Many long-standing legal rules of engagement between publishers and consumers tilted the playing field in unexpected ways in the first quarter. The period also saw a major expansion in the amount and quality of original productions for web-based video platforms and a major move by chipmaker Intel to stake a claim in the digital living room.
Among the highlights from the quarter:
- Both the White House and the U.S. Register of Copyrights endorsed far-reaching changes to U.S. copyright law as it applies to digital formats while the European Union began a formal process of reviewing and revising the rights of content creators and users.
- A pair of patent applications revealed that Amazon and Apple are each contemplating establishing online marketplaces for the sale of used digital goods while a federal court in New York threw the whole idea into doubt with a ruling in a closely watched case.
- In Europe, Google found itself forced into legal settlements to pay publishers, albeit indirectly, for the right to link to their content in search results.
- Web-based productions are becoming a big business in Hollywood as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others pour big money into original productions.
- Intel is developing what would be the most ambitious over-the-top (OTT) video platform yet with a new broadband-delivered service that combines linear and on-demand programming, social networking, web content, and apps into a single user interface.
This quarterly wrap-up discusses these developments and also offers trends and topics to watch for the remainder of 2013 and beyond.