2012 Predictions 8: Visionary’s Vistas

December 9, 2011

From Lilian Edwards, Professor of E-governance at Strathclyde University, author of the {Pangloss blog: http://blogscript.blogspot.com/} and, among many other activities, a leading speaker and author on Internet law issues

1. 2012 will be the year 3d printing (or ‘fabricators‘) starts to have real impact in homes and for individual artists (‘makers‘) and SMEs bringing up new IP piracy crises.
2. Similarly protection of innovation in virtualisation – of everything from the ‘feel‘ of arcade rides, to the smell of perfumes – will start to seriously challenge the conventional IP regimes.
3. The Digital Economy Act Initial Obligations stage will still not get started (going out on a limb there – but I got it right last year).
4. The Data Protection Directive reform package will still be ongoing by year end (by contrast, a dead cert).
5. The government’s wholesale release of ‘open data‘ will lead to at least one major privacy scandal to rival HMRC as re-identification techniques improve every day.
6. 02’s strategy of traffic slowing to deter crowd streaming of events at the London Olympics will be about as successful as Britain’s track record in the track and field.

{b}From Graham Smith, Partner at Bird & Bird and editor and co-author of Internet Law and Regulation and author of the {Cyberleagle blog: http://cyberleagle.blogspot.com/2011/11/sabamscarlet-meets-newzbin2-but-will.html}{/b}

The Communications Green Paper turns into a battleground for Internet freedom.
– While the Hargreaves copyright reforms become bogged down in a welter of special interest pleading, the courts become more accustomed to weighing copyright in the balance against other fundamental rights.
– The Defamation Bill produces an internet-friendly approach to defamation liability (that’s not a prediction, just a fantasy).