Copyright to Become Irrelevant After 2020? (Infographic)

extinction-timelineIf you’re wondering exactly when the publishing industry will meet its justly deserved end then I have the perfect infographic for you.

The future trends website Now And Next has put together a timeline (PDF) that predicts when significant technologies, ideas, and customs will be obsolete. According to their best guesses, copyright will be effectively extinct by the year 2020.

That might sound scary, but I wouldn’t read too much into it. First, I wouldn’t trust any technological or social predictions with that much of a lead time. I’m expecting the world to be turned upside down a minimum of 9 times before 2020; each change could be radical enough to invalidate any predictions.

But more importantly I don’t trust this infographic because some of the predictions are implausible. It also predicts that email would be irrelevant after this year, and that the customer service and computer mouse would die out in the year 2017, or about 8 years before the desktop PC.

click to enlarge

Spelling is also supposed to go by the wayside in 2023 (I’m ahead of that trend, yay) followed shortly by blogging (noooo).

Needless to say I’m not taking any of these predictions at all seriously, but some of the points on this timeline are entertaining none the less.

Do you find any of the predictions plausible?


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Tom24 May, 2013

    I think they meant Kim Jong-un dies in 2026, not Kim Jong-il (he’s already dead)
    But why do they expect Taiwan’s death in 2020?

  2. ksol24 May, 2013

    While I have no doubt that many of these things are gong by the wayside, my general reaction to these extinction timelines is an eyeroll and an “oh, please.” Household chores? Really? The only one I’m hoping is true is the “lists of extinctions” one.

    These all seem to follow a general pattern — make provocative statements about the death of things knowing you’ll make a name for yourself and no one will remember it when they don’t come true.

    I also believe that some of these things contribute so much to quality of life that they will be reinvented if they go away for a time — peace & quiet and a good night’s sleep among them. I do not care how much the world changes. I, for one, am carving out time and space for both.

    1. Nate Hoffelder24 May, 2013

      Agreed. Just about the only future timeline worth reading is the one by XKCD:

      It’s hilarious. Some events are predicted to happen 6 or 7 times.

  3. Jon Jermey24 May, 2013

    It’s a good thing they wrote ‘UGLYNESS’ AFTER spelling ceased to be relevant.

  4. Becki25 May, 2013

    I find it humorous they predict deafness will be extinct shortly after the extinction of peace & quiet.

    Several groups keep saying libraries will be extinct soon. Only if they are in league with conservative politicians.


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