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Crowdsourcing Faces Ethical, Legal Risks
Crowdsourcing Faces Ethical, Legal Risks

ZDNet; June 4, 2013

SINGAPORE--As crowdsourcing gains traction, risks also will emerge from companies that exploit the public for their own benefit and questions remain over which is the rightful owner of the resulting intellectual property (IP).

Sean Moffitt, managing director of Wikibrands, said at Crowdsourcing Week conference here Tuesday that the crowdsourcing market was growing 80 percent year-over-year. He defined crowdsourcing as the practice of harnessing collaboration--internally or externally--to solve problems, attain innovation, and efficiency on many different levels across various industries.

However, panelists in a discussion during the event noted that such practice might face ethical and legal issues.

One panelist, Ross Dawson, author of "Getting results from crowds" said crowdsourcing was, after all, a practice of "tapping the minds of many" and one that could be exploitative in nature.

Citing an example, Sean Moffitt, managing director of Wikibrands, said a company may use a crowd to design a logo instead of his agency for purposes of saving money which would otherwise be spent on the agency, and getting more ideas from the public as compared to the agency.

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