White papers have been a fascinating topic around my office lately. I am always curious about the lifecycle of a white paper. What all is “OK” to include as the use case versus what may still remain on a client site as Intellectual Property. I know these things are usually spelled fairly clearly in the terms and conditions of contracts or MSA’s, but it does also seem like consultancies have gotten a little liberal lately on the frequency and type of information they’ll readily claim as their next published qual.
In my opinion, intellectual property is extremely valuable but tremendously difficult (and expensive) to govern/manager, or ultimately prove as being the work of one individual owner. So – at a certain point – I think information is power, and the first person to get it down on paper often times has the upper hand since they were the one who put the legwork to get it down digitally (or otherwise).
It really sucks, though, when the work that is plagiarized is work you feel you own. Whether it’s a simple use of a term (my boss uses a term “street credibility” to reference a specific organizational challenge in our part of the company, and while that is not a term she invented – using it to reference this specific business context is absolutely 100% her brain child), or something larger… These are the cases where I think we all need to be uniquely careful and watch out for each other.
I simply ask that you do your part to help police the criminals 🙂
Til Next Time,