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Support Grows For Blanket Music Licensing

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the pay-me-once-and-be-done-with-it dept.

Music 606

Anti-Globalism sends in Ars coverage of a speech by Jim Griffin, who is a consultant for Warner, one of the big four music labels. Griffin is encouraging dialog on the idea of blanket licensing of music — a topic heretofore more likely to be heard from the EFF or the Barenaked Ladies. "Taking music without paying for it may not be 'morally voluntary,' Griffin says, but he admits it has become 'functionally voluntary.' No civilized society, he adds, can endure 'purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture.' So Griffin's job is to help Warner monetize digital music, and he's convinced that the issue of payment for music is nothing less than 'our generation's nuclear power.' Griffin's most intriguing idea, and one he's been pitching for some time now, is a voluntary, blanket music license; essentially, bringing the collection society model to end users. In this model, consumers would pay royalties into a pot (by paying an extra monthly fee to their ISPs, for instance) and would then have access to all the music from all the labels that participate in the scheme."

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But some artists suck. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#24662221)

Under blanket licensing, how do I reward artists with good music preferentially to those who suck? Frankly, any business model that has talented artists like Radiohead, NIN, etc earning the same amount or less than crappy acts like Britney Spears is fundamentally broken. I will not give one penny to those talentless pop stars.

Re:But some artists suck. (5, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | about 6 years ago | (#24662303)

It's just another form of taxation. I don't want my tax dollars going towards the "war" but it's going there despite the fact.

Re:But some artists suck. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662683)

Ayo The Niggers be taking over this bitch. I want all the pretty little white boys to line up against the wall. It be shower time. From now on the niggers will be givin daily rapings to all the pretty slashdot boys. Tyrese, Big Al, and the crew be rollin up your place bout 9pm. Make sure you bring yo tears.

We be back.

The niggers

Re:But some artists suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662321)

They could introduce extra motivation for paying for crappy musics, for example, a deal for access to Britney Spears songs would also grant you access to Britney Spears porn.

Personally, I'm not sure which would be worse.

Everyone else sucks, but not me. (4, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | about 6 years ago | (#24662323)

I'm looking forward to playing improvisational jazz on the lids of garbage cans and raking in the money from their big pot o' cash.

Re:Everyone else sucks, but not me. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | about 6 years ago | (#24662613)

I'm looking forward to playing improvisational jazz on the lids of garbage cans and raking in the money from their big pot o' cash.

Why not? These folks [] seem to be making a living from it, and I'd go to see 'em over Spears ANY day...

What worries me is that the recording companies will now scrape the bottom of the barrel for talent. Why wouldn't they? After all, they'll still get paid no matter WHAT crap they try to hand us.

Re:But some artists suck. (2, Interesting)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | about 6 years ago | (#24662327)

If it's done right, perhaps what a person puts into the pool only goes out to the artists he or she listens to. So if you just listen to Radiohead and NIN, your fee (less of course some admin portion) would get split between the two bands (perhaps based on number of listens, perhaps based on actual listening time) and trailer trash skanks won't get any of your money.

Probably not how it'd actually turn out, but this would be the best case scenario for this plan, don't you think?

Re:But some artists suck. (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 6 years ago | (#24662515)

I don't see how either mandatory or even voluntary reporting of the music I personally listen to can be considered a 'bast case' scenario.

I would rather see a system where the release of a music recording is sold (rather than a copy). For example, a band records a studio album and goes on tour. They price the release of the album at 100,000 tickets. After they've sold their 100,000 concert ticket, they release the album to the public domain. That's just one example, artists that don't tour or perform live would have to come up with other mechanisms.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 6 years ago | (#24662777)

>I don't see how either mandatory or even voluntary reporting of the music I personally listen to can be considered a 'bast case' scenario.

"Mandatory reporting" goes straight into "chilling effect" territory and won't fly. There are straightforward constitutional challenges to it, that even a conservative court would favor.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

Talennor (612270) | about 6 years ago | (#24662543)

If it's done right, perhaps what a person puts into the pool only goes out to the artists he or she listens to. So if you just listen to Radiohead and NIN, your fee (less of course some admin portion) would get split between the two bands (perhaps based on number of listens, perhaps based on actual listening time) and trailer trash skanks won't get any of your money.

And this is unlike iTunes or buying a CD how?

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

croddy (659025) | about 6 years ago | (#24662585)

yeah, the first Trailer Trash Skanks 7" was pretty good but ever since they got that new drummer...

