thought thieves

ping made [5/15] a fun observation about microsoft’s “thought thieves” competition. Remember? MS’ competition for short films involving about ‘intellectual property theft’? They want you to assign all your moral rights etc. Ping has the language.

btw — i note that moral rights vary from country to country but in at least some places they are explicitly not assignable and in others they are nonwaivable. i wonder if nationals from those countries are ineligible to participate in the MS “thought thieves”?

and finally, a minor rant — “thought thieves”. Thought thieves? This is taking “a penny for your thoughts” just a little too far.

(1) Thoughts. Cannot be the subject of copyrights, patents, or trademarks (yet).

(2) Thieves. Thieving, stealing, and piracy take the stolen thing away from the original holder. The original holder had an item, and now no longer has it, because the thief has it. There’s one item, and it shifts possession, and the original holder is deprived therefore of the possession, use of and access to the item. Got it? Copyright infringement, on the other hand, copies or performs or distributes without permission. It does not remove the original item from its holder. Copyrighted goods are non-rivalrous. Copyright infringement ≠ theft.

update 2005/10/31: And the winners are … [link from gnuosphere 10/23]