There are a lot of websites and forums that offer help to writers online - including stack exchange. I've started writing several books, but haven't completed any of them. I believe that my story ideas are unique and interesting, and think it would be worthwhile to seek help from fellow writers online.

Is it safe to share details of my stories without worrying that some other writers, desperate for an idea might steal them? Is anything I post online legally my property, or am I consciously giving away ideas to other people?

I know this might sound a little paranoid, but my books (though not finished) are personal treasures to me and I would be aghast to see someone else run off with them.

  • @LaurenIpsum It looks like that post covers copy-writing a finished work. I guess story ideas aren't necessarily protected online? That's more what I was asking. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 20:11
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    I found another one, which specifically addresses ideas :) I hope this helps you out, and sooths your concerns a little!
    – Standback
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


This article might be of interest: http://www.wikihow.com/Protect-Your-Written-Ideas-and-Stories; quote below:

According to Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act, “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated or embodied in such work.” This means that according to the law, you cannot copyright an idea or concept. You can attempt to sue someone for “idea misappropriation” if you believe they have stolen your idea or concept, but this can be difficult to prove in court.

There is more if you follow the link provided.

It looks like there is no guarantee that your story ideas can be reliably protected; you just have to choose with whom to share them.

Having said that, I must note that no idea, no matter how fresh it might be, guarantees that the story (either based on the original or stolen idea) is going to be good. Devil is in the details.

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