I love working in a law firm. I'm not an attorney or a paralegal, but I love reading about how our system (in the United States) works. A recent case came up in the US Supreme Court about the validity of the Patent test (aka, how the court system decides something is innovative enough to patentable). I imagine that no matter what the courts do this will be a sticky subject. How do you legislate creativity and ingenuity?
While the case is different from copyright, in some ways it makes me feel the same things. How can we copyright a particular cable pattern. If you make something based off of someone else's pattern, how much innovation do you need to use before you can consider it different enough to market or sell as your own. When is the line of old hat to new crossed? With everything being produced on individual blogs, crafster, and other sites like knitty.com, what is new in the world of knitting? I love some of the patterns I find, but sometimes I just look at them and think I could have done that. Is the point simply then that I didn't?