Macintouch pointed me to a blog entry at PlasticBag.org related to the role of computers in the war over digital intellectual property rights. The author believes Apple has already staked out its territory in this matter. After a series of examples, he explains the following:
The reasons for all this, of course, are that – for good or ill – at the moment copyrighted material and intellectual property are endangered and cornered beasts anyway. As yet no-one really knows the effects of this development, but I think it is clear to all concerned that (whether or not it is really happening at the moment) the gradual increase in technology, bandwidth and storage capacity provides an enormous potential for simply routing around traditional media-distribution outlets. Whether this will hurt the entertainment and software industries is as yet unclear – because as yet they mostly haven’t even tried experimenting with different types of consumer-interaction – but whether it hurts them or not, it will certainly have an impact.
In my opinion Apple sees such battles as essentially over already, and has moved in a completely different direction. Why try to sell the intellectual property itself when you can simply sell the best platform for distributing it?