Re: selling an idea

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 14:49:14 MST

John Marlow wrote:
> On 28 Jan 2001, at 12:25, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > "Michael B. Hubbard" wrote:
> > >
> > > I was not aware of that. Coming up in music and songwriting classes I was
> > > told it was potentially useful. I can pass that on to my musician friends.
> >
> > Incidentally, this rumor runs wild on the Web, so you may wish to be armed
> > with this simple argument:
> >
> > > The "seal it in an envelope and mail it to myself" trick is more or less
> > > useless. I know of NO (zero, zip, nada) court cases where it has held up.
> > >
> > > Try this: take a plain envelope and mail it to yourself unsealed. The
> > > post office doesn't care. Now you can put anything you want into it
> > > any time in the future and have it "date stamped" today.
> Also called Poor Man's Copyright.
> Agreed; unreliable in court. However, the above bit can be
> demonstrably guarded against by sealing the envelope with strong tape
> and asking the clerk to date-stamp it over envelope and tape. Tape
> cannot be removed without destroying envelope and date stamp.
> I still wouldn't rely on it.

You are talking about a pretty small document. Take it to a local
and have it notarized and stamped. Low-cost and effective.

Also, if there isn't such a thing as something I thought up 9 years ago
there should be. It was an Idea Factory business. The idea is that
people can post their ideas to the organization in however terse form,
with protection and acknowledgement built-in that they want. Listings
of ideas will be published. The listings may only describe enough to
get across the basic benefit of the idea. Those interested in an idea
will pay some fee to get more information from the factory. The factory
will set up negotiations between the would be buyer/user/implementer and
the creator of the idea again for a small fee. The other variant of
this is that people can most problems they are looking for ideas on how
to fix. I believe does this sort of approach. Another good
idea of mine that someone else finally does something with!

- samantha

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