A quick look at the copyright related developments I see (or don’t see) happening in 2007. My predictions, in no particular order:
- We’ll see more experiments with DRM-free major label music in the line of Yahoo Music’s efforts, but a full switch to DRM-free music distribution will not happen in 2007. And no, I don’t see Amazon’s rumored music store project turning the tide.
- The Zune’s sharing feature will be incorporated in other music players, but in a much more interesting fashion. That means we’ll see devices with uncrippled wifi-support, allowing for unlimited (and possibly even cross-device) sharing.
- The content industry (esp. in Japan) will continue pushing HD broadcasting and formats, while ignoring what most people actually want: instant, lightweight, malleable, shareable and mashable media à la YouTube and its more open variants.
- The chaku-uta business won’t go away, but sales will slow down as more and more customers find out they’ll have to purchase all their media again when they switch to their second or third 3G handset.
- One Japanese mobile carrier (SoftBank?) will start offering a cellphone with real MP3 support. AU and DoCoMo will try to ignore this development and stick to their DRM-encumbered, if-you’re-lucky-MP4-enabled handsets instead.
- Japan will extend the term of protection for music and literary works from 50 to 70 years. Alas.
- Once the time is there to start purchasing Vista licenses, the Japanese government will announce it is thinking about switching to Linux, which, as I’ve argued before, is just a negotiation tactic.
And what do you think?