Many of you know after achieving my law degree that I wanted to research the legal implications of the move towards social business, not just social media but the opening up of manufacture through 3D printing, financial lending through crowdsourcing such as Kickstarter etc etc
As part of my social business research, I recently read "The Knock Off Economy" which shares my view that we need to look at copying in a different way.
For me it seems amazing that for some industries such as fashion, cuisine revel and improve because of the ability to share. Now clearly there is less capital investment in a restaurant signature dish to the development of a new drug....and I am not saying don't protect ideas that require investment and need to protect their income streams. But when it comes to ideas, when it comes to general business concepts then should we take a different legal view of sharing?
We live in a different world - we live in a digital world where much "property" is digital and digital is very difficult to protect. Yes I would love anyone quoting or copying my work to give attribution but is it possible to hold the digital world to the same legal standards as the 'real world'?
In fact, would it prevent progress in thinking, does it prevent previously innovative thinkers from developing further? When a chef gets copied, then they continue to reinvent their offering which benefits them, by protecting their brand and society as the menu doesn't become stale (pardon the pun!)
Maybe, just maybe we should use the growing ability to copy ideas by sharing digital files, by scanning real life objects and being able to print them out, not as a barrier to innovation but as a spur to innovation?
As The Knock Off Economy says...should we take a different look - should we not try and protect intellectual assets that must be controlled eg drugs, technology but develop a new mindset for other parts of the business world?
Sharing can be positive, sharing can create innovation? And if sharing was legal then maybe more attribution would be given....
As a footnote I have asked Christoper Sprigman co-author of this book to come on The Engaging Brand podcast to discuss...