Friday, November 30, 2007

When Do My Ideas Become My Ideas?

I have a mild interest in, but have thought little about, intellectual property laws, patents, trademarks and copyrights. A nagging question is, "when do my ideas become my ideas"? If use somebody else's work as my own, it might be called plagiarism. But what if I came to the same ideas independently? Or what if I learned many things from many people, then used what I have learned as my own? Where is the line drawn?

If I think the same thing as somebody else, an idea for a product for example, and the other person receives a patent a day before me, then my idea becomes, in essence, his idea, even though I thought of it independently. Isn't that theft? He uses state law to force me to not use my idea, and if I do use my idea, he can collect damages. How is this not theft? Thinking out loud.


  1. I like the way you think on this 'idea'. I think if this in regards to intellectual property - since some of my ideas and thoughts may have been thought before - yet I did the work myself without their aide and landed in a similar spot. It's an interesting thing.

  2. Did you notice the copyright notice inside the cover of your Bible? How amazing is it that someone would slap a copyright on the words of God?

    If one puts a copyright on God's words then aren't they really saying that God doesn't exist and those words are "invented" by the copyright owner and thus justifying intellectual property rights for some worldly purpose such as profit?

    I find so many Christians saying with their lips that they believe in God but their actions scream that God does not exist. Actions speak louder than words.