2012 Predictions 1: Forecast Foretaste

November 29, 2011

{b}From Callum Sinclair, Legal Director at DLA Piper Scotland LLP{/b}

I believe 2012 will be the year where online business networks such as LinkedIn really begin to break through into the mainstream and start to deliver solid commissions/instructions and fee income. Up until now, we have largely seen members building networks of contacts and transferring contacts from address books/Outlook contacts, etc. Don’t get me wrong: some are doing this very effectively already, using the power of such online networks to full potential, having some fantastic enlightening discussions and winning work, but not across the board. I believe this will start to gather serious momentum in 2012 and will shortly thereafter become the norm. I also predict that we might start to see the first few attempts by individuals/group ‘owners’ in the UK to realise tangible value from commercialisation of networks and groups they have formed on LinkedIn and elsewhere online.

{b}From Laurie Kaye of Laurence Kaye Solicitors{/b}

1. The term ‘Transmedia’, the child of multimedia, will enter the lexicon of digital media. It’s a phrase I recently heard Jeff Gomez (Starlight Runner) use, to get people to think about stories and narratives rather than formats. It is the notion of stories or narratives being expressed across a range of platforms in ways suited to each platform, whether as an online game, book, interactive site, film, TV programme or otherwise. This new thinking applies to the entire process from creation through to business and contractual models.
2. Competition and anti-trust law will be at the top of Amazon, Google and Apple’s legal agenda.
3. The forthcoming EU review of the Data Protection Directive will spur industry into making data protection compliance easier and more effective. (A hope or an expectation?).
4. The biggest challenge – and opportunity – in the creative industries is creating new, innovative business models.
5. The real value of the Hargreaves’ big idea – the Digital Copyright Exchange – will be in driving all the media and technology industries to work collaboratively to develop standards so that all the different rights exchanges – film, music, publishing etc. – can speak to each other ‘machine to machine’. This is the key to solving problems of rights clearance and unleashing the potential of new digital content services.
6. I used to think about ABS as just being about my car’s braking system. No more.

{b}From Duncan Ogilvy, Partner at Mills & Reeve LLP{/b}

Economic imperatives and technological advances will make this the year when on-line collaboration between clients, their lawyers and others moves from the preserve of mega complex matters to the normal way to do business.’