaration, but we believe there’s room for improvement and we want to give it a try. We invite you all to take part in the global project of crafting the Future of Copyright!
There are a number of things that make this contest interesting. Firstly, the judges: one is professor Michael Geist, a vocal copyright critic who comes up a lot here at Techdirt, and the other is Piotr Czerski, who wrote the phenomenal “We, The Web Kids” manifesto that has been making waves online. Secondly, they are accepting submissions in any medium and any genre, meaning we may get to see some cool copyright fiction coming out of this contest. Finally, the whole thing is crowdfunded: they are raising the prize money on IndieGoGo (which uses a similar model to Kickstarter), starting with a modest goal of $500 that they have already surpassed.
One thing is out of place, and that’s the requirement that all submissions be licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license. I’m surprised they added such a specific restriction, because it biases the entire contest, essentially endorsing Creative Commons as the future of copyright despite supposedly asking for varied opinions on the topic. It also implicitly endorses attribution and some sort of “share-alike” clause, even though there are many viable copyright philosophies that require neither of those things. Why can’t people dedicate their entries to the public domain with
a Public Domain Mark or a CC0 license, or retain their rights but make the submission freely available? Imposing a specific license on the entries runs counter to the idea of seeking a wide variety of proposals.
Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing the ideas this contest elicits, including those of any Techdirt readers who participate (and I suspect some of you might). If you want to enter, you have until April 15th.