There is an informative and provocative 15 minute video on the subject of creativity and intellectual property called Everything is a Remix Part 4, by Kirby Ferguson.
To quote directly from the description,
Our system of law doesn't acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity. Instead, ideas are regarded as property, as unique and original lots with distinct boundaries. But ideas aren't so tidy. They're layered, they're interwoven, they're tangled. And when the system conflicts with the reality ... the system starts to fail.Creative types - photographers included - are especially concerned about others profiting from the unauthorized used of their products. What are the limits to these claims? How does the marketplace interact with the creative process? How have the law and the courts distorted the way copyrights and patents are supposed to serve our society?
As creatives, we freely engage in the exchange of ideas yet we aggressively protect the economic potential and livelihood derived from applying these ideas in new ways.
This video offers more questions than answers.