Good food for thought, but I have a proposition about middleman enterprises, as a response to your outrage here
> someone tells me about their disruptive music startup or publishing startup or filmmaking platform
I think this is a fundamental problem with the way capitalism, patents and IP works now, even with other fields — I’d argue that every activity humans do is creative, and the worst affected right now are ones working directly in the entertainment business — music, art, writing. The main problem making these businesses so hard to monetize is the lack of specifiable requirements. (Patreon gets around this in interesting and useful ways, but ultimately the nature of the work is… limiting)
Every other industry suffers from similar problems. Their solution is also similar: build a safety net of IP and money (any company) so that the variability of the markets is abstracted from the professional with a steady job. At the same time, this encourages consolidation of power and rigidity in everything: there is no possibility of outside innovation when the barrier to entry is so high (And indeed the business might even depend on it to survive, disgusting).
We now have the technology to build completely transparent systems where the work needed to build every single thing (software/art) can be privately funded by the people who want it. The primary problem is discovery and satisfaction of purchase, which I think wont actually be worse than with the system we have now. I finally come to my proposition: what about a crowdfunded platform that eliminates middlemen? The platform itself, and its development, is transparently crowdfunded; all commissions (if that’s the model) are used within the platform. There are already many services which stay afloat with this modus operandi.
P.S: Of course I went on and on about this, and had to cut out hundreds of words of exposition about the current and desired states of IP, copyleft, monetisation, “earning a living”… which is why this reads with no coherence atm. Hopefully the message went across.