The problem with the future is that it's, well, the future. Most of make lousy prognosticators, despite our wealth (or poverty) of experience.
Such was the case with the music industry, which stared its digital future in the face and...blinked. The Guardian traces the arc of its unfortunate fall. The problem, as Charles Arthur writes, is that the future often comes far too soon for our liking:
All in all, there's a lot of hostility towards the record industry, but if you put yourself in the comfortable position of that record exec - which John Lanchester, at the London Review of Books in 2002 described as being "reluctant to move from this [CD sales] model in the same way, and for the same reason, a python is reluctant to move when it has swallowed a goat" - then you can understand why. Some technical change is overwhelming. You can be rude about the record industry for not reacting fast enough to downloads, but the fact is that that overwhelming change happened years before it expected.
I believe that Software as a Service and open source are doing much the same thing to the traditional software license model.… Read more