Who owns the ideas?

So you suddenly get a brilliant idea and are ready to share it with the world.  After thinking on it for a while, synthesizing all the details of how other concepts are related and connected, you start putting the concept out.  Suddenly, you find someone else sharing that same idea in some fashion.  What reaction do you have?

Many of us will jump to jealousy – “he stole my stuff and says it’s his”.  If they at least give you credit – is that any better?  What if your idea was original to you and your sphere of influence, but someone else truly did have the same idea?  Whether divine revelation, or synthesizing the content already available in any type of media, knowledge is readily available.  We live in an information age, and proper delivery of information is where the creativity matters.

Ideas in educational systems:

Last week a new process of fair use for copyrighted content was announced to enable public schools in America to implement content freely.  Educational systems hold the role of presenting knowledge, and empowering students to analyze, synthesize and process that information in a meaningful way. To protect the rapid sharing without paying royalties, schools operate under fair use.  They must credit the source of the idea, but no payment is expected.   Check this video out for more details on it:

Ideas in religious systems:

Even pastors get possessive at times of the ideas they are presenting.  Though divinely inspired, is the message they share the result of other ideas?  Who inspired the idea?  If the goal is to reach as many people as possible with the knowledge and resulting impact that it has, does it matter who really shares this?  Is it important that they give you credit?  What if they got the idea, just as you did?  What reaction do you have?  Are you let down that you couldn’t be the one to present the idea first? What does that say about you?  Are you thrilled that others have heard the wisdom you also received?

Ideas in business:

In business, a unique idea is what has previously made the sales possible.  One company owns the rights to create something a certain way, or is the first that has learned how to do something.  These exclusive rights is what has created the sale before.  However, the same is not true always today.  As information is constantly being made more available – what now stands out is customer service and approach in presenting ideas.

Give, Take, Borrow, Steal, or Freely Use?

When you present information – are you taking content from another and not giving credit?  Are you giving your content to others to rework and redistribute?  What influence do you have when you strive to maintain the idea as your sole property?  At which point is the idea one that anyone could and should have?

Are you my neighbor?

In It was presented in Luke 10:27 how to interact with others. When someone takes your idea, or any other thing you feel they shouldn’t have done or been… what is your response?  Do you have any obligation to empower others to freely give information? 

27 And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. 29 And he, determined to acquit himself of reproach, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? 36 Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers? 37 He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise.

Thoughts on these ideas?

There is nothing new under the sun.  We are reforming the ideas, but the ideas themselves are not all that new.  How do businesses make money if they don’t hold on to their ideas? How do schools retain teachers if they are not unique (at least outside the public school system)? What is the goal for pastors in sharing ideas?  What happens if they may not have stolen your idea, but had the same ideas themselves? What if they have learned from your ideas, how much credit do you need?  What if they profit from your ideas? Share your thoughts!

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Menlo School

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