From copyright to emotionright

Diop Papa Makhtar
Published in
6 min readFeb 21


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When what you do impact negatively the emotional state of others it’s fair to pay for it, to compensate those whose emotional state has been impacted by what you have created and publicized what could be an image posted on a website or a video posted on YouTube or any other platforms. This even if it’s unintentional on the part of the creator like when in this documentary film this billionaire entrepreneur shows how empty his kitchen’s shelves are because he never has time to cook and eat often outside his home by hiring the service of platforms like doordash or other food services like that. That’s fine but I think that the producer of such kind of documentary that shows such kind of scene should pay an amount of money from the money they got with the exploitation of this documentary to compensate poor people who can’t fill their kitchen shelves and can’t hire the service of UberEATS but live with food stamps at better. That’s the same when a screenplay writer produces a comic film in which food is wasted as a joke in a scene. For these kinds of creative works that could negatively impact the emotional state of those who consume it, we should pay a pax that I actually call the emotionRights, a tax that is like this same one that is allocated to creators when others use their creative works because those who the consumption of such creative works can negatively impact have not decided by their owns be to be in this condition that trigger this negative emotional state resulting from the consumption of the creative asset like being poor without money to pay food and landing on a YouTube video where food is wasted to make people laugh but not to educate them. Artists and creative workers could raise their voices and say that they can't handle this additional expense because they are actually struggling to live with their creations but the digital platforms that host their creations likely are then it might be possible to impose these digital platforms to allocate a budget for this emotionright that I am writing about and this amount of money could be calculated in function of the number and duration of the videos and pictures that embed something that could trigger a negative emotional state to a given set of people like people with more weight than usual to not say people with weight problems.

When writing about this I remembered this woman who was pictured eating a burger when her friends were dancing and seeming to have a better silhouette than her who weights some pounds or kilograms more what was conveying a very negative sense that lead to an emotion that I felt myself even if I am a man who weights few kilograms, probably a bit more than 50 kilograms. Worse this picture was telling that if she looked like that it was because she can’t keep eating. This video has earned millions of views on … and it is in my point of view a picture that emotionally could hurt people like her and even empathic people like you and me what makes it fair for the platform to pay this emotionright that could be streamed to a fund that deals with the concerns of people with more weight than usual

when two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three are obese (36 percent). it's fair to have the picture posted on a platform follow this statistical distribution and the same could be said for the color of skin meaning that digital platforms have now the tools and power to fix this misrepresentation by following the statistical distribution of the characteristic of people by showing positive pictures and video about each set of people given the reported statistical ratios and pay for this emotionright if they exploit a picture involving any of the sets of people we form when this picture embed a negative emotional trigger.

In the paragraphs about you could replace weight with the color of skin, religious belief, and sexual orientation but actually, the implementation of this emotionright is easier with visible characteristics like the size of body, color, and physical shape and conditions.

Writing about this issue a part of my mind reminded me of one of my father’s movies that was representing a part of a population of Africa in scenes that may be seen by these set of Africans as being emotionally hurting even if the end goal of this movie was not about that but mainly about teaching people to not believe any kind of religious person who comes by. I think he did it with professionalism and I am thankful to my peer Africans because they understood what he meant and that this movie was not targeted against them.

For this idea of emotionright to be implemented, I thought that it could be needed to have this system that crawl the web as google does for getting the pictures and videos that it will feed to this AI that is trained to detect these kinds of emotional state hurting pictures and scenes that I tried to describe above. We could imagine scoring digital platforms with respect to the number of digital content flagged as emotionally hurting and even scoring the content that conveys positive emotions of any sort of concern about these issues described above.

This emotionright idea could be paired with this idea about 404 pages which is still a very good idea for our planet because it could participate in lowering the carbon footprint of digital platforms by fixing broken links. I don’t have any quantitative facts that prove the positive effect of this 404-page fixer engine on carbon footprint of digital platforms but I think that this emotionright that I have been talking about is a solution that we should implement and the amount of money that it will generate could be used for solving these same concerns for which it is designed for. This idea may be a tool for NGOs and should itself be run by an NGO or a set of NGOs.

To get people involved I thought about this idea that one could call wastespotters. this idea is about a platform that allows anyone who wants to spot pictures, and videos that use wasting of scarce resources like water, and food for purposes other than educating people. Perhaps these wastespotters could also help spot emotionally hurting pictures and movie scenes also. Like what has been done with Wikipedia volunteers and active users of this platform could get status and credits like how it’s done with platforms like stackoverflow, quora, and other platforms that exploit the wisdom of the crowd for doing things that matter for the world. With the wisdom of the crowd meaning the involvement of people like you and me. we could do way more than if each of us goes on his or her own. With this platform there could be a leaderboard with rewards and prices and incentives for the users who spots more resources waste, emotionally hurting digital content and there could be a crypto coin involved if we are sure that we could make it green or it could be linked with planting trees in which case Ecosia could be a really good partner because they already know how to do that.

Here is a project I am throwing in which I am ready to participate if you think that this emotionright and this resource waste spotting platform are worth implementing.

PS: but how one could measure emotion?