Re:But some artists suck. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662629)

If it's done right, perhaps what a person puts into the pool only goes out to the artists he or she listens to.

Maybe they could come up with a system where an artist releases a collection of music, which people could then purchase. That way, you would only pay for the music you actually listen to.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | about 6 years ago | (#24662731)

But then you have artists bitching about not getting their fair share and wham... suddenly we're all subsidizing any music artists with 'music tax' welfare system.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

nahpets77 (866127) | about 6 years ago | (#24662395)

I've read many times here on /. that artists should make money from concerts instead of record sales. So even if Radiohead and NIN get the same amount of money from this proposed "music tax", the better artists would draw more crowds. Therefore, the "better" artists would still make more money than the crappy ones.

Re:But some artists suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662407)

Not just artists that suck, I also don't want to give money to child molesters like R. Kelly.

Re:But some artists suck. (2, Interesting)

JoeBuck (7947) | about 6 years ago | (#24662453)

Money could be allocated based on measurements of whose work is downloaded most, but that kind of system could be gamed. Another way to do it is to poll the members that have signed up for the scheme to determine how the money should be allocated, but that could also hurt the little guys: you download 200 different artists and you only remember your favorite 20 or so when you fill out the poll. Or a combination could be used. But any fair system is going to handsomely reward the pop princess of the day, like it or not.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 6 years ago | (#24662813)

I think in this particular case, "good" is the same as the current definition, which is to say who sells the most albums. Is Britney Spears a better artist than Sarah McLachlan? I don't think so. But that's irrelevant because in the mainstream thermometer, Spears is indeed "better" than most everyone else.

If this brave new model consisted of artists coming to the top based solely on merit, then the system would work. There would be no megacorp spending millions to convince people that the crap they produce is somehow worth the CD it's pressed on, so only the bad artists would be at a disadvantage. The music "industry" would suddenly become a meritocracy. Best of all, anyone who actually wanted a Britney Spears song would be free to buy it.

Imagine a world where Lisa Gerrard or Rilo Kiley sell more records than Jessica Simpson or Hannah Montana. I like that. Probably ain't happening though.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 6 years ago | (#24662513)

In that same token what about Grandma and Grandpa Internet, that doesn't download any music at all. Under the blanket of an ISP imposed fee, would they not be paying for something that they don't want, need, or use.

Just another ploy (4, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 6 years ago | (#24662517)


This isn't trying to be friendly to consumers, and work out a common ground.

Instead, it's music execs trying to figure out how they can continue profiting from mediocrity, while also making it even more difficult for independent artists to find an audience and be compensated for their work.

How do you think this is going to work? Most likely, the pool would be divided among the RIAA member companies, and allocated based on the artsts whose music got played or downloaded more. Considering that they are going to be the same artists that are going to be promoted by the RIAA, and the same artists whose music will be forced into my skull through paid arrangements (do we really deserve the punishment of hearing the same song on the radio 20 times per day?).

Under such an arrangement, RIAA can just deposit their "proteges" into the playlist by paying the radio stations, and then proceed to collect 99% of all money from the pool, which will then be allocated by them - 99% to the company, 1% to the artist... and only a few artists are going to see that 1%. In other words, the system will be even more skewed and broken than it is now!

Royalties based on downloads (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about 6 years ago | (#24662521)

I think this should be tagged "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense". Truthfully, though, I already do this. Its called Napster. I pay $15 a month, download as much as I want. From what I understand, royalties are based on the amount of downloads a song gets. I may be completely wrong about that, but that makes sense.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

Dolohov (114209) | about 6 years ago | (#24662653)

With huge omnibus labels like Warner, you rely on their goodwill to bother to reward the artists you like for being responsible for your patronage. I have a hard time liking that idea.

However, smaller boutique labels with a carefully managed corps of similarly-minded artists -- that I would seriously consider. It would not only allow me to focus the money I'm spending, it would help me find music I'm likely to like.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 6 years ago | (#24662733)

Precisely my thoughts, why should they all get a fair share if only some of them are actually having their music downloaded as a certain percentage of all music downloaded.

Of course even if they were to somehow track which artists songs were downloaded and distribute based on percentages of total downloads, you'd have some clever artist or fan set up some scripts to download millions of their songs over and over and somehow make it look like actual users downloaded them then you have a whole different issue.

