IP, Contracts and Licensing Team Report | May 2016

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Design & Align Team Report:

IP, Contracts and Licensing Team (ICL)  – aka “The Annes”

Anne Brown, Paula Williams, Anne Kania (chair), Anne Trusler, Bill Thatcher, Issy Crocker, Anne Bauer (former)

Purpose:

Our team has the challenging and exciting task of resolving IP and licensing issues, and establishing contracts with trainers, mentors and coaches (etc), that will allow an entrepreneurial spirit to flourish within MTL and bring the work into new settings.  

Initially, we spent a lot of time understanding the IP holdings and license agreement between the Licensors (Brad and Roy) and MTL, and the various internal sub-licenses MTL has, such as with country boards.  The big question has been what does freeing up the IP mean?  Is it necessary?  Can we do what we want to do within the existing IP and license structure?  And what is it we want to do?  Some of the team are arguing for placing the copyrights in the public domain, while others are in favor of keeping them, as long as we can achieve our goals.  All possible options are being considered.

What we have been doing:

Our current inquiries are around a Creative Commons license, and whether this will meet the diverse needs and expectations of the various stakeholders. We are balancing our desire to get “the work” out into the world with our need to maintain the quality and essence of the program, and due acknowledgement of the founders. Bill has written a framework document that is very helpful in defining this context.  We are being sensitive to the needs and wishes of Anne and Roy, who own the copyrights that give MTL permission to run the program.

The team has plenty of diversity and experience, and we are grateful to Issy for bringing Product Development team input into the mix.  In the not-too-distant future we will need more direct legal input.  I think the exploration of Creative Commons is a key piece and much might fall into place after we understand how it might (or might not) benefit us.  We are working with Colin Darch, a student of the programme and an expert in IP from South Africa on exploring Creative Commons and understanding aspects of IP that are relevant in society today.

In essence, we envisage a future where those we trust are able to teach more of the work in many new contexts under the MTL brand.  We want entrepreneurs of all kinds to be able to use the work in their own businesses, with acknowledgement of source and a voluntary donation to KFS.  We see agreements rather than contracts being the norm.  We believe it would provide clarity if MTL were to identify and celebrate what is unique to us, our unique selling point.  

The details are a bit fuzzy but are slowly coming into focus.

Contact information: anne@nullannekania.com

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