Invention, intellectual property and income

Link to global lecture: This one was one of the more interesting ones; not just a listing of tools and processes, but a compresensive hands-on story in the area of intellectual property and beyond.

Assignment: Develop a plan for dissemination of your final project

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognize the range of licenses available
  • Formulate future opportunities

Copyright and Creative Commons

At the start fo the realization of this website, I had already put up a copyright sign as an easy way to protect my creative work. Now, I am not sure whether I can/should just change it to a different form, such as Creative Commons. Trying to understand the difference, this is what I found:

  • Basically, copyright says: Ask my permission before you use my stuff; while creative commons says “You can use my stuff. Here’s how."
  • CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
  • Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

I like the mission of Creative Commons in developing, supporting, and stewarding legal and technical infrastructure to maximize digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. At the same time, I also prefer to know more precisely (in advance) which individuals are using my work and why (I should grant permission to use it). For sure, for my final project in the realm of civil arts, copyright is most suitable when compared to trademarks and patents. Furthermore, during my previous work at the Media lab, together with the patent officer, we started to file patents (for my WANDerful alcove and iBand project). However, in the end I decided against it, as I see patenting mostly as a game between lawyers and big companies. So by now, I could have been very rich (or poor because of all the lawsuits...).

To consider:

  • There is no international copyright
  • Is it novel? Is it possible? Is it useful?

Common fight against bureau craziness

Although I believe that my final project is well suited for showing in musea such as the Stedelijk, I also would like others to use and spread instances in a common fight against bureau crazy-ness. Based on my work, one could use and spread more versions as physical weapans against bureau crazy occurences. For this purpose, this form of copyright is good: The Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This licence allows for others to use and build on the project, al long as it is not commercially exploited and credit goes to the original maker. Also, others that build on this work must distribute it under the same licence. In that way, the project will continue to grow and, hopefully, improve.

Taking the project further

Although at first sight this project may seem mostly an artistic project, research (and publishing) is another form of taking this project further. One of my ambitions is to gain more research funding to work in the area of visualising (invisible) interactions: to fight against the disappearing computer and complex big data processes, using physical fabrication tactics (data physicalisation etc). At the moment, I have been working on and exploring different opportunities, together with the Makerslab at my university. Thus, to be continued (hopefully!).