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Friday, March 14, 2008

Music industry proposes a piracy surcharge on ISPs

Music industry proposes a piracy surcharge on ISPs Wired Magazine By
Frank Rose

Digital-strategy consultant Jim Griffin thinks ISPs should be made to collect a music surcharge from broadband users to compensate the copyright holders.

Having failed to stop piracy by suing internet users, the music industry is for the first time seriously considering a file sharing surcharge that internet service providers would collect from users.

In recent months, some of the major labels have warmed to a pitch by Jim Griffin, one of the idea's chief proponents, to seek an extra fee on broadband connections and to use the money to compensate rights holders for music that's shared online. Griffin, who consults on digital strategy for three of the four majors, will argue his case at what promises to be a heated discussion Friday at South by Southwest.

"It's monetizing the anarchy," says Peter Jenner, head of the International Music Manager's Forum, who plans to join Griffin on the panel.

Griffin's idea is to collect a fee from internet service providers something like $5 per user per month -- and put it into a pool that would be used to compensate songwriters, performers, publishers and music labels. A collecting agency would divvy up the money according to artists' popularity on P2P sites, just as ASCAP and BMI pay songwriters for broadcasts and live performances of their work.
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