Nicholas Bentley is a craftsman and furniture designer living in the South of France.
He is known for a proposal to reformulate intellectual 'property' rights, into a system of intellectual contributions, or 'collective' rights.
On Common Rights vs. Collective Rights:
"We all have rights, rights are good. For example, one of the most sort after common right is the right to free speech. There is sometimes a negative connotation to the word 'right' when it is applied to intellectual property and this stems from the fact that, in most copyright regimes, rights are focused on an individual who is granted exclusive reproduction rights to a resource that has no naturally limitations in the physical world. Unlike a parcel of land, which can only support a limited number of individuals, many people can access an intangible intellectual product without physically taking anything away from other users. Therefore, why give individuals rights over this unlimited common resource? The answer has always been that these rights will provide incentives for authors to create new works and then publish them for the good of all. I propose that we maintain this incentive but that we apply rights to intellectual property in a new and more just way, while still granting the author some singular rights for a limited term others should also be able to obtain rights to the creative product." (http://www.commonrights.com/)
On "Intellectual Contributions" instead of IP:
"If we look at intellectual property in terms of 'Intellectual Contributions' can it help us rethink what society is trying to achieve within the institution of copyright? Can it help us form a new regime for rewarding the intellectual effort that goes into the production of a new intellectual work? How would this regime work in practice?
When we think of property we think of a single owner holding possession of a physical object. When we think of contributions we think of more than one contributor to a common cause. It can be reasonably argued that most new intellectual works or ideas are a culmination of many works that came before. We can see a chain of ideas and thoughts, artists and thinkers, leading up to the new idea or creation and in most cases there are many chains leading to the new intellectual work. (Work: a distinct intellectual or artistic creation )
There is also a second set of contributions: those that flow back to the source of the new work after its creation. Often there are financial rewards filtering back to the author. There is also recognition in the form of citations and reviews that focus on the work and these reinforce the author's creative efforts retrospectively, contributing to his or her standing as an authority in the area of study." (http://www.omidyar.net/group/intellectual-contributions/ws/ic_rights/)