Intellectual Property Rights are an amazing thing. They can be credited for spawning a lot of innovation. They motivate thinkers to do the leg work required to actually bring their ideas to life. Without the promise of reward they wouldn't bother. Act of creation can be amazing and fun, but if an artists/inventors sole motive was that act why would they bother sharing it? Some people could be motivated by their need for attention, or a competitive drive. But I'd say that's about as much motivational push as doing it out of the goodness of their widdle hearts. I think we all understand that. I think we lose sight of it when we see the system as a whole. Which is broken.
My example would be the the music industry. It's inefficient and outdated. Artists get paid a very little percentage of the actual record sale. The labels take that money and market it, package it, and skim off a huge chunk to make themselves indispensable. Artist's like Radiohead and NIN cast off labels because they can. They no longer need the labels to leverage their work into the public eye. They are known. Established. The benefits of label support are substantially diminished. The Record labels have an infrastructure in place that allows artists (when signed) to get a huge advantage in the market. There probably are some unsigned artists that worked themselves completely and totally from the ground up, but I honestly can't think of any.
This is going to sound like I've drank the Apple Kool-Aid, but bear with me. Itunes revolutionized the industry. Cutting the consumer cost of an album in half. And too be honest it's still too high. Because while overhead is mostly gone labels still take a huge cut for marketing. From what I've read (and I'll grant you this was a while ago) Apple takes about %30. And the artist recieves about %15. Meaning the label takes about %55. Since Apple does all the management and distribution that leaves the label only doing the role of marketing. In an egalitarian market place all that amounts to is an advantage over your peers. You're not better, just better positioned. I see fat there. Maybe you could trim some fat from the Apple infrastructure, but I also kinda blame that on the labels. There is a reason iTunes doesn't let you transfer from an iPod to your computer, and it isn't technical. Labels make what would otherwise be a pretty elegant distribution system overly complicated. And it's even gotten better because Apple was able to leverage it's strength against the labels to do away with things like DRM.
Now on to a truly flourishing industry. App development. Android and iOS App stores are an amazing market of free ideas. It allows creators to elegantly distribute Apps cheaply to their customers. App prices are fucking low. Crazy low. And that's with things like Cydia. Piracy is going on, but because the experience is so good without it the motivation to pirate is low. App developers are happy because they're actually making money. Customers are happy because they don't have to pay a lot. Is the effort to make an App like Infinity blade is less than the effort to make an album. Maybe, but it's at least comparable. Infinity Blade is what? 5 bucks? Compare that to the simplist indiest of simple indie games at Game Stop.
In short I don't see Copyright laws as the problem.
God damn I'm preachy