Creative Barcode software unveiled to protect designers from intellectual property theft

New software application Creative Barcode is launching, which claims to allow designers pitching for work to guard against intellectual property theft.

BDI and Creative Barcode chief executive Maxine Horn (pictured) has spent nearly a year developing the software with four business and technology partners (News, DW 4 March), who will together run Creative Barcode, a new independent not-for-profit company, which launches next week.

Creative Barcode will embed barcodes into designers’ concepts, proposals and innovations. Third parties will have to agree to terms and conditions that forbid commercialisation of the idea without the designers’ permission, before being able to view the documents.

Horn says, ’Designers are incredibly vulnerable because there is a weakness in the intellectual property rights system that assumes that all ideas are free. That doesn’t work in our industry.’ She adds, ’The guiding principle of Creative Barcode is that you don’t commercialise someone’s work without their permission.’

Designers will be able to insert the barcode into digital, text, graphic or CAD files, as well as on to paper-based media. The software application will also allow designers to transfer ownership rights to other parties and could be used to help quantify the value of a particular piece of design.

’In co-creation teams, you never know who contributes what, but with Creative Barcode you will be able to trace who did what and how to value each element,’ says Horn. ’By and large you will be able to value what you sold and licensed work for.’

She says, ’The device is born out of my many years working in the creative industries and noticing that the problem of idea-theft is growing and is a demotivator to innovation. Businesses with huge capital behind them are treating innovators as if they are equal competition, which is not fair.’

Horn intends to encourage other creative industries to use the application, which will be downloadable from a website for £195, which includes five barcodes.

Users will be able to buy more barcodes as and when necessary.

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