TED Conversations

Kaustuv De Biswas

Co-Founder, Vibrant Data


This conversation is closed.

Despite the controversy over patents, what is a progressive take on authorship in the collaborative world?

Live TED Conversation: Join TED Fellow Kaustuv Be Biswas

A US- and India-based entrepreneur whose experimental design firm, dplay, is building open-source toolboxes for design.

This Conversation opens on Nov. 8th at 1:00PM ET


Closing Statement from Kaustuv De Biswas

There is a clear unresolved bifurcation between the desire to share collaborate freely, and the need to own and protect - more so in the creative domains. With the current backdrop of the US patent reform bill - which does not quite capture the common frustrations (eg. commercial giants hard to compete with), the conversation touched upon some interesting ideas and facets - from 'micro-patents', to 'free-essentials', to 'open patenting rounds' to 'ownership responsibilities' . Thank you all for an interesting hour!

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    Nov 8 2011: @Jan, the new patent reform package has only a commercial take on the in my opinion - how to get more patents on the way quickly. It does not address how smaller companies can take on the giants.

    Looking at it philosophically, does not this institution of patenting slow down innovation and progress, by silo-ing development?
    • Nov 8 2011: Even looking at it practically, the current institution favors the giants with the resources to navigate the system. For the independent designer to understand (and pay for it) is stifling to their progress.

      Is an automatic protection a possibility for the smaller guy? Or is that too threatening to the system?
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        Nov 8 2011: In music and literature there is an automatic copyright whether you file it or not.

        It is still normal procedure to file the copyright because it enables one to prove when the items were created should it come down to litigation.

        But in the US at least, the minute a writer writes something down, it is copyrighted.
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        Nov 8 2011: Maybe we need an 'open patenting round' at the start, where when an idea is thrown out - its still open for others to participate as authors. Whoever show substantial contribution, gets to co-share the idea. What do you think? who is big or small comes at the end, not at the start then.
        • Nov 8 2011: i like where you're going with this..
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          Nov 8 2011: Interesting concept.

          It would be difficult in the current climate to keep large corporations from coming in and taking over every idea with commercial potential though.

          It could lead to a world where Monsanto and Novartis basically get free labor from the small biochemists of the world, for example.

          Maybe what will happen is the opposite... that a Wikileaks of patented information will come along and blow all the patents held by the big boys by giving them away. Pharma Napster...
        • Nov 8 2011: It would be a good start to have a place where 'open source minds' can collaborate. Nashville songwriters have long held that if you're 'in the room' when the song happens you have an equal cut whether you contributed 90% of the song or 10%. Virtual rooms - public, private...could be any way the host decides.

          At the end of the day, traditional IP can co-exist with the progressive version.

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