The Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) has announced it will give a USD1,000 award to the professional who most benefits the community by donating intellectual property so it may be freely used by others. To be eligible, the individual must make their work available either by submitting it to the library of guidance and advice on the RAG website, or else by explaining their work to the audience at one of RAG’s events.
During the past year there have been some notable examples of professionals going to great trouble to make their work available to others, without seeking any financial reward. Kostadin Taneski has licensed the leakage risk modeling software he developed for A1 Telekom Austria so that others many download and install it. That software is also built upon the donation of intellectual property by somebody else; Geoff Ibbett is the author of the RAG Revenue and Cost Leakage Catalog which provides the foundation for the data analysis performed by Kostadin’s system. Anyone may use the catalog, whether as part of Kostadin’s software or separately, subject to the terms of its Creative Commons license. These are examples of the kind of generosity that deserve greater recognition.
One of the aims of the award is to foster greater respect for intellectual property rights by encouraging professionals to share their work in ways that clarify the do’s and don’ts of intellectual property. It is especially embarrassing that RAFM practitioners often break the law because they are unaware of whose property they are sharing and using. An increasing number of telcos are reliant on those same laws to safeguard the revenues generated from the films, music and games that they distribute. An award that encourages legally safe sharing of frameworks, guidebooks and software should help to educate the community whilst drawing attention away from crooked consultants who steal other people’s work in order to advertise themselves.
The intention is to give the award on an annual basis, and it will be judged by members of the RAG Committee. I know some of you keep talking about projects and standards and algorithms that you are working upon, but which never seem to be finished. Perhaps this award will stimulate you to complete your work, and then make it available to the rest of us!