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Illustrative icons to communicate IP and attribution rules

Creative Commons -inspired visual system to communicate how contributions are used and ideas attributed in open innovation communities

Photo of Alina Wernick
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Rupert Whitening has in his contributions in the Open Innovation Challenge highlighted, how unclear rules and expectations of the use of the participant's input in open innovation communities may discourage them from participating again.

Inspired this, I would suggest a development of more standardized way of communicating how ideas contributed into open innovation communities are meant to be used and attributed both between participants and the host of the platform. The form could be similar to Creative Commons licenses or simpler, yet unified visualization of communities' terms though symbols.

OpenIDEO's terms in the FAQ mention that:

"All concepts contributed to OpenIDEO become shareable, remix-able and reusable by anyone – in a similar way to Creative Commons."

FAQ contains further norms on contributions. In addition, OpenIDEO's Terms and Conditions contain much more detailed terms on User Contributions.

Could these essence of these terms be expressed in a more simple and straightforward manner, for example through visualization? 

And if a suitable design for OpenIDEO can be identified, would it be possible to develop a standardized set of visualizations for expressing the terms of contribution and attribution in diverse Open Innovation communities?

Visualization can transform a complex legal documents into tools that support collaboration and communication. It can also serve as a clear expression of more informal norms of a community.  Standardized visualizations would enable new contributors to assess the relevant rules of open innovation community faster and also to self-select to the communities the terms of which they identify with. Furthermore, visualizations could make the possible business model of the community facilitator more transparent and further develop trust between platform provider and community.

More on visualization and user friendly design of contracts:

Passera, Stefania, Beyond the Wall of Text: How Information Design Can Make Contracts User-Friendly (August 6, 2015). Marcus, A. (Ed.): Design, User Experience, and Usability: Users and Interactions, Lecture Notes on Computer Science 9187, Springer. 2015. Available at SSRN:

Berger-Walliser, Gerlinde and Bird, Robert C. and Haapio, Helena, Promoting Business Success Through Contract Visualization (January 20, 2011). Journal of Law, Business & Ethics, Vol. 17, 2011. Available at SSRN:

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Alina Wernick


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