I'm not arguing that the overall supply of art isn't far greater than the overall demand. But that's not important because not all art is worth the same amount. An ounce of gold is an ounce of gold, and once it's been refined one bar of it is worth no more than another. That's not so with art. The demand for some art is higher than the demand for other art.
As I said, the current laws are broken. They last far too long and media companies have gone about protecting their assets in a stupid way. But throwing them out completely is an overreaction. There's no reason that we can't have copyrights last for a reasonable amount of time. The fact that some art may not take much time to create isn't relevant. Sure, you are free to take into account the time it takes to make art. Most people don't.
I have no problem with businesses owning copyrights and/or paying artists to work for hire. If a business hires an artist and the artist agrees to give up the copyright, then both parties have agreed to the terms and there's no problem. Artists are free to make their own business, or just sell their work outright, keeping all the profit for themselves. The reason that most don't is because they'd rather be making art than running a business.
But then, that gets right at the heart at the problem. There's way too much supply and not enough demand. Lots of people are expecting to spend 40+ hours a week "making art" and get paid a sufficient wage to live on it.
See the thing is, your art is only worth what some generous (that's right) individual is willing to pay for it. No one needs your particular works. Whatever it is, someone else is almost certainly creating very similar works from their own creativity for a much lower price, and likely for free (or at least for only the cost of materials). That same individual is holding another job to pay the bills, and creating art because it's his/her passion. That is, has always been, and will always be the case. It's only in very recent history that more than a very very small percentage of the population is able to make an actual living doing nothing but creating art or entertaining.
Guess what's going to be one of the hardest-hit industries if we really do hit another real depression?
I'll give you a hint: a few hundreds of millions of would-be artists are going to find out what real work is.
There's actually a huge demand for artwork, and we we can make it faster and get it to more customers, faster, than ever before. You're right that a lot of people want to make art for a living, and yes, some of those will be weeded out, just like any job. I am all for someone sitting in their bedroom, making art of whatever kind, and releasing it for free. But those people simply cannot keep up the pace with people who do it full time. Those people cannot keep up with industry trends as well. Those people cannot improve as quickly. And though it's possible, it's damn hard for them to make anything large like a feature film. The only film I worked on used limited animation (think late night Cartoon Network) and it still took dozens of animators thousands of hours- and that's just part of making the film, even if you take out all of the business and advertising stuff. Take a look at your ipod. Take a look at your DVD shelf. Take a look at the art on your walls. How much of that was done by independent artists who did their work for free? Maybe you're an exception, but probably little or none.
People don't make art just because they need a quick buck.
Any artist of any form worth their salt is doing it because they geinuinely like the artform, and would do so pay or no pay.
This coming from a musician who uploads his music for free download on the internet.
Whoah, buddy, you don't get to speak for all artists. I love doing art and I'd do it anyway, but if I'm going to spend 40+ hours a week doing it, I need to get paid. Feel free to make however much art you want and give it away, but just because that works for you doesn't mean that it works for everyone, or that it's the best way for art to be made.
I suspect that CGI in general is not as expensive as George Lucas would have us believe. There is probably good software solutions out for that industry, pop in a model and manipulate the shot. Why not, "we have the technology..."
Yeah, just hit the "Make It Awesome" button. Seriously though, television shows and movies show people curing diseases in an hour, hacking into anything from anywhere in minutes, and basically doing things that are completely fucking impossible in a time frame that's unrealistic for even a modest project. That's not real life. Though there are some things that computers make really easy, that doesn't mean that everything that's done with them is easy. Just because you install word doesn't mean that you can write anything worth reading. That part still takes a lot of work. It's the same with CGI.