Let’s say you’re Neo, and you were the first person ever to come up with the idea of a novel. It’s like a short story, but longer, and you’re really proud of it.
Trinity then runs up to you and takes one of the few printed copies of your novel. You don’t want her to do that, as you paid good money to have it printed, and was hoping to get that money back, so you taze her. Trinity tried to commit theft.
She sulks for a bit, then asks if she can borrow one copy to read it. You say “sure”, but she sneaks off to the copy machine and starts printing her own copies of the book. You don’t want her to do that, as you want to be the only one who can make new copies of your novel, as you want to make a profit of it, so you taze her. Trinity tried to commit copyright infringement.
She sobs for a bit more, then starts writing her own novel. You don’t want her to do that, because you came up with the idea of writing a longer short story first, and you want to profit from all novels that are ever written, by anyone, so you taze her. Trinity tried to commit patent infringement.He goes on to make a point I very much agree with, by the way.
I think (and hope) that it's slowly becoming more and more obvious to John and Jane Public that our patent (and copyright) system is creating more problems than it prevents. Technology is improving faster and faster, and the amount of time a patent (or copyright) is protected needs to be drastically shortened or abolished altogether.
But more on this later.