I predict copyright law completely falling apart. it is completely provincial to back up old copyright law using local or even national laws, because someone on the other side of the planet may have a totally different situation. So, really, fuck off with this law shit. The internet is bigger than any business or nation's interests. Any attempt to control information distribution is ultimately fascism on a local level.
Industries that will be affected include print, music, and video. Newspapers are dying out because people get their news online, not because they are stealing papers. In fact, the papers themselves offer the information for free! The music side has been explored well enough in this thread. The nostalgic in me pains to see the book and film industries change, but so be it.
The change happened before the internet. INdustry had already relinquished power over perosnal expression and production. Cassette tapes allowed home taping. Personal computers allowed individuals to do their own publishing and music production. Video cameras allowed the layperson to shoot their own film. Obviously, the quality of results was more limited in these home ventures, but the technology has advanced. In the late 90s, project studios in spare bedrooms could put together a music product on par with a facility costing millions. 10 years later, it can fit into a bag. The same goes for video cameras. A blockbuster budget is simply not needed to create entertaining and interesting film. I've seen projects where television commercial level quality productions had been shot with a phone camera.
The money is simply going to disappear from sales of this type of information. Fancy electronic books are going to become as cheap and widespread as bandwidth and hard drive space and book publishers will become endangered. I'm already okay with reading a pdf on my laptop screen. Its not that I wouldnt purchase a book, but enough information I need is already given away in pdf form because the author is trying to reach as many readers as possible.
Isn't that the entire point of why creative people get into these endeavours, to reach their appreciative audience? Sure, they'd also like ot make a living from it. That is totally understandable. However, creating content alone is no guarantee for success, no matter the investment made. If a film costs 100 million to produce and is a piece of crap, the producer will lose the same amount of money as if it was a hit and was merely downloaded. Same goes for printing a book, or pressing a cd/record. It is as self-entitled to expect income on creative content simply for investment made as by those demanding everything to be free for their own consumption.
The good news is that people are willing to pay for access to people. Hookers arent selling sex, they are selling access to a body. Lobbyism in govt is not buying laws, it is renting an ear. As discussed, people do buy concert tickets, so musicians should have no problems living off their efforts if they are talented. People pay for seminars and public appearances, so writers can get paid for allowing others to hear their thoughts in a more intimate environment than opening a book that anyone else had access to read. Before film, there was theater. Now, that accounts for the stars and not the technicians that make these creations possible, but the talented techs already have to be resourceful and clever enough to survive, because that is quite often how these stars are born in the first place.
A logical fallacy thrown around is that if there wasnt any money in these industies, nobody woudl create anything. I've never heard that from anyone that I knew to actually create stuff. Lawyers and business people might argue that, but most artists create because there is an inner drive, whether for expression or recognition, but not for financial rewards. I'm in a band with some friends. Our entire concept is to make music we think others will enjoy and to give it away. We make our money to survive doign other things, so the music thing is a passion of fun. Others may decide to shoot their own film. The gear is not cheap, but so what? Holidays are not necessarily cheap, nor boats or other offroad vehicles, or model airplanes, or rasinign kids and groups of animals, or, or , or , or...