@ Technological progress would occur at a much slower rate.
This is only an assumption.
Mr. Riley, I will not waste my time on answering you anymore since there is nothing to learn from what you write and one risks being offended at the same time. Maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong but what is obvious is that you are unable to contribute something of value here.
@ No, the patent system does not take anything because without it most people will not invest in producing or teaching the invention.
 indeed.
@ In order for inventors to have the freedom to invent they need income from their inventions. Otherwise they end up wage slaves.
Income is income. Not being a "wage slave" is earned by delivering to the market something it values, not by keeping others from doing so by suing them.
@ The beauty of our patent system is it allows inventors to become independent.
By bankrupting them because they happened to be unable to pay fees to license patents necessary for their own inventions or by being sued after they successfully market a product by a corporate patent troll with a patent granted for an obvious "invention", waiting for others to become efficient and then ready to get exploited?
@ It is always interesting how people twist history
I encourage you to provide your own version and counter cc's claims.
@ Even if this was true the term of patents is short enough that it really does not matter in the big picture.
15-20 years is enough for whole industries to rise or fall so what you say is simply not true. Conversely, if the term of patents do not matter "in the big picture", no harm could be done by slashing them drastically, right? "In the big picture", at least, whatever you mean by just another generalization lacking specifics.
@ Inventors publish because the government promises benefits in exchange for publishing.
Historically and factually this is not even close to the truth.
@ And when we follow the social code and seek redress in court the crooks then conduct massive propaganda campaigns demonizing us as "trolls" even as they are losing in court.
Yeah, poor little inventors like Eolas or Microsoft. Or Oracle, which just happens to be suing based on patents they simply bought as part of their competitor, Sun. It is worth noting that Sun's intention was not to enforce the same patents in this way.
Save your tales for yourself, I do not think anybody is buying the story of lone inventor vs. evil multinationals. Today's US patent law is a tool for blocking competition and for grabbing whole bundles of elementary ideas just in case. It is a dog eat dog system, benefiting only the most aggressive ones, not the ones who actually try to offer better value to their respective markets. A tool for strategic warfare between big players, exchanging hits with legal versions of nuclear weaponry.
BTW, do you have any evidence of this "massive propaganda campaigns"? Could you identify their sources? Not that I have any hope left of reading anything specific from you. Just asking.
I do not know who is this "we" you keep mentioning but if you mean patent trolls and companies suing competition for infringements on patents that should have never been granted, then I do not know what "deal" you are talking about.
I find applying the property/theft rhetoric to nonrival goods strange but this is what we should expect after years of mistaking property rights to scarce goods and resources with monopolies granted by law. Nonetheless, I could use the same rhetoric to pillaging the space of ideas by privatizing what should have never been given an owner in the first place. That, my dear Mr. Riley, should definitely be called "stealing".
@ Some copy, usually without giving attribution and that is all they can do
Everyone does it every day. It is called "culture". Nobody works in vacuum.
@ Others are creative. They invent new things, products, business methods, etc
False distinction. New products and business methods are always based on knowledge accumulated earlier, not only about what works but about what doesn't work.
Try harder next time, Mr. Riley, it takes more than feeling right to actually be right. You can start by coming up with a real argument instead of discussing straw men you yourself have set up. Add to the discussion, show that you really know what adding value is about.
People are sometimes impatient so yes, they will pay more if they have to and if they want to see the show earlier. Of course there is the issue of unauthorized copies but the general premise that you don't annoy your customers is not always true.
By blocking access to the websites on which they are promoted only because somebody somewhere deemed an unrelated parts of them as being helpful to infringing activities?
"And you don't want to lose your free music lunch."
Well, I don't want to loose mine. And mine is perfectly legal and free at the same time. All you have are baseless accusations and lack of understanding of the problem. It's people like you who are real fear mongers.
Child pornography is already mentioned in this thread in the most ridiculous way possible. Stealing cars, too. Now to terrorism! I am really surprised nobody's talking about terrorism.
"Senators who are supporting the bill have claimed that they've heard no objections to the bill"
Which means they have not a slightest idea about the way the medium they propose to regulate works. This is not unlike other politicians but being so blatant makes me wonder how foolish these guys can appear without feeling embarrassed.