Oh dear. What a poor metaphor!
Andrew, Andrew, Andrew...
Such a poor metaphor. It's the 14th of April, 2016. Not the 1st of April. And definitely 2016. So can we please stop trying to equate intellectual property - the ownership of an idea or a record of the expression of that idea - with physical property?
Because it really doesn't help. At best, it muddies the water, and at worst it makes people write simplistic comparisons that actively mislead people.
Let's try a different metaphor. One less stuck in bovine faeces than the wellies you struggled with here.
Imagine that you are a writer. And your writing has value. It can entertain people, inform people, even enlighten people. And you're proud of the results of your efforts, and want a simple exchange - that people give you money in order to have access to the fruits of your efforts.
Which seems fair.
But now imagine that there are only two ways you can get your work out to people. The first is via small-scale printing, locally distributed. It's messy, the end result is a little ugly, and it doesn't scale very well. Only people within a few miles of where you live will ever get the opportunity to see your work. The second is to sell your work to a big national publishing of newspapers or periodicals. They have the scale in both production and distribution - and they'll help you with editing and have access to stock images too! Unfortunately, the downside is that they pay pittance and they insist on the right to re-use your content whenever they like, however they like. And you lose editorial control.
It seems that there's only one option - take the pittance, and make up for it in volume of works. Hopefully you can grow an audience, then demand more money from the publisher. Meanwhile, your growing body of work is being owned or licensed to a company that may not share your values, and merely views you as a line on a profit or loss statement. But hey - in a way you're one of the lucky ones. There are plenty of talented writers who never got the chance to reach as wide a public, because these publishers are quite conservative in their editorial policies - - unless it's "hot", they like to avoid controversy, seeing it as a risky investment. And new things are often controversial...
But you suck it up. Because, after all, there is no other game in town. There's no technology that can fix this for you.
But wait - what's this? A technology that interconnects networked computers! Let's call it the conwork. Or internet. No, conwork is better. Let's use that.
Well, you have loads of fans. And now you could take your work to them on this new frontier!
Except your publisher doesn't care. They're too busy selling physical books and periodicals - which is profitable, and has an existing and well tested supply chain - to bother investing in this risky new technology. And you've signed away your rights to your own work - past, present and future - to the publisher, so you can't take your work to your fans yourself. Which is crazy, but who could have predicted the conwork, eh?
Meanwhile, your most dedicated and most technical fans are starting to transcribe your works so that they can enjoy them on their conwork'd computers.
And there are new, smaller publishers popping up that use the conwork technology. They may not have the big artists, but the ones that they do have aren't constrained by the editorial policies of the big traditional publishers. They can write stuff that their fans really enjoy, and they're less fussed about being banned from vendor conferences. The world is changing, and these smaller conwork sites are getting big readership.
Except for your publishers, who still refuse to sell your works on the conwork... For them, the world is static.
Finally, the publishers - after much negotiation with a company in the technology industry - get round to selling your works to people over this conwork.
But it's too late. People have spent so long trading your work on the conwork for free that the value of it has been changed. They'll never pay what your publisher wants. They're also now used to just getting the article that they want, without a load of lesser articles packed around it and cranking up the expense.
Also, your contract with the publishers still only pays you pittance for each work sold, despite the fact that the publishers now add less value than ever and how much lower overheads than ever.
However will the publishers defend this? Why, by attacking the customers on behalf of the writers - the writers will hopefully not realise they're being ripped off, and the fans won't be listening to the publishers anyway - only shareholders and the artists do.
So you tell yourself that just as soon as your current contract is up, you'll renegotiate a better one. If they'll let you. And if not, you'll have to go to one of those smaller labels, I guess. Maybe. Seems scary though. After all, they still control the old media, so you'd be losing that.
Maybe you'll just stick with the big publisher. They love you, after all, right?
Hang on. My analogy seems familiar... It's almost exactly what the movie industry, the book publishing industry and every other IP industry has been trying NOT to repeat ever since the music industry really missed the boat.
Seriously, your analogy sucks because it misleads people. Conflating physical goods with IP won't work. You could have told a decent story here. Instead, you put out something that's barely fit for this new-fangled conwork thingie...
(And ironically, you did it on one of the new-fangled conwork thingies. I'm still unsure whether it was genius satire, or genuine idiocy.)
I'm not even going to talk about how DMCA takedowns are being filed in bad faith by automated machinery, or how the big music companies believe that they have some divine right to own everything and anything, and fair use be damned.
I'm all for artists getting a better deal. But I know where they won't ever find it. And I'm not going to attack fans or technology companies for the mistakes of an industry. That, it appears, would be taking your job...