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Trending Topics of 2019

· December 23, 2019

DisCo covered a range of topics in 2019 and is working on even more for 2020. Below are some topics we have covered which are quite popular with our readers and we expect will continue to draw attention next year.

1. The challenges of social media:

Social media has risen to center stage this year, which can be attributed to efforts from these services to innovate and stay competitive in the market during increasingly negative sentiment and rising calls for regulation. 

DisCo readers were most attracted to how social media will continue to operate facing this shift. Facebook’s new “off-Facebook activity” feature was one example of social media platforms addressing issues such as privacy, data portability, transparency, and user control over their data.

Furthermore, readers were interested in how social media will handle current and proposed regulation. One point of note is how the Internet handles current copyright law and hastily written regulations that may in fact damage services rather than resolve the issues they were created to fix. Another is that the current climate in the U.S. and in the European Union may be shifting towards increased regulation, as evidenced by multiple cases, one of which is the German FCO’s Facebook case.

2. The evolution of the entertainment industry:

This year has seen a lot of disruptive innovation — especially in the entertainment industry. Netflix’s Oscar nods (and wins), and the birth and growth in streaming services chronicle an increase in competition. [1, 2]

The video game sector is additionally experiencing the same disruptive innovation and increase in competition. Video games like Fortnite are becoming more multifaceted and now competing against movies, TV, and other forms of digital entertainment for consumers’ attention.

A 2019 report from the Copia Institute and CCIA, the Sky is Rising, supports these claims. The report details how creative industries such as music, videos, books, and video games are thriving more than ever now.

3. The Oracle Java litigation:

DisCo has covered the Oracle v. Google case since its commencement. We have built a page dedicated to the case with multiple resources including a short 60-second read, timeline, background, legal briefs, consequences, and media and scholarly analysis.

This year, readers took particular interest in certain stages of the case. First, in February when fourteen amicus briefs were filed in support of Google’s petition to the Supreme Court to review the decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Second, in April when Google filed its reply brief responding to arguments made in Oracle’s recent opposition brief. 

As the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the case, DisCo will continue to cover developments in this important case next year.

Competition

Some, if not all of society’s most useful innovations are the byproduct of competition. In fact, although it may sound counterintuitive, innovation often flourishes when an incumbent is threatened by a new entrant because the threat of losing users to the competition drives product improvement. The Internet and the products and companies it has enabled are no exception; companies need to constantly stay on their toes, as the next startup is ready to knock them down with a better product.