How would you feel if someone stole your IP?

Thought Thieves - short film competition

Thought Thieves is about people stealing and profiting from your creation or innovation. Think about it: how would you feel if you saw your hard work being passed off as the property of someone else? What would you do?

As I said to Dave and Miles over email a while ago, I swear, I am so tempted to enter this competition just so I can make a film which expresses the advantages of the opening your ideas to the world. IP is not a black and white issue, I very much douht many of the videos will speak in favour of opening thoughts. I could be wrong though… Honestly if I won, I would get myself a decent DV camera and then give away the rest to my previous college.
Were not the only one who noticed the thought thieves competition, are running there own competition off the back off thought police, umm I mean thieves.

The 1400-word terms and conditions for MSN.CO.UK's strong-IP “Thought Thieves” film competition are quite the read, even if you're not the 14-17 year-old they're intended to be read and understood by and complied with in their therein bywhich entirety. Entries must be the “sole work and creation of the person submitting the film” (no sharing your precious intellectual property fluids with your cameraman, Mr Auteur); must not “use third party intellectual property rights” (no furniture, no architecture, only clouds as background); the entry form additionally specifies “Should I be selected as a finalist […] I will formally licence on terms acceptable to Microsoft, all intellectual property rights in my film and agree to waive all moral rights in relation to my film if requested to do so”. But what we made us wonder was: where exactly did Microsoft get this “Thought Thieves” idea from?
The idea that people can “steal your thoughts” is surely not original. We're hoping for a class-action by paranoid schizophrenics, who we think came up with the idea that others are stealing the very THOUGHTS FROM YOUR MIND a good few years before Microsoft started losing theirs.
– send us a copy of your entry. We'll do prizes.
– Lessig's book starts at the exact point the T&C gets ridiculous

Are you shitting me? Indeed, I love the category Copyfight put the competition under, yep IP Abuse. P2P weblog suggests the winner will end up on Bit torrent, which would be poetic justice in some odd way. There was or is some discussion on Channel 9 but its not exactly saying much we didnt know. It also seems it was slashdotted along with boingboing'ed (is that the right name for it?) at some point in the past according to Loren.
I'm sure this will not be the end of the thought police thievies.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and