Infinite Storage for Music: Last week I spoke on a panel called “The Paradise of Infinite Storage”, at the “Pop [Music] and Policy” conference at McGill University in Montreal. The panel’s title referred to an interesting fact: sometime in the next decade, we’ll see a $100 device that fits in your pocket and holds all of the music ever recorded by humanity. [...] in a world of infinite storage, no searching is needed, and filesharers need only communicate with their friends. If a user has a new song, it will be passed on immediately to his friends, who will pass it on to their friends, and so on. Songs will “flood” through the population this way, reaching all of the P2P system’s participants within a few hours — with no search, and no communication with strangers. Copyright owners will be hard pressed to fight such a system. (Via Freedom to Tinker.)
Read the whole argument. Hard to disagree with. A corollary is that traditional (C) protection will be impossible except in a police state, and very difficult even in one (I have personal experience of police state inefficiency).
One possible outcome is that recorded music will become an advertising medium, and live performances what really rakes in cash, for their rarity and uniqueness. Sort of like high fashion, which is not protected by copyright but prospers from the status value of owning the "real thing".