I think they should just keep doing what they're doing now, sans the attempts to extract money from people for getting free music. Some people will still buy CD's and still buy online music, and others will still pirate. It won't get them more money, but it won't likely get them much less money anytime soon.

Re:But some artists suck. (1)

Surt (22457) | about 6 years ago | (#24662785)

In theory, the money goes into a pot, and then is redivided based on what was listened to. Since there are no longer ownership issues, they can stream the data to you, or your player can report what you play from your cache, and you don't have to worry about legality. By allowing your device to report what you listen to, you choose to reward the artists you've picked.

Confucius say (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 6 years ago | (#24662225)

Confucius say "Man who spend time thinking about monetizing music need to spend more time listening to music."

So what about us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662227)

Some of us prefer to pay for music. I know you all think I"m crazy, but being a former recording artist, this stuff isn't cheap to make or distribute. I don't mind the iTunes model. But if that's my preferred method, why do I need to pay into a fund?

Re:So what about us? (4, Interesting)

Billy Emu (62361) | about 6 years ago | (#24662329)

What about me? I don't want to pay any sort of music tax. I spend maybe 20 hrs per year choosing to listen to music of my own volition and all of that is from music I purchased in CD format ~10+ years ago. I don't download music and I don't listen to music radio, why would I want to subsidize those who do?


Re:So what about us? (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#24662511)

In this model, consumers would pay royalties into a pot (by paying an extra monthly fee to their ISPs, for instance) and would then have access to all the music from all the labels that participate in the scheme.[emphasis added]

If we're going to be paying our ISPs royalties on top of what we already pay them, then they'd damn well better not unreasonably throttle or cap our traffic, and they should give us specific bandwidth and/or data limits instead of slimy "magic mystery numbers subject to change and nyah nyah we wont tell you what they are" contract clauses.

It also depends on how many labels participate in the "scheme" in, "all of them". I want more than music from the Humble Christian Rock or the Polka Plus! labels.

Re:So what about us? (1)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#24662835)

I stopped buying music years ago. Don't download it either.
I am partial to live music, mind, just not canned 'aproved' music.

I have no interest in downloading it, illegally or otherwise, so any ISP that tries to force such a tax on me will find themselves being taken to court to make them give me the money back.

Re:So what about us? (1)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | about 6 years ago | (#24662349)

It's probably for those of us who are too cheap to go to iTMS, and instead get our music via p2p applications,, etc.

Re:So what about us? (2, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | about 6 years ago | (#24662685)

Honestly, I've no interest in iTunes are any music store, their selects are always more limited than you find out there in torrent land. iTunes has a decent selection although I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole as the interface sucks and is highly invasive to a Windows machine adding a number of other services.

Then of course there is the problem that the library is difficult to move around, the whole plugging an ipod into a Windows machine wiping the ipod if you're a mac user primarily. Lots of little stuff Apple did either intentionally or unintentionally made it annoying. There is also the fact that it does nothing that I couldn't do with Audiogalaxy and Winamp way back in the day when Napster was just starting out and not on the RIAA's radar yet.

Now contrast all that BS with any random torrent site and your favorite music player on any platform and you see why people like p2p so much. There's also the fact that it is easy to download a few thousand songs off p2p, if you do that with iTunes have fun looking at your bill. It doesn't take long to rack up quite a bill.

Look at Kevin Nealon as an example, that guy bought 300k (his exaggeration) in iTunes and doesn't even back it up. It's easy just to click another song and spend another dollar.

Error: Persepctive Missing. (5, Insightful)

maniac/dev/null (170211) | about 6 years ago | (#24662229)

"Our generation's nuclear power?" Seriously? You're comparing finding a way to sell music with SPLITTING THE ATOM?!?

Re:Error: Persepctive Missing. (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 6 years ago | (#24662305)

I think this may be more about the size of the debate. More like "this generation's struggle with the environmental concerns pertaining to nuclear power."

Re:Error: Persepctive Missing. (2, Insightful)

pseudorand (603231) | about 6 years ago | (#24662359)

I think he meant in the sense that, just as Nuclear power screwed over people who live too close to a reactor site at the expense of rich men with lucrative energy deals friends in congress, so too will the music industry screw over consumers who have to either pay their fees or get hit with ridiculous lawsuits at the expense of rich men with lucrative record labels and friends both in congress and the judiciary.

Re:Error: Persepctive Missing. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24662789)

Who lives too close to a nuclear reactor?

