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The reason is because the software patents protect the effort and research that went into the concepts used in the format, not the lines of code that were used to implement it. If developing those concepts were cheap and/or trivial there'd be much better open-source and non-patented formats out there.
Your example of different TV shows in the same genre is just bizarre. You do realize you're allowed to make your own original codec, right?
If anything, the open-source groups that are releasing patented and licensed technology for free are the ones breaking the rules. It's like spending a few weeks retyping the contents of a Harry Potter book, then claiming that your ability to do so proves that copyrights on written material are bullshit ("it's just a sequence of words!"). It ignores the fact that developing the characters and story took much, much longer than writing the actual words on paper, and that the material wouldn't have been created in the first place without the protections offered by copyrights.
Also... video? Copy and paste? Do you know *anything* about the iPhone, other than that you hate it and its user base for some reason?
A few years ago my dad told me that the NES he bought for my brother when we were kids was actually purchased for himself, and that he used to be really into video games back in the days of Pac-Man and Galaga, but he ended up giving the NES to my brother because he couldn't stand the idea of having to learn how to operate a D-pad and multiple buttons with two hands *at the same time*. When I was growing up he would occasionally balk at how games and the controllers are getting more and more complex for seemingly little benefit. These days I think he's addicted to a handful of online puzzle games and turn-based strategy games that only use the mouse. He is a casual gamer.
Casual gamers will generally see hardcore games as needlessly complicated. Hardcore gamers will generally see casual games as overly simple and thus boring. And thus, a divide was born.