What Does It Mean to Steal an Idea?

Stealing an idea is taking someone's IntellectualProperty and pretending it is yours. DO NOT DO IT. Stealing an Idea can range from an actual invention or creation of someone's to simple things like a photograph, or a quote. Anytime you take something that is copyrighted without the owner's permission, it is stealing.

What is Intellectual Property?

IntellectualProperty is anything that is a result of creative thought. This includes;
Anything you make, you own. Sort of. View the WikiLink for IntellectualProperty for more information regarding that.

Stealing Ideas, and Wiki

Wikis often create sort of a gray area with StealingIdeas. Often a WikiPage is a bunch of information, found from all over the web smashed together into one concise webpage. Sometimes the sources are cited, but often they are not. Like here for example, I used another WikiPage, and a few online articles as reference while creating this page. By not citing them directly on this page, am I StealingIdeas, or is my information different enough, to be considered it's own thing? You tell me.



Wiki Thoughts


Authority often tells us that theft is immoral, and it is a commonly held value.

On a wiki, particularly on a wiki in the public eye, ownership is incredibly vague.

Thoughts, ideas, and opinions are usually not concrete enough to steal in the general sense. Really, how can you regulate that in a public locale. The most someone can do is quote you. In most cases, it's on social media, makes no money, and usually doesn't go very far. Potentially, it could end up in an article or something, but logically speaking, there is the possibility of coincidence in which another person on the opposite side of the state/country/world that you've never met and who has never seen your post/wiki/etc. uses the exact phrase/quote you did. This is a real thing to consider. (If this happens, though, you should probably get in contact with them because they could be a new best friend.) Also, how do you prove that it is yours? How do you claim it? How can you prove this is stolen?

In the situation you are posting a piece of original work (novel, article, research, discovery of impending doom, etc), you should make sure to publish it under a CopyrightLicense or link to a copyrighted website. Don't post highly valuable work on the public domain. Once it's there, it ain't yours no more. Some would call this stupidity at its finest.

Be wise and respectful. Don't expect the worst, but prepare for it, yeah?
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