Re:Error: Persepctive Missing. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662363)

They used to hope nuclear power would produce such a surplus that it would be "too cheap to meter". That's probably what they're referring to.

Re:Error: Persepctive Missing. (4, Insightful)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | about 6 years ago | (#24662377)

Think 60s anti-nuclear protests. It's our generation's nuclear power issue because of the hell raised on both sides of the fence.

Re:Error: Persepctive Missing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662561)

I think he's saying it's our generation that's missing perspective. When some dork says, "I'll give up my Napster when they pry it from my cold, dead hands," it makes you wonder where that dork's priorities are.

Not sure I'd trust this system (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 6 years ago | (#24662235)

How do I know that the artist(s) I like will participate in the blanket license? How do I know that a current artist won't jump ship and I'll miss out on future albums? How does this account for people who "consume" more or less music than others?

Re:Not sure I'd trust this system (2, Insightful)

whobutdrew (889171) | about 6 years ago | (#24662309)

I'm finding myself in the same boat, but for a different reason. All it will take is one pointy-haired exec to look at this model and think, "We're not getting paid enough!" Then that label pulls out of the 'scheme,' bringing countless songs into legal-limbo. It sounds like a great idea, conceptually, but a lot of logistical wrinkles need to be worked out before I consider it seriously. Great pipe dream, though.

... and your chicks for free. (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 years ago | (#24662701)

How does this account for people who "consume" more or less music than others?

Indeed. Do people with hearing deficits get a refund? Or do they have to subsidise others?

To me, this sounds like they're re-inventing the radio license fee, but without having to provide extra programming paid for by that fee.

Or like charging everyone a high yearly library fee, and then expect people to build their own library buildings and populate them with books. Um, sorry, no, I won't have it.
For a fee to be useful, the record companies would have to produce something for the fee. Set up a library I can access, and keep it populated. And those who do not read or listen should not be forced to pay.

Public auction (2, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 6 years ago | (#24662241)

In other words, the amount of money paid towards works will "liberate" that work for public consumption and the money will go towards the artist to create additional works?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662267)

What about those of us who don't want to pay Warner because none of the music they put out is worth listening to, much less paying for?

Lets call this what it really is (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 6 years ago | (#24662269)

Lets call this what is really is, an involuntary forced payment to one of the most evil and hated organizations in the country from many people who have absolutely no interest in downloading bad low quality music at all and never will.

Re:Lets call this what it really is (2, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#24662401)

I believe the word you are looking for is "Tax".

BLANKET Music License? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662433)

What? There are blankets that play music? And you gotta get a license for that?

The only music you'll hear out of my blanket is "zzzzzzzz..." and on a good night, "bow-chickabow-chickabowbow...". *

* OK, maybe the ocasional "tuba" blast if I had the burrito with wild onions.

Re:Lets call this what it really is (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662729)

So forget the thousands of $$ I spent on CDs and LPs, now I have to pay for music I don't download?

Re:Lets call this what it really is (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 6 years ago | (#24662761)

Don't worry, you'll also be making monthly welfare payments to other imaginary property industries too, as part of your ISP bull. You think they'd let the music people be the only parasites?

Re:Lets call this what it really is (3, Interesting)

Dolohov (114209) | about 6 years ago | (#24662847)

They seem to be careful to emphasize that they see this as voluntary -- a service you sign up for alongside your regular internet service. It's not so much a "tax" as another commenter responded (which applies equally and involuntarily to everyone regardless of interest or opposition), it's a "license" (which applies, in advance, to anyone who indicates they will or might want to participate in an activity like hunting or fishing, regardless of whether they actually do).

This suggests that they will make it very easy and attractive to sign up in the first place, but then make it tedious and difficult to make use of it, and very hard to get out of a contract once agreed to. Moreover, they will use the participation of some people as a weapon against others in their lawsuits -- they will claim not only infringement damages per-song, but also claim that they are undermining their pay service. Damages claimed will surely skyrocket.

And let me guess (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 6 years ago | (#24662275)

They'll allow those the artists who don't pay more money than they'll ever earn through royalties (or anything else for that matter) enough to make up to get their royalties right? They wouldn't just steal the money from those who deserve it right? Right?

Confucius say (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 6 years ago | (#24662287)

Confucius say "Companies who invent terms like 'collection society' never bring good dishes to pot luck."

