I'm a phd student in physics/math who has some ideas about how these phenomenon occur. However, I do not have the experiments and mathematical theory done yet to support these ideas, and it may take years to get them done to publish a paper.

How can I get copyright these ideas (hypothesis?) Can I just make a blog on the internet and put (c) with the date and my name on the bottom of each post, or is that not enough? I would like to have some proof that I had these ideas at this point in time, and since I'm sharing them with others, I'd want proof that they were mine without others not crediting me.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about copyrights and not about writing. Feb 5, 2015 at 19:39
  • Do the research and get rich, or let it go.
    – user5645
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:50
  • Funny reason to close. Copyright is a pretty integral part of writing. The "help center" page referenced in the close message says that "publishing" is on topic, which I'd think is in the same category as copyright.
    – Jay
    Apr 27, 2016 at 18:11
  • @Jay - despite what's said above, the actual reason for closing this question is that despite the phrasing it isn't about copyright: it's about protecting ideas not expressions, and when an idea is given legal protection we call that a patent. Patents are definitely not on topic on this site.
    – Jules
    May 22, 2018 at 9:24
  • @jules But that's exactly what makes it an important question. What is copyrightable and what is not? Would you really say that the only questions permitted here are questions to which the answer is "yes"? But if the OP knows that the answer is "yes", why would he ask? I think it's very useful to tell writers what is protectable by copyright and what is not.
    – Jay
    May 22, 2018 at 14:18

3 Answers 3


Thank gods, ideas are not copyrightable at all (in any country, as far as I know; particularly in the US under Section 102 of the Copyright Act, in Russia under Section 1259 of Civil Code, etc).


Ideas can't be copyrighted. One could write a creative text with these, but then using them (in an entirely different text) will be completely viable.

If these ideas could be used as methods, technologies or devices, you can patent them. The one "beautiful" thing about patents is that they absolutely don't need to work for real, you just need to claim that they work - so whether the ideas are valid and true is moot. Still, if the ideas merely cover concepts of how things work in the nature, they won't be patentable. On top of that, the process of obtaining patents is lengthy and expensive.


As others have said, you cannot copyright ideas. However, that is not really what you want to achieve here is it?

What you really want is to be credited with coming up with the ideas in the first place in the event that either you or someone else is able to do the science to prove them right. It's the recognition you want.

If you want to profit from the exploitation of your ideas, then you would need to come up with a method of exploiting them and copyrighting, patenting and otherwise protecting the exploitation.

My suggestion would be to publish as widely as you can. Write a self-published book; create a blog; physically print everything off and post (mail) it back to yourself so you have date proofs.

A suggestion: read the history of how Charles Darwin came to publish his internationally famous On The Origin of Species and then ask yourself why you have never heard of Alref Russel Wallace.

The key is not to procrastinate but to publish, publish, publish. If you do not blow your own trumpet, no-one else will and - worse - others may gain the credit for what you have done.

Finally, it is highly unlikely that the ideas you have are unique to you. Others may well be thinking along similar lines. There is never a perfect moment to go public, never a moment when you have everything carefully marshalled together. In the real world, there is intense competition in every aspect of life ... so act now, act fast and work out how to support your ideas later.

  • Great answer. But, what you say sounds like work. All that writing. Oh no. :) LOL!
    – raddevus
    Feb 14, 2015 at 16:19
  • If publishing online, might also want to make sure copies exist in a location that is unlikely to be considered partial to the case. Saving a copy with The Internet Archive might be a good start.
    – user
    May 17, 2018 at 14:57

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