|A Peer-Enforced Marketplace for New Ideas|
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What is Premises, Premises?|
How does it work?
How do you know that no one has thought of these ideas before?
How can I read the ideas?
Doesn't the user tracking compromise my privacy?
Can't someone just register with a false name and bogus information?
I have this great idea. How do I submit it?
Why don't I just get a patent instead?
Are these ideas serious?
What prevents me from starting another site just like this one?
How can I buy one of these ideas?
How does this site plan to make money?
Can you recommend other sites that are along the same lines as this one?
What is Premises, Premises?
Premises, Premises is a venue for original ideas that's protected by legal contracts and other mechanisms designed to help you offer your ideas to others if you feel poorly positioned, ill-equipped, or just too lazy to pursue them yourself. Prices are low, to encourage people to buy. Descriptions are short, so more people will read them. Peer-enforcement (read on...) makes stealing the ideas potentially risky and embarrassing. Premises, Premises is moderated, so submissions will be posted only upon acceptance.
Read the contracts. There are two kinds of ideas on this site, Public and Private. Anyone can read the Public ideas-- they're just here because their authors want to put them out into the world. The Private ideas are accessible only to people signed in as members of the site, who may register free of charge, provided that they agree with all the contracts' terms. Members using the site can discuss any idea among themselves, and also see which other members have read the idea, and when. Furthermore, all members have a financial incentive to rat on any other member who has used and profited from idea taken from the site without its owners' consent, or who has leaked the idea directly or indirectly to someone who has done so.
The financial incentive is that any "bounty hunter" member who demonstrates a stolen idea's path from another member's reading it to its unauthorized use should split the proceeds of any resulting settlement with the idea's owner. Read the legal language here. The ideas posted on this site are inexpensive, and if you're interested in using one of them, you're better off if you come clean, pay for it out of petty cash, and give credit where credit is due, rather than having to watch your back and worry about all the bits of evidence you constantly leave as you browse through this site and communicate with others in violation of the contracts.
Meanwhile, the database containing all the ideas currently carried by the site, both Public and Private, is periodically archived and "fingerprinted," using the standard MD5 algorithm, to generate a 128-bit MD5 key which is then printed out and physically logged by a Notary Public-- all of which provides permanent, real-world proof of who came up with what idea, and when.
I don't, and for many of them, people probably have-- in which case stealing and peer-enforcement aren't an issue. If you see an idea here that you know is not original or has been previously documented elsewhere, please send email about it to priorart at premisespremises dot com, including references or other proof, and I'll remove it. Or, if you're a member, submit a comment on the idea's page. I want this site to have as high a percentage of genuinely original ideas as possible-- quality, rather than quantity.
When you register, the only personal information this site collects is your name and email address. As the site administrator, I promise not to share this information with anyone, except when a reputable-seeming investigator has contacted me personally to investigate the plausible-sounding possibility of the theft of an idea from this site. If this is the case, I'll try to contact the person being investigated and let them know what's going on before revealing any names. I hope and doubt that any of this will ever become an issue, but as a member, you're ultimately just going to have to trust me on this-- it's how this site works, the "teeth" needed if it seems like someone might not be playing fair.
No-- for the time being, registrations are hand-approved, and they won't go through if the information supplied doesn't seem to correspond to a real person. I'll email any registrations I'm not sure about to give people a chance to explain.
Read the Submission Guidelines and fill out the Idea Submission Form on the Submit An Idea page. You don't have to register as a member to submit an idea. And you can give any email address you want to.
If you don't already know the terms of sale, it's left open for negotiation between you and the potential buyer. Or, you can include a link to a contract you've already worked out. You can prepare one at www.creativecommons.org.
If it's patentable and worth the effort, you should. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't dispense legal advice. But I do know that Premises, Premises is intended to be an easier, more lightweight form of protection for simple things that patents may or may not even be able to cover, such as pure ideas which don't necessarily suggest inventions, and might be social or cultural as well as technological. Using this site, you can protect an idea by just writing and submitting a paragraph or two. A patent requires far more detail and effort, and offers far more protection-- including letting you charge whatever you want. If you have a significant invention or discovery that you've been working on for a long time and that can't be quickly explained to the general public, it sounds more like patent material (duh).
If you feel that your idea might be worth millions, but you need to present it to the right people and also make sure that they don't steal it, you probably shouldn't submit it to Premises, Premises, where, despite all the safeguards, you will lose control of who reads your idea. This site is intended for "spare ideas" from people who don't have time to pursue them because they're doing other things, but who are willing to spend a bit of one-time writing effort in order to share, and hopefully add some interestingness to the world.
Also, don't quote me on this, but it's my impression that if you publish an idea for something patentable, as you might on this site, you have a one-year period after publication during which you can still submit a valid patent application.
Some are, some aren't, and which ones are which is left as an exercise for the reader. Just keep in mind that, as any good crackpot/visionary will tell you, "they laughed at Edison!"
Nothing-- go for it! The more, the merrier. The code is already written and ready to run on any server that has PHP and MySQL, both of which are pretty standard these days. You can license the software from Aavishkar. I maintain the site using an ordinary browser, plus SecureCRT from VanDyke Software to telnet into the server, and SQLyog to work with the database directly.
Contact the idea's author at the address listed with the idea (visible only to members), and work it out with them. Premises, Premises is out of the loop on this.
It doesn't. Premises, Premises is a personally-funded experiment, a "labor of love" with no revenue stream. If the site doesn't catch on, or if it becomes only moderately popular, I'll keep things that way and use it as my personal home page (my name is Paul Spinrad, BTW). But if a lot of people find Premises, Premises useful, I'd like to introduce some fees to make it self-supporting-- probably just a simple reading fee of $5 or so for each submission, sent via PayPal. We'll see.
Why, yes, I can! Here's a chart that compares them all (revised October 2005):
A couple of editorial observations drawn from above comparison:
1. Sites that collect fees or otherwise run for profit (brightidea.com,
e-dea, !dea Exchange, Idea-X) tend to have less activity and lower
idea quality than free sites.
Know any other idea sharing sites? Please email me at pspinrad at premisespremises dot com.
Questions? Email to faq at premisespremises dot com.
Dedication With much love, this site is dedicated to my mother, who isn't into computers, and to my father, who will show her this site and understand why she's mentioned first.