The New Patent

In a move that is going ot have massive repersussions, it appears that the first “storyline” patent will be handed out sometime soon, although I doubt that. The story is an interesting tale and just another marker on the road to intellectual oblivion for this country.
You see, all along, those of us who are writers have had the ability to both copyright what we write with the Library of Congress (yes, apparently Congress can in theory read) as well as register is with services that show we are the original authors. One such service is the WGA which is mostly for screenwriters. These services allowed us to state that a work we had written was our own. It could be adapted from something and that was fine as long as we made mention of that on the application. It’s the only real protection out there currently for writers because as we’ve always said, you can’t copyright an idea, only the work in which that idea manifests.
If this patent goes through, it’s going to change all of that. The fellow who though this up is brilliant, because he’s basically taken a story idea and stated that it is a device or process and is applying for a patent based on that premise. He is in essence patenting an idea. In theory there is nothing that’s wrong with this. People do this all the time for devices like Fraklin Stove or an iPod. The only thing at stake is the fact that this dip in to the literary and cinematic realm will cause major problems.
It may come as a surprise to many out there, but most written work is derivative of something else and yes, feel the sarcasm. As many people have yawned through the squallor of films that came out this year, nothing was more apparent. But, even when something is good, it’s based on something else just because that’s the nature of writing and art in general. You can’t create in a vacuum (“It was the best of times, it was the blurst of time? Oh you stupid monkey!”) By in effect being able to mark an idea for a story as your own through the justification that it’s a process you will in effect stop anyone else from being able to write anything like that. While this protects the original idea, it also stymies the entire creative process in a way we’ve never seen before.
I see several outcomes from this proposed patent. One is that this guy gets his patent, because the patent office is notoriously dumb and short-sighted, allowing for example, a corporation to patent a life form in the past. There will be a mass rush by the large movie companies to patent every central sotryline in existence. There are after all, only a few. While this may not work, there is bound to be some kind of battle in all of this. I really hope that this fellow does not get his patent because it will screw everyone in this country.
A nasty thought I had to stop this would be to file a patent for a storyline about a person fighting to get a patent on a story from the patent office. Wouldn’t that make it so that any action that is similar in nature a violation of the patent and it would stop what I fear is going to be madness?