An idea can only be protected by a patent if it meets certain requirements.
First, the idea needs to be in a patentable category.
Second, your idea needs to be different from what has been done before.
Third, you can’t wait too long to file for a patent.
ONE – IS YOUR IDEA IN A PATENTABLE CATEGORY?
Software and hardware are in a patentable category.
Music, videos, books, images etc are not.
Basically, a patentable category relates to technology. If your idea isn’t a technology, it isn’t in a patentable category.
TWO – DOES YOUR IDEA HAVE THAT “WOW” DIFFERENCE?
In order for your idea to be patent-worthy, it has to be truly different from what has been done before.
In other words, it has to have that “wow” factor.
Your idea will be compared against everything ever known – every software, every website, every public bit of information.
How much of a difference is a “wow”? That’s subjective – and is frequently argued about in court.
THREE – HAVE YOU WAITED TOO LONG TO GET A PATENT?
Even in the US, you have to file for a patent within one year of making your idea public.
In other countries, you have to file for a patent before making your idea public.
Also someone else could file before you and then you’re out of luck (sometimes only a few days can make the difference).
As in everything in life – you snooze, you lose!