Okay – now I’ve seen everything. It seems that the American legal system really is determined to destory all possible creative output any human can produce.
The next step is (and as far as I can tell this is for real) Plot Patents. When the copywrite for a written story isn’t enough this group of hellspawned lawyers is now trying the legality of patenting broad storylines such as:
A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters comprises: indicating a character’s desire at a first time in the timeline for at least one of the following: a) to remain asleep or unconscious until a particular event occurs; and b) to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time until a particular event occurs; indicating the character’s substantial inability at a time after the occurrence of the particular event to recall substantially all events during the time period from the first time to the occurrence of the particular event; and indicating that during the time period the character was an active participant in a plurality of events.
If this passes into law it won’t matter even if you decide to release you story under a Creative Commons licence – if you write a story that inflicts an existing patent you’re screwed. Teachers would have to become de facto patent cops in the classroom. If these bastards got their way I’m sure music and art would be next.
*Pause to calm down*.
Obviously this is this will never make it into law – not even the totally broken American patent system is this bad. More likely it’s a stunt trying to make a point but even if it’s not there are any large number of well educated sane people in the US who will stamp this into the ground – Lawrence Lessig to name but one.
It’s not even that so much – it’s that there are people these lawyers seem to be who have the temerity to think that they will be allowed to decide what limits to put on people’s basic creative endeavours. Makes me sick.
The sooner we have “The Year We Hanged All The Lawyers” maybe the better. Props to anyone who can googlessly spot the quote.
Edit: It’s not a stunt. Their potential patent is registered at the US Patent Office.
Edit 2: An anonymous friend has commented on this entry already with a link to the equally insiduous patenting-art.com.