The UK music industry has won two court cases against illegal file sharing and in doing so has struck an important blow in the battle against online music piracy. However there is a risk that developments in file sharing technology will minimize the significance of these developments. As I have written about a number of times in this blog and Jupiter reports, we are in period of flux: the old guard of file sharing (Kazaa et al) is uttering its death rattle. When the music industry will stand around its coffin muttering in hushed tones, it will be well placed to take more than a passing glance over its shoulders at the young upstarts lingering in the shadows.
Just as when Kazaa, Morpheus and Audio Galaxy rose out of the ashes of Napster, so the next generation of networks will float to the surface now. The big problem for the music industry is that it will be highly difficult, perhaps practically impossible, to track them and thus take any action against individual file sharers. So make the most of the court cases now, in a year or two they might start to peter out.