I have some ideas which might be considered "inventions" and I'd like some way to publish them. I'm basically too lazy to maintain a blog site, so the idea of publishing it here came to mind.

Also, I think the ideas would be worthy of discussion and probably interesting for a lot of folks here. I posted one previous idea of mine and it was pretty well received, even though it was just some crappy thing I came up with. So I'm not actually in some legal review, just looking for a nice spot to post ideas. I'm wondering if anyone has some thought if PSE might also count as prior art. Or if there's some reason to think "no this definitely won't work because..." where "because" has some well founded answer.

I'll probably post ideas here anyway, just wondering if they count as "published" or whatever prior art requires.

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This doesn't sound like something that would work on any Stack Exchange site. Various help pages - the Tour page, the topics that are within scope, the types of questions that should be avoided, and the tips for asking good questions are all relevant. In short, we expect questions to be questions about problems with answers that can be measured how how well they address the problem. If you want discussions, Stack Exchange does provide a chat facility, and the Programmers chat room - The Whiteboard, is relatively active, I'm not sure you'll find what you're looking for there.

As far as the legal repercussions for what you post on any Stack Exchange site (or any other site on the Internet), you would need to consult a lawyer. We aren't experts on the law here on Programmers.

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  • The help page for Programmers Stack Exchange includes "software architecture and design" among questions that can be asked. Basically I'd be looking for a code review/design review of whatever I post. That's basically what I did before and it seemed OK. – markspace Mar 2 '15 at 19:04
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    @markspace If you're looking for a code review of working code, you should go to Code Review. Design reviews are on-topic, assuming they meet the criteria. A generic design review would likely be closed as too broad, primarily opinion based, or unclear, so you should have specific questions or issues with the design that you are asking about, rather than a general "review my design". – Thomas Owens Mar 2 '15 at 19:07

I am not sure what your goal is with "prior art" given that is used to debunk others' patent claims, not to strengthen your own. If you are creating an invention, "publishing" it anywhere will not help: you need to file with the USPTO or Copyright Office as appropriate. Talk to an Intellectual Property attorney for more detailed advice.

Furthermore, if you click the legal link at the bottom of every page in the Stack Exchange network, you will find a page that describes who owns what content posted here and how it may or may not be used. Specifically, this paragraph appears to be the important one:

All materials displayed or performed on the Network, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, and animations (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the property of Stack Exchange and/or third parties and are protected by United States and international copyright laws.

Neither I nor anyone else here is qualified to say exactly how this is relevant to your situation or if it helps or hurts your desired outcome. Again, speak with an attorney specializing in IP law in your jurisdiction.

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  • The legal blabber you quoted is entirely irrelevant, and essentially just says that I may not steal the sprites for the downvote triangle. User contributions (confusingly called “subscriber content” in there) are licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 which lets anyone republish posted content and transform or build upon it (under certain requirements). Ergo, posting your sekrit ideas here is worse than keeping them under wraps, as it actually allows people to use them! – amon Mar 2 '15 at 22:14
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    ah, the "other than Content posted by Subscriber" part. That is what I get during my final week on the job. My slacking and inattention to detail is carrying over to Prog.SE! – user22815 Mar 2 '15 at 23:19
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    Section 3: "You agree that all Subscriber Content that You contribute to the Network is perpetually and irrevocably licensed to Stack Exchange under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. You grant Stack Exchange the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, copy, cache, publish, display, distribute, modify, create derivative works and store such Subscriber Content and to allow others to do so in any medium now known or hereinafter developed" - this may cause issues with some IP claims (and fun with patent claims which isn't covered so would need a lawyer to argue it) – user40980 Mar 3 '15 at 1:50

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