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Bits and bites of 2013 (Photo credit: noegranado)

Twelve months fly by quickly, especially in a sector as fast-paced as technology. A lot happened in 2013, making the last few days of the year a perfect moment to catch our breath and take a look at what has changed.

These are our top 5 tech trends and stories of 2013:

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1. Whisteblower revelations lift the lid on NSA intrusions: Edward Snowden brought privacy, security and the technology that we use to the forefront of our online activity and the wider news media, setting the stage for landmark legal battles in 2014.

2. Valuing the ‘Copyright Economy’: For the first time, the U.S. was able to get a real handle on just how much intellectual property – and its associated requirement for copyright protection – contribute to the overall economy of the country. With the figure hitting $1 trillion in recent years, protecting the creative industries for piracy and illegal access gained renewed momentum in 2013.

3. Cord cutting gets a kick start: With the continued success of Netflix, affordable access to devices that connect up various media devices, and an increasingly on-demand entertainment sector, breaking away from the reliance on scheduled home programming gathered pace during 2013. As the MPAA highlighted with its ‘Where to Watch’ initiative, there are now over 400 legal online content services around the world with the potential to reach billions. Although there is still some way to go, the foundation has certainly been laid for technology to drive better consumer choice and access in the next twelve months and beyond.

4. Piracy rises, but individuals and sites are on the run: The year’s most pirated shows and movies, coupled with a major report showing online piracy widely on the rise, demonstrate the ongoing challenge faced by the creative industries to protect their intellectual property. Nonetheless, victories against individual content pirates and the continued flight of major adversaries like Kit Dotcom and The Pirate Bay provides plenty of fuel to fire the fight for copyright into 2014.

5. Social networks try to transition: Twitter went public, Facebook successfully negotiated its move to mobile, and Snapchat turned down billions of dollars in the belief that it has a deeper importance to the social media environment.  Across the board, social networks moved rapidly to adopt changing user preferences and advertising has come to the forefront of many major platforms. The importance of these networks to our wider online activity cannot be underestimated, so heavily are they integrated into what we consume and how our opinions are influenced. As with cord-cutting, this may be just the tip of the iceberg, but the importance of this transition period will be evident in the year to come.

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Do these trends align with your recollection of the year? What did we miss? Keep updated and in touch with us over on Twitter.

We look forward to bringing you the top technology stories of 2014, through the lens of creativity and copyright protection. Happy New Year!

 

 

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