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?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jack9, Aug 10th, 2005 @ 8:00am

    Improving Techdirt.com

    Techdirt articles often over-emphasize placing blame. Techdirt articles also _suffer_ from liberally mixing editors' opinions with factual content. This may be the source of some of the "failure to credit Techdirt properly", when your pieces lack journalistic integrity. It may be perfectly justified to credit a more objective source.
    The last half of this article as an example:
    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?

     

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  2.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 10th, 2005 @ 9:12am

    Re: Improving Techdirt.com

    Hmm. We make no secret of the fact that this is an *opinion* and *analysis* site, not a reporting one. That has been the case from the very beginning. I'm sorry if you were given the wrong impression, but quickly reading over the site should make it clear that what we do is analysis, not reporting.

    And, I'm not sure where you believe we've been upset about a "failure to credit Techdirt properly." In fact, we've pointed out that the whole credit issue is largely overblown. Plenty of sites do credit us. Some use stories from us without crediting us. It's not a huge deal. If we see an obvious copying, we might send a friendly note suggesting that clearer credit would be nice, but it really doesn't make much of a difference to us.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2005 @ 9:13am

    Re: Improving Techdirt.com

    Well this is an editorial site. If you're confused because all the articles are about "news" or "current events" I think that's more like your problem than techdirt's. As with the television, if you don't like what's on, change the channel. I'm confused by this line: when your pieces lack journalistic integrity. Who is the second person in this [i]ass[/i]ertion? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

     

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  4.  
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    Ivan SIck, Aug 10th, 2005 @ 9:15am

    Re: Improving Techdirt.com

    whoops, left the name field blank. / that's me. edit; beaten by Mike.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Jack9, Aug 10th, 2005 @ 11:45am

    Re: Improving Techdirt.com

    I was under the impression that it was a big deal, as it made the front page one day, how "a site" fails to credit you from time to time and Google initially overlooked your site. I guess if it was a big deal it would have been stickied on the sidebar?

    I was merely making a friendly suggestion that was obviously misguided. Glad you read the comments, but I'll be sure to avoid this site in the future, given it's stated and asserted goals.

     

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  6.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 10th, 2005 @ 11:49am

    Re: Improving Techdirt.com

    I was under the impression that it was a big deal, as it made the front page one day, how "a site" fails to credit you from time to time and Google initially overlooked your site. I guess if it was a big deal it would have been stickied on the sidebar?

    The discussion wasn't about how the site wasn't giving us credit (they actually do give us credit), but how Google's algorithm wasn't working properly and was linking to their copies *instead* of rather than *in addition to* our posts.

    but I'll be sure to avoid this site in the future, given it's stated and asserted goals.

    Sorry to lose you. I'm confused as to why you're not interested in analysis, but obviously, it's your call.

     

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