I’ve been reading a lot of articles the last few days all on the degree in which Apple’s success in a US court over Samsung is good or bad for the industry. In the midst of all of what I am reading I feel a significant point is being missed. There is already an industry that forces and rewards originality. The music industry.
If we were to put our thinking caps on and objectively look at the situation I would think that IP law, specifically around this case, is similar to copyright law.
If we started a band today and recorded a song using some degree of lyrics, beats, rhythm, etc., from the current number one hit on the radio we would be sued out of existence. We could of course cover the song or use parts of the copyrighted content but we would have to pay the original author.
The music industry forces original work and in fact rewards originality. This is not to say that artists can not be influenced by another band, artist, song writer, etc., but they must create their own original work.
This forcing of originality in the creative arts is what makes it exciting. Not everyone succeeds but if it was all the same it would be extremely boring. It is the emphasis on originality that makes the music industry diverse and exciting.
I’m sure there are flaws in this analogy, as there are in nearly every analogy, but the point remains that Copyright law exists to promote originality. We should look at IP and Patent law the same way.