[URL=http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/11/emw303435.htm]What. The. Fuck.[/URL]
Someone has now gotten a "storyline patent"?
This is dangerous shit. Patents in the software industry have made my job strange enough as it is. IP law is big business. If something even resembles a new idea, a company with money will try to patent it. If not, they publish it as soon as possible so that no one else can patent it.
Now imagine this at play in the entertainment industry. Imagine the biggest entertainment firms with a horde of hack writers churning out storylines and mass-filing patents.
You could theoretically write a whole story and have no choice as to where to publish it - you have to go with whatever group holds the patent on it - if the story matchest the patent too closely.
Someone hold me, I'm scared. Imagine having to run your manuscript through an IP law division before anyone can publish it? How will small publishers ever survive? They'll be stuck using previously published or obvious storylines. UGH.