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Looking at crowdsourcing and some of its legal implications

These are the slides of a presentation Eric & I gave at the “IP Management challenges in open innovation environments” workshop, held in Strasbourg, France, in March 23, 2015.

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Looking at crowdsourcing and some of its legal implications

  1. 1. Eric Favreau Head of Legal - eYeka Yannig Roth Marketing Manager - eYeka 1
  4. 4. 4 C R O W D S O U R C I N G “Obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” I N D U S T R I A L I Z E D C R O W D S O U R C I N G “Enterprise adoption of the power of the crowd allows specialized skills to be dynamically sourced from anyone, anywhere, and only as needed. Companies can use the collective knowledge of the masses to help with tasks from data entry and coding to advanced analytics and product development. The potential for disruptive impact on cost alone likely makes early experimentation worthwhile, but there are also broader implications for innovation in the enterprise.”
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  7. 7. 7 “Crowdsourcing is like discount sushi. While competition is good, crowdsourcing can also hurt designers because of the increased opportunities to take advantage of creative talent.” Scott Belsky, on The Next Web
  8. 8. Is crowdsourcing in a grey area of law?  No specific regulation (unlike crowdfunding)  No major legal case Crowdsourcing is at the crossroad of several legal specialties (Favreau, 2014)  Consumer law (participants are not professionals)  Privacy law (disclosure of personal data)  Labor law (work relationship between participants and sponsors)  Intellectual Property (transfer of rights on the submissions) 8
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  10. 10. 10 Context: Creative crowdsourcing also stirs up controversy #Travailgratuit movement
  11. 11. Autonomy is the main criteria to distinguish independent work and employment work (Favreau, Roth & Lemoine, 2014) Risk to see an independent worker’s contract redefined as an employment contract in order for the worker to benefit the employee’s status  Minimum wage, working time, termination fees… 11
  12. 12.  Employment contract needs three cumulative elements:  Work is executed  Monetary compensation  Subordination  Relationship of subordination needs three cumulative elements:  Management power  Disciplinary power  Supervision power  Lawsuits in the USA against micro-task platforms  Crowdflower  Yelp 12
  13. 13. eYeka runs open contests with independent creators Limited risk to get a lawsuit for labor law violation Community is free to participate or not No subordination No control over process of creation Freedom is key to creativity What about creative Crowdsourcing?
  14. 14. Rules of participation Relative autonomy Click-wrap contract Accepted by all participants Defines: • Dates, prizes • Content guidelines • Terms of use of entries • Warranty: creators warrant that the company will quietly enjoy and exercise the rights attached to the entries
  15. 15. New type of contests: eYeka‘s Content Production Limited autonomy of the creators Special remuneration for the execution of the work Supervision and management by eYeka during the making of videos No “free work” Stage-based contests, pitching of ideas (Roth & Kimani, 2014)
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  17. 17. Transfer of Intellectual Property: Copyrights • Companies use crowdsourcing as an alternative way of gaining rights on creative content • Selected winners transfer their IP rights to the company, getting a compensation (non-winners keep their IP rights)
  18. 18. Use of the selected entries • Company gets exclusivity : the winning creator can’t sell the submission to a competitor • Selected submissions can be used as a whole and their elements (incl. logos, characters, slogans, titles…), for the creation of derivative works by the company or its agency (using elements from the original submission: screenplay, characters, dialogues, organization of the elements, layout, texts…) • For the maximum legal duration of protection of the IP rights and for worldwide use. • For all types of use, including: • Market research, Generation of insights • External communication, Advertisement, Point of sales • Create, market, distribute products reproducing the work • Right to file and gain new rights, file trademarks, File designs
  19. 19. Assignment Agreement Signed by the selected participants Confirmation of the obligations set forth in the Rules Proper contract allows good information of creator and stronger binding effect than online contract Contractual obligations similar to professional standards (warranty, confidentiality)
  20. 20. Depending on the type of contests, participants are allowed to use third party elements (as long as they provide information and relevant license) OR are required to provide 100% original content Crowdsourcing creators are often non-professionals who include pre- existing elements in their works Infringement Notice Legal Information Securing the transaction
  21. 21. Securing the transaction Creators can be required to provide documents to secure the transaction as a condition of the prize grant: Model authorization Proof of id If creator has used copyrighted elements If creator is a minor
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  23. 23. Autonomy is a key element to compare crowdsourcing and employment work The legal framework of crowdsourcing is based on standard legal rules of IP Management of IP must adjust to the non- professional status of participants 23
  24. 24. 24 Thank you for your attention
  25. 25. Articles & books  Brabham, D. C. (2013). Crowdsourcing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  Favreau, E. (2014). Rôle et responsabilité des acteurs du crowdsourcing. Revue Lamy Droit de L’immatériel, (106), 62–66.  Favreau, E., Roth, Y., & Lemoine, J.-F. (2014). Travail ou pas? L’autonomie des participants au crowdsourcing et ses implications. In 7èmes journées d’études TIC.IS. Alès (France).  Felstiner, A. (2011). Working the Crowd: Employment and Labor Law in the Crowdsourcing Industry. Berkeley Journal Of Employment & Labor Law, 32(1), 143– 204.  Kuehn, K., & Corrigan, T. F. (2013). Hope Labor: The Role of Employment Prospects in Online Social Production. The Political Economy of Communication, 1(1), 9–25.  Lebraty, J.-F., & Lobre-Lebraty, K. (2013). Crowdsourcing (p. 144). London: ISTE Ltd and John Wiley & Sons Inc. Links  http://news.eyeka.net/tag/legal/  https://en.eyeka.com/resources/webinars#legal 25
  26. 26. Jean-François Lemoine Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne ESSCA Ecole de Management Yannig Roth eYeka Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne Eric Favreau eYeka Abstract: This article looks at an aspect which is often mentioned – but rarely treated – of crowdsourcing: its legal implications. Based on existing typologies from information and management science, we describe the different forms that crowdsourcing takes today, before focusing on the concept of autonomy to present the opportunities and risks that companies may face turning to the crowd. We then discuss our findings and suggest feature research directions. Keywords: crowdsourcing, typology, autonomy, legal, labor26
  27. 27. Jean-François Lemoine Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne ESSCA Ecole de Management Yannig Roth eYeka Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne Eric Favreau eYeka Résumé : Cet article propose d’aborder un aspect souvent mentionné mais rarement traité du crowdsourcing : les enjeux juridiques. En nous basant sur les typologies existantes en sciences de gestion et de l’information, nous décrivons les différentes formes que prend le crowdsourcing aujourd’hui, puis nous nous concentrons sur le concept d’autonomie pour présenter les opportunités et les risques que les entreprises peuvent rencontrer en utilisant la foule. Nous discutons ensuite nos résultats et présentons les voies futures de recherche. Mots-clés : crowdsourcing, typologie, autonomie, juridique, travail Travail ou pas? L’autonomie des participants au crowdsourcing et ses implications juridiques 27