The world of video on demand is changing things, in spite of other technological advances, legal or otherwise.
Ars Technica reports that online DVD rental innovator & juggernaut Netflix will begin streaming a selection of 1,000 movies online to its membership later in the year. An average high-speed internet connection is required; saturation of such connections is high and growing in the US.
On the flipside, the computer storage world offers this news: Hitachi has plans to offer a 1,000 GB [one terabyte] hard drives in 2007. [For reference, a regular DVD holds about 8 GB.]
This emphasizes the point here; even though memory gets cheaper, and folks quickly break any sort of copy protections placed on CDs, DVDs, etc., the on-demand concept obliterates the need for either. Why buy a huge hard drive and spend hours downloading things [legally or otherwise] when they can be had almost instantly at any time.
However, this can only add to the Netflix “paradox of abundance.”