Madhav Krishna

This conversation is closed.

Do you think we can make ideas "open source"?

How about creating an open source license for "ideas" -- similar to that which is used for software. The open source movement completely transformed the way that software is sold and distributed. I wonder if we can achieve the same for "ideas" themselves. Any thoughts?

Closing Statement from Madhav Krishna

Thanks for your comments!

@Jamal -- with the current state of IP law, an idea cannot even be licensed. All licenses in general, including the CC license, apply to the expression of an idea. One of my goals is to create a "license" that may be applied to ideas. That license will also forbid ideators from claiming credit in any form from the implementors of their ideas, if any. Check out my first stab at this:

@Jeff -- Glad you like the idea. seems to be doing what I want to do as well, except that it's under-the-hood.

If you guys are interested in working on this together, drop me a note at!

  • Jul 6 2011: How would this be different from publishing an idea with an open source license like Creative Commons? I suppose that the CC license covers the content more so than the idea itself. How would the license have to change to cover ideas and not just the medium they are presented in? If an idea is really original, I suppose that it should be possible to sue if the rights are infringed upon by the currently available licenses.
  • Jul 1 2011: I think it's a great idea. Would make it easier/more compelling to contribute to worthwhile projects like Right now their terms state that you effectively lose all ownership of, control over, or even participation in anything that comes of the ideas you submit. Not sure that an Open Source Idea License would look like, but would be interested in participating in crafting one. I suspect it would be something along the lines of an "anti-patent".