The balance between openly sharing creative work and knowledge while still protecting valuable designs and brand-related concepts is still a delicate one for many organizations. This is especially true for small businesses that may lack a formal structure for protecting their work and freelance workers who struggle to protect concepts and proposals during the pitch stage to prospective client.
To address this issue, a UK design team has developed a trust based procurement system called Creative Barcode. The product is an app that produces a unique barcode encoded with the Creators details that can pasted into the header or footer of all written and visual files associated with a project proposal.
According to the product description, “files can then be shared freely with third parties including existing and prospective clients, third party suppliers and co-creation partners. The data owner panel and link to terms and conditions are clearly visible. It complements a non-disclosure agreement as it shows ‘what’ has been exposed, when and by whom. Once a concept has been purchased or project completed and paid for the system generates a transfer of ownership certificate.”
Creative Barcode™ is a not for profit organisation that is managed by a team of designers and innovators who founded, developed and implemented the system in September 2010. Currently, the app is being offered as an annual membership for £30 which includes five barcodes, the software application and optional use of a file tracking service. A single barcode is designed to be attached to a single “project” and applied to as many files and documents associated with that project.
What do you think— does this app address the trust issues have the potential to solve the trust issues inherent to creative relationships? What will it take for this system to gain the momentum needed for it to be a recognized industry practice?