Let's start from the beginning, shall we?
The entertainment industry (books and magazines, music and movies) has enjoyed a long and prosperous history. That history, however, is wrought with anti-innovation lobbying and fear-mongering over generalizations and falsehoods. Let's look back at some of the fears that the media has had since 1440 when the printing press spread words and literacy throughout Europe and the rest of the world
- The Music Industry
- Phonographs and Player Pianos Will Kill Music! (John Philip "Stars And Stripes Forever" Sousa)
published in Appleton's Magazine in 1906, Sousa argues that, "...I myself and every other popular composer are victims of a serious infringement on our clear moral rights to our own work..."
- Home Taping is killing music! - the slogan of a 1980s anti-copyright infringement campaign by the British Phonographic Industry
- Napster is killing music
- iTunes is killing music
- The Film Industry
- VCR's will kill film industry
- File sharer's are killing the file industry
- universities are killing the film industry
- Print Media
So not only did the RIAA miss their opportunity, they blamed all of us for it.
The film industry is just as guilty, but I have more ammunition for Music since they've been at it longer.
Both of these industries have, in the last 30 years;
- Resold us the same material in a 'newer' format more than once and the MPAA is worse in this regard as they've created 2 format wars in process.
- LP -> 8-Track -> Cassette -> CD -> iTunes
- Theatre ticket ->
Betamax/ VHS -> LaserDisc -> DVD -> HDDVD/ BluRay
- Been caught in illegal activites
- Implemented draconian DRM and anti-piracy technologies which are included in the price and have proven completely ineffective
- Sued everyone
- Music lawsuits
- and lest we forget Metallica v. Napster, Inc.
- Film Lawsuits
- Re-fed us the same 'formula' under a different name.
- In Music
- New Kids on the Block -- Backstreet Boys -- Hanson and other boy band regurgitation
- Spice Girls, Pussycat Dolls and other girl groups
- American Idol
- Hannah Montannah, Brintey Spears and other Disney creations (though I'll credit these 2 for attempting to escape their own contrived existence)
- In Film (or television)
- Batman has been done redone animated live action big small screened more than I will detail myself
- The Addams Family has done similar
- TV Shows adapted to movies: The A-Team, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Car 54, Where are you?, Charlie's Angels, Dragnet, The Dukes of Hazard, Get Smart, G. I. Joe,... I am tired of making this list and I am only in the G's here... suffice to say; nothing is an idea, they are all franchises now.
About every 3 years I buy a CD because I actually felt it was worth buying it (and because I don't feel that Apple really needs my money via iTunes). The DVDs I buy are old TV shows and old movies that actually drew me in to something and sometimes even compelled me to think. The most recently released TV show I've purchased were the only 2 seasons of 'Pushing Daisies' which was cancelled for being too witty (at least that is the explanation I believe to be true).
Mind you, I still go to the theater once or twice a year, but if I were single that rate would likely drop to once every 2 or 3 years.
Both of these industries need to evolve or die. Contrary to what anyone believes or says, I am sure 'artists' will still produce art and find a way to make money at it using the digital age to cut out big media fat-cats that were essentially exploiting them anyway.
Strangely the print industry has been more adaptable. Printed word is slowly taking a backseat to the digital world. Some of them are still doing it wrong as I would think if it costs less for them, it should cost less for everyone else. The New York Times charges different prices for .com + smart phone, and .com + tablet, and all digital access when in reality they are using tiered pricing for access to the exact same content. They even have the nerve to charge more for the all digital package than they'd charge for physical delivery of an actual paper 7 days a week outside of New York. I suppose they still have time to tweak this pricing scheme as it is fairly recent, and they might even decide to do just that.
Of course requiring permission or payment out of students who 'cite other works' in assignments as I mentioned above is outright evil, so maybe I need to gouge them heavier at a later date.
So this brings my to patents.
Patent reform is absolutely mandatory for any innovation or progress in technology, science, or medicine.
Here's an article from 2005 explaining the patent troll. Since that time the only thing that has changed is that patent trolls have increased their portfolio. I understand the patent system, it was designed to protect the little guy working in his basement toiling away years of his life then finally inventing something. EURIKA! He patents the idea so others cannot steal it then tries to figure out the economics of mass-producing and marketing it to an open market, or he licenses it to a larger company that already has manufacturing facilities. The patent was there to allow sufficient time to bring the idea to life and to try to make a profit.
Patent trolls just sit on these ideas hoping that 'some vague detail' of some other company's product has somehow made use of that idea (even in part), then they drag that company to court to extort money from them... Not just any court either, most of these cases are tried in Marshall Texas because most trials are awarded to the patent holder. Either Mashall Texas judges were all inventors or Marshall Texas has only 12 residents too stupid to get out of jury duty and those 12 people are not smart enough to see they're being played for fools by snake-oil salesmen.
Also the patent office is inundated with patents and there's no real way to properly monitor submissions to verify that anything has been done to develop the idea into a marketable product.
I won't talk too much on the patent issue though, as it would appear that a Patent Reform bill passed in the U.S. congress not long ago. Since I have not yet read that bill, I will let it run it's course for a while.