Re: selling an idea

From: John Marlow (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 13:32:08 MST

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.


> -- -- -- -- --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

John Marlow

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