Microsoft (and several other software companies) have been pulling this off in the software world for well over a decade. Apple is now doing it blatantly with their hardware.
When Microsoft announced the Surface recently, Apple cultists screamed "theft!" over what they claimed was an iPad rip-off (despite the tablet PC being introduced by Microsoft a decade ago; a Start Trek: The Next Generation concept pre-dated even that.) Now that Apple is the one doing the "stealing" of Microsoft's core software business practice idea (albeit applied to hardware,) it's ok? Talk about double standards.
(On a side-note here, since we're discussing Apple)
Word of the day: Shinyware: noun. A generic piece of hardware, often behind current standards and non-upgradeable, polished and branded with the Apple logo. Nothing is really "extraordinary" about it, but is often proclaimed to be the next technological messiah.
That reminds me, I need to patent my "unique" method for farting with optimal relief-feeling effect. Then I'm going to patent a method for optimal reduced-time shitting.
Toilets around the country will need to have FRL and SRM (Flatulence Restrictions Management and Shitting Restrictions Management, respectively) installed on all models before anyone could use them anymore. This will make toilets cost much more and me very rich! But it's a small price to pay for this glorious innovation.
And it's likely many others had the same (or very similar) idea long before you did. How come you aren't asking their permission to think your thought? Are you going to stop thinking now to avoid "theft" accusations?
It isn't "stealing" as you so eloquently call it, and copyright has never been a "property right," either. It's supposed to be an artificial incentive for authors/artists/musicians/etc to make more creative works. It's a shame corporations got involved with and started using that propaganda phrase, "intellectual property." The world would be much better if that term and the corporate bastards who support it never existed.
"It's Lady Gaga, come on people. That shit isn't hard to create via garageband or logic. She might be a pianist, but that music is no symphonic piece by Mozart."
"So no, the copyright laws are perfectly fair, thank you. just because it requires you to have some musical talent to make a parody doesn't mean it isn't fair. It just means you have no business in music if you have no fucking talent."
We're not talking about talent here. We're talking about locking up every damn song, instrumental, lyric, performance, etc for 100+ years (pending MPAA lobbying for extensions) for no reason other than "this garbage is 'sacred.' Let's never let anyone use it without paying us a ridiculous profit in some way."
But if you want to argue about "talent," maybe you shouldn't be taking the side of the corporations that spew out 90+% of the garbage "music" we have today and start promoting someone with actual "talent."
Do you support a law that takes your freedom of choice as a parent over what sorts of media your child might consume?
It is impossible to "consume" media. Unless people actually eat their CDs, DVDs, etc, it's not possible to do so. Watching a movie, listening to music or playing a game does not "consume" it.
Perhaps we should start rejecting the term "consumer" as well, as it implies all we are is cattle to "consume" whatever is provided to us.
"trademark is about consumer protection, and is under an entirely different part of the constitution."
Trademark law is not found in the Constitution. It was invented at a later time to help people identify the brands they were buying and prevent counterfeit knock-offs from using similar logos. You wouldn't know that today given that expansion of these laws to include things like individual colors and other ridiculously obvious things has turned trademark law into an incentive for advertising.
"Mike, I fail to see how copyright and patents are lumped together. One excludes use of an instance of a work, where the other excludes use of an entire concept, irrespective of an instance of a given work. They're both clearly out of hand, but there are few show stoppers born out of copyright, where patent law prohibits competition in many, many areas that simply cant be worked around."
This confusion and lumping together arises from use of the phrase "intellectual property." Patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, etc are not similar in any major ways. They all have different lengths, areas they cover, infringement policies, and so on. They should never be over-generalized and lumped together. Even worse, the phrase "intellectual property" also confuses people into thinking about these abstract concepts as inalienable property rights, which they are not. They are man-made legal concepts that have become more trouble than they are worth.
I didn't say facts could be copyrighted. I was referring to works that invlove the use of facts (e.g. scientific papers, historical documents and similar works.)
If you bothered to watch the Stallman interview I linked to you'd know what I'm talking about. The part of interest starts around 47:35 in the video.
Stallman has said in many of his speeches that some works may need some mild restrictions (such as CC-ND) depending on the type of work it is. Factual works (e.g. scientific research) might need some restrictions to keep them from being used out-of-context or modified in a way that destroys the factual integrity of the information in the works.
I find it sad that someone who thinks his work is so great and magnificent refers to it as "content," implying that it was only made to 'fill a box' so to speak and get him paid. It really shows the corporate attitude towards art when they refer to it as "content." Referring to works as such is disrespectful and demeaning to both the works and the authors.
If your work is good people will like it (not necessarily everybody, but some people will.) If your work sucks, then you should cut your loss and try again while learning from your mistakes. It's time for these morons to grow up and quit throwing temper tantrums about how "no one respects my work."
And "creators"? Artists, musicians, authors, etc are not gods. I've heard some band fans describe their favorite bands as "gods" but that's just fan opinion. Just because you wrote a story, composed a song, or painted a picture doesn't make you a god nor does it mean your great great great grandchildren should be entitled to a luxurious life. I'm not going to sue my current employer for not paying me that long for the work I did 3 years ago. That would be stupid.