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Monday, December 15, 2008

Latest Pew Report Predicts the Future of the Internet

The Future of the Internet III, the title of the latest Pew Report, surveyed technology stakeholders & critics about the future political, social, & economic impact of the internet. A summary of their finding is below:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool
    to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will
    increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal
    integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the
    Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and
    copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,”
    with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share
    content without payment.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and
    between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for
    everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in
    terms of social relations.
  • “Next-generation” engineering of the network to
    improve the current Internet architecture is more likely than an
    effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

Of specific interest to me was the difficulty ahead in enforcing intellectual property laws and copyright. The report states, "Three out of five respondents (60%) disagreed with the idea that legislatures, courts,the technology industry, and media companies will exercise effective content control by 2020. They said “cracking” technology will stay ahead of technology to control intellectual property (IP) or policy regulating IP. And they predicted that regulators will not be able to come to a global agreement about intellectual property. Many respondents suggested that new economic models will have to be implemented, with an assumption that much that was once classified as paid content will have to be offered free or in exchange for attention or some other unit of value." What will this mean for the academic community and is this an even greater push towards open access?

Click here for the complete report.

Via Stephen's Lighthouse


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