According to Rick Falkvinge, we should expect another 40 years of corporate copyright bullshit:
Do you remember when Napster came around twelve years ago, and everybody said the digital copyright wars would be replaced by a new equilibrium? Today we can easily observe that this hasn’t happened. We’re in exactly the same positions today as we were a decade ago.
As I was talking on this debate panel, representatives of the (obsolete) middlemen repeated two themes over and over: “we have rights, we have rights, we have rights” and “we need more time to adjust, we need more time”.
The latter was quite easily defused by asking “So… you demand that the world must wait for you to catch up with it?”, whereas the former will probably be heard for another forty years.
People who think they have the moral right to control what other people discuss, transmit, use, and copy simply are not going to abandon that point of view. They will assert that right as superior to any civil liberty, forever. Anybody who is able to adapt by reading the dead-obvious writing on the wall has already done so. Those who religiously keep repeating the same mantra today as they did a decade ago will keep doing so.
In other words, we’re pretty much stuck with the copyright monopoly pundits and maximalists we have today for the rest of their natural lives.
Falkvinge is probably right, because:
Anyone who is persuadable has probably already been persuaded.
Industries that depend on obsolete laws won't stop calling for those laws merely because the laws will destroy civil liberties for billions of people while deforming the internet.
The bosses of the copyright industries will continue to refuse to see reality. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." -- Upton Sinclair
So we're probably going to have to endure copyright bullshit for a few more decades. Does that mean we're going to have to endure bad copyright laws? Here I am a good deal more optimistic; consider that so far this year:
We've stopped SOPA and PIPA in the USA.
Next month, Pirates will probably get their first seats in a national parliament, in the Netherlands. (We already have seats in international and regional parliaments).
So Pirates and other internet freedom advocates are already powerful enough that we can block copyright maximalists' initiatives. Of course, they will come back with the same measures under a new name -- they always do -- and we cannot yet be certain that we will block everything.
But 2012 has been a good year for us, and we're approaching the point at which we will be able to reliably block bad new copyright laws. And soon after that we'll reach the point where we can get existing bad laws removed. This is likely to happen in Europe by the end of this decade. And winning Europe means winning the world because once anywhere in the world is a haven for the freedom to copy, it'll be unworkable for anywhere in the world to prevent copy-freedom, because to do so they'd need to cut themselves off from the global internet.
So, while the copyright industries probably will be spewing bullshit for another 40 years, we'll have won long before then, and we'll be able to ignore them.