The work we’re doing is very likely to inspire inventive thinking by those who read about it.
We can’t stop people from posting their ideas elsewhere on the Internet.
We could drive them away from here, but who wins that way?
No, I agree with Larry that we should have a formal policy stating that ideas posted here, or sent privately to Mill, become Mill property. We should publish this in a way that protects us from lawsuits by people who believe we’ve stolen their ideas.
We might explain that private communications are better for protecting patent rights, but remember that the bare outline of an idea isn’t necessarily a bar to patentability. If an expression of the idea behind an invention doesn’t enable one of “ordinary skill in the art” to practice the invention– for example, by leaving critical details unspecified– then it doesn’t count as a publication of an invention.
Whether someone deserves compensation for posting an idea has to be entirely up to Mill and determined on a case-by-case basis. We mustn’t make any promises.