At least in the U.S., copyright and patent law are how inventors claim credit for inventions, and optionally monetize them. They’re not perfect systems, and provide no guarantee of protection because of the cost of lawsuits against infringers, but plenty of inventors use them successfully to earn money from their inventions.

If your motive is profit, then you probably shouldn’t share your inventions. Hold them close, build a successful company out of it, and make money. But if your motive is impact, sharing is inevitably not going to reward you as much. And some would argue that’s fair: building and running a successful business is *really* hard, and deserves most of the profit that comes from that effort. As both an experienced inventor and an entrepreneur, most of the value is in the businesses, not in the inventions.

Of course, my motive isn’t money. I’m fine with my professor salary, and have no interest in being a millionaire/billionaire. I understand that others might feel differently.

All that said, it’s not clear to me how you’d monetize a publication platform. Are you suggesting that people reading the papers would be charged to read, or some other business model? That’s what current publishers do, it just doesn’t go to inventors.



Professor of programming + learning + design + justice at the University of Washington Information School. Trans; she/her. #BlackLivesMatter.

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