The truth is that IP laws, any IP laws, are just going to be a losing battle. You're forcing things into an unnatural configuration from an economic standpoint, and eventually the economy will break.
And how would software and media creation be a profitable industry in a world with no IP laws? I'm not defending our current IP law, they're an abomination, but suggesting that there be no IP laws is not the answer.
I was actually just thinking about making a thread on this, because I was thinking of alternative ways to handle an information economy, and the answer seems clear; information isn't scarce, but the labor to produce it is
. Therefore, the situation should be handled like other transactions in which labor is purchased; as a service. That is to say, you wouldn't pay for a product that has already been produced, you would pay in order
to have the product produced.
Look at the relationship now between companies and software engineers: the company sees that there is a market demand for a potential product and they want to fulfill that demand. To do so, they stipulate the product that they want made, and they pay the engineers to make it. Now, the problem happens here: there is a market demand for the product, so the general public at large are willing
to pay money for the product, but, since it is an information product and it already exists, there's no scarcity to it. Before the product exists it's scarce, after the product exists it is only artificially scarce.
Why don't we cut out the middle man? If there are people out there who are willing to pay for the product, they should directly pay the developers to make it. And if there are thousands of people out there who would pay for the product, they should all pay collectively.
Kickstarter is a good model of this idea. The developer advertises the project that they want
to make and the amount of money they want in order to make it, then individuals can find which project they want to exist and pledge money towards it. The pledge money only goes through if the project generates enough money in total, and some projects are tiered (so, say, if they reach $5,000 they'll make the product, but if they reach $10,000 they'll make the product with such and such extra features).
There are, of course, a few problems with this model. For instance, there's no way to know the quality of the product before you purchase it. However, this is the case with all labor services, from haircuts to house renovations, and it is worked around by generating a rapport of consistent quality, and, for sufficiently bad jobs, legal action.
The other apparent problem is that there would be a sort of bystander effect that would prevent products from ever getting made: people would say to themselves "sure, I want it, but if other people are going to pay for it so I can get it for free, why don't I just not contribute any money?" If enough people adopted this attitude then no projects would ever go through, or if they did they would get considerably less funding and end up of much lower quality. This is a serious threat, but at the same time I'm willing to discount it. The reason being; there have been somewhat similar systems in the past that have been successful. For instance, I think it was Radiohead that successfully launched an album with the stipulation that you could pay whatever you want for it, and this was successful enough that it has been copied many times. I think a major driving force there is the notion that if you pay for this
album and it's successful, then the band will make more music in the future. As for corporations, it's much easier to hold them directly accountable. For instance, a large group of corporations could all make an agreement that they would go in on a new version of Word or some other productivity-enhancing software only if the other corporations also do so.