Reader Marak was the first of a bunch of you to send in the news of Red Bull cancelling a super high altitude skydive
(an attempt to break the famous record of Joe Kittinger
) because of a lawsuit filed back in April by a guy claiming he had the idea first
, and that he shared the details with Red Bull, but has now been cut out of the project. If anyone has the actual filing in the case, I'd like to see it, because you can't actually own "ideas," so I'm curious what he's specifically suing over. There are a few possibilities, but all of them seem like a stretch. Just because someone tells you an idea, there's no requirement you work with them, credit them or pay them in most cases. In fact, the reporting on what happened between Red Bull and the guy notes that after talking for a while, Red Bull sent him an email that stated: "after a very detailed investigation of your proposal, we finally came to the conclusion that we would not like to continue our joint work on the space Dive project." That doesn't say they won't proceed on their own, however...
Once again, though, this does seem symptomatic of the general belief these days that it's possible to own "ideas," and that if you have an idea, then you can stop others from either having the same idea separately, or from actually implementing your idea. It's what happens when you build up a culture falsely led to believe that ideas are scarce resources like property.