A quick prediction — in 2009 it will become more clear that copyright owners will need to re-think how they make money. More investment in enforcement will not pay off. Here are two quick story lines to follow in order to see if I am right..
The first is from Giga, reporting on how the record industry may be moving away from a “sue the bastards” strategy to combat “illegal” downloading in favor of a “three strikes” approach (BTW, so far this has been rejected in Europe, and would require a major re-write of the DMCA). I think this is BS on steroids. Even if the report is correct, this type of re-write is not going to happen, especially under the Obama administration.
The second story is from TechCrunch on how Facebook (so far) has refused a a take down demand from the record industry to remove the music widget from Project Playlist — even though MySpace had immediately complied with the same demand. Hello? A take down demand pursuant to the DMCA does not require immediate take down by the platform. To the contrary, the DMCA is supposed to protect platforms from having to take such rash action. Hmmmm —- perhaps MySpace will get sued for an overly eager response? Regardless, there is more huffing and puffing here than serious protection of rights.
My take on this — Some people still have too much time and money on their hands. They are fooling around with litigation strategies instead of re-thinking business models to make money from copyright. As bank accounts dwindle further in 2009, the pressure to make money or give up will grow. Creative destruction is in fact an ugly process.