Friday, November 12, 2004

We Pledge Allegiance to the Penguin

"Backed by the ministry of culture and directed by Ronaldo Lemos da Silva, a law professor and point man for Creative Commons in Brazil, the project has rounded up an impressive starter collection of public-domain titles for digitization, mostly recordings produced by Brazil's music industry in its fertile early days. The hope, though, is that in the long run this initial collection might yield an even more ambitious scheme: an alternative compensation system for online music that could break the stalemate between industry and fans once and for all. One plan is to grant a copyright license to file-sharers, similar to the one that lets radio stations broadcast songs without prior permission. And as with radio, an agency would track downloads and then pay rights-holders their fair share of a universal service fee levied on all Internet subscribers.

It's a tough sell for sure, especially to an industry from which even Brazil's most politically powerful musician couldn't ransom 10 seconds of his own music. But so far no other plan for resolving the online-music wars promises to get closer to that best of all possible outcomes: artists get paid and peer-to-peer thrives. And so far, only Brazil has shown anything like the political will required to make it happen. "
Interesting idea. Music is going to become all about the subscription. Finding a way for people to consume as much as they want when they want, allowing artists to build on previous artists work, and allowing artists to get paid. A universal service fee on all Internet subscribers is such a subscription. It is also very similar to a tax. I like it!

via Wired 12.11

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