Licensing for file-sharers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted an interesting proposal for collecting royalties on music file-sharing. The idea is that ISPs, software makers, universities, mobile phone operators, and other organizations that want to legitimize file-sharing levy a standard blanket fee on users. The EFF suggests $5 per user per month, but let the market decide. The money is collected and distributed among publishers. This is how radio (and other forms of media playback, like the soundtrack you hear at the gym or grocery store) works today–ASCAP and BMI collect from these sources and distribute to the publishers. In fact, most mid-level and higher artists make far more money from publishing rights than they ever do from record sales.

Interesting proposal. Great benefits for companies like BigChampagne who would essentially become the minters of new currency, like Nielsen is for TV ratings today.

The big trick, of course, is getting the record industry to realize that their old business model is dead and not coming back to life. They’re still in denial….


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