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Thought Thieves is the name of a 2005 competition sponsored by Microsoft UK for short 'films' — more precisely, video works — "in a format compatible with Microsoft Windows Media Player" on the theme of "How intellectual property theft affects both individuals and society", or more succinctly "on intellectual property theft". The two competition categories are (a) 14–17-year-olds (inclusive) and (b) 18-year-olds and over.
Thought Thieve$: The counter-competition
Later in 2005 a counter-competition arose as a "grassroots response" to Microsoft's competition. Called "Thought Thieves", it seeks short film entries on the subject of "big companies stealing and profiting from the knowledge commons". Affiliates for the competition include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Downhill Battle, IP Justice, and Creative Commons South Africa. The winning entries become part of "a short film showcase about corporate appropriation of knowledge, culture, and creativity."
- Thought Thieves site
- Thought Thieve$ site
- Thought Thieves poster
- Microsoft UK press release
- announcement at PC Pro
- MS Calls on Kids to Stop Thought Thieves Slashdot thread
- Zeropaid thread
- "The most dependent filmmaking contest ever"
- Linuxquestions.org thread
- MacDailyNews thread
- O'Reilly thread
- A song of the same title
- A criticism of the counter-competition