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[ARS] Warner Music floats ISP surcharge idea for unlimited P2P music

post #1 of 4
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By Jacqui Cheng | Published: March 28, 2008 - 02:39PM CT

Quote:
Imagine checking the "Music" box when signing up with your ISP, paying $5 extra per month, and having access to all the legitimate music downloads you could ever want? Five years ago, the concept would have been unthinkable. But if new efforts backed by Warner Music come to fruition, we could be doing just that within a few years.

Warner Music Group has asked recording industry veteran Jim Griffin to come up with a plan that would distribute royalty fees to copyright holders from a pool of user fees, according to an exclusive report at Portfolio.com. Griffin has reportedly been given a three-year contract to create an organization and flesh out the logistics of the innovative plan.

"Today, it has become purely voluntary to pay for music," Griffin told Portfolio. Instead of having to buy a CD when we want to hear our favorite artists, the general public now usually buys online or just finds it for free somewhere—a behavior that has taken the wind out of the music industry to the tune of $5 billion over the last decade. Griffin knows this, saying that the record labels are now relying on consumers' willingness to drop money into "a big tip jar." He believes that the new plan could help breathe new life into music and still make consumers happy.

Instead of suing handfuls of file-sharers, Griffin and Warner Music believe that the industry should be putting its time and effort into attempting to monetize P2P activity. The idea that music is a product that can be purchased and stolen needs to fall to the wayside, according to Griffin, saying that the industry needs to embrace the idea that music can be provided as a service. Such a service could generate up to $20 billion to be distributed to artists—about $20 billion more than what the industry is getting now for files shared over P2P. Eventually, the system could become partially (or entirely) ad-supported, making legal music free for customers who don't mind ads.

Not everyone is in love with the plan, though. Aside from the obvious fear from the rest of the music industry that comes from being told it needs to change its entire revenue model, the most common criticism is that it may require all Internet users to pay the fee in order to subsidize the music pool—regardless of whether you intend to dip your toe in the pool yourself. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is among the proponents of a model that involves voluntary licensing (allowing interested users to opt-in); others believe participation must be mandatory for such a model to work.

Griffin's musings may not amount to much of anything, but the fact that Warner and Griffin are floating trial balloons is another indication that the record industry has begun thinking outside the small box it has inhabited for so long.
[SOURCE]

...I'm not sure if I like this idea or not...
Calculon Ω
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post #2 of 4
I don't want music this new way, so I don't check the music box?

That saves me $5/monthly and I can actually not be snooped on.
    
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post #3 of 4
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Originally Posted by legoman786 View Post
I don't want music this new way, so I don't check the music box?

That saves me $5/monthly and I can actually not be snooped on.
Think about it... They are going to(already do) snoop in on what we do anyway, and if the ISPs are forced to become internet cops(filtering/reporting/ect) I'm sure they'll pass the cost of implementing such crap right on down the line to us lowly consumers. I agree that it's crap, but as tax payers we should already be used to paying into something that we will most likely never have a use for .
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post #4 of 4
I don't like the idea of being forced into it, but you know... that sounds pretty awesome. I'd pay for the ability to download any song I want at high speeds, but it has to be at high speeds.

Kinda like subscribing to a Usenet provider.
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