Wiki (POCC) Authorship: The Case for An Inclusive Copyright

Paper by Sunimal Mendis: “Public open collaborative creation (POCC) constitutes an innovative form of collaborative authorship that is emerging within the digital humanities. At present, the use of the POCC (Wiki) model can be observed in many online creation projects the best known examples being Wikipedia and free-open source software (FOSS). This paper presents the POCC model as a new archetype of authorship that is founded on a creation ideology that is collective and inclusive. It posits that the POCC authorship model challenges the existing individualistic conception of authorship in exclusivity-based copyright law. Based on a comparative survey of the copyright law frameworks on collaborative authorship in France, the UK and the US, the paper demonstrates the inability of the existing framework of exclusivity-based copyright law (including copyleft licenses which are based on exclusive copyright) to give adequate legal expression to the relationships between co-authors engaged in collaborative creation within the POCC model. It proposes the introduction of an ‘inclusive’ copyright to the copyright law toolbox which would be more suited for giving legal expression to the qualities of inclusivity and dynamism that are inherent in these relationships. The paper presents an outline of the salient features of the proposed inclusive copyright, its application and effects. It concludes by outlining the potential of the ‘inclusive’ copyright to extend to other fields of application such as traditional cultural expression (TCE)….(More)”