From TFA: (1)

Osurak (1013927) | about 6 years ago | (#24662291)

So Griffin's job is to help Warner monetize digital music, and he's convinced that the issue of payment for music is nothing less than "our generation's nuclear power." If our society can monetize music in a balanced, consumer-friendly way, the results will be awesome. If we can't... well, remember Chernobyl?

I tried to read TFA and got as far as the first paragraph but I refuse to read the rest of it if they are going to make such ridiculous analogies.

Re:From TFA: (1)

Osurak (1013927) | about 6 years ago | (#24662399)

Also, this guy is not a record company executive, he's just one of the Bobs (a consultant.) While he may be able to offer such radical suggestions, he has no real power to implement them.

However, even disregarding the validity of the idea, I will admit it is nice to see something different from the usual stories about music company litigation and persistence in clinging to an arguably out-dated business model.

Labels only (4, Interesting)

Esteanil (710082) | about 6 years ago | (#24662299)

At least one of the labels is seeing what the future holds: The end of the major music labels.
With an "ISP Tax" they can maintain their businesses as a more or less useless parasite on society, getting large amounts of income and still holding the power of saying who is to become a star and who is not.

Another problem is the small, independent labels, not to mention musicians who manage without a label. Think they'll get any money? Think again. The major labels have decades of experience lobbying government, so who do you think will end up administrating this?

It will also require registering and logging what music is downloaded, which will be a hard task in itself... unless music on the internet is centralized.

Re:Labels only (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | about 6 years ago | (#24662535)

These problems can be fixed. But some kind of tax is coming, as the only alternative is either the end of professional musicianship or an Internet police state. Artists have to be compensated somehow. Any fair system would treat all labels, including a "label" consisting of one independent musician, equally.

Re:Labels only (1)

philipgar (595691) | about 6 years ago | (#24662751)

Does anyone have any data whatsoever showing that with downloading on the internet, the small artists are being hurt? I'm sure there's plenty of data showing that the big guys are being hurt by online piracy, but that's really not a huge deal. The big artists will continue making music for only millions of dollars instead of tens of millions. Besides, even amongst the big artists, the big money tends to be in their concerts. As far as I can tell, the small artists have been selling just as many albums as before.

The one big thing that is currently hurting small artists (far more than illegal downloading) is the cost of gas. Now that they're paying $4/gallon, it's a lot more expensive to tour and promote your music. Breaking even, or making a profit on a tour was never an assured thing for small bands, and it's a lot harder to do today.


End of professional musicianship? (2, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | about 6 years ago | (#24662779)

I think you're overstating here. This might be perhaps the end of multi-millionaire rockers, maybe. But file-sharing wont be the end of live shows and merchandise. So there's still plenty of revenue sources for the artists.

If by "professional musicianship" you're referring to the top-40 detritus on MTV and Clear Channel, let's hope you're right. I certainly wouldn't want to preserve that system with a federal tax.

I have a revolutionary idea! Maybe we can go back to people making music they love because it's what they love to do.

Re:Labels only (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 6 years ago | (#24662643)

If they put a tax on ISPs, I will still be able to pirate music without an ISP the old way, sneakernet. I don't even have to pay the tax on blank ISPs if I put it directly on my mp3 player or hard drive. If they put it on computers, they will be collecting tax from lots of people who don't even download, like businesses. Or maybe they have to exclude business class computers so I can get around it that way. In other words, some people will pay unnecessarily, and some will avoid paying but reap the benefits.

They don't want to do un-DRMed music, but that's what they are proposing, just because of the number of people who would be paying.

There is no good way to do this without taking money from people who don't want to give it. The only solution is to have a reasonably priced subscription service with all-you-can-eat downloading, with all of the RIAA member groups participating, and no DRM. What's the difference between this and what they are proposing? Just whether people are enrolling voluntarily or not.

No thanks. (1, Interesting)

bleckywelcky (518520) | about 6 years ago | (#24662317)

Um, over my dead body.

Hasn't this idea come up before? With CD-Rs? Someone was proposing that every CD-R purchase was used for illegal music CD copies, so a "music label" tax would be applied to all CD-R purchases.

This is basically the MPAA asking the government to enforce its copyrights yet again. Copyright is a CIVIL matter, not a CRIMINAL matter. The criminal judicial system has no business helping the MPAA enforce its copyrights.

I don't buy music because I don't care about music that much. I listen to online radio stations because I don't have time to manager a personal music collection. I have a small music collection from a few years ago when I had the time to do it. But the last piece of music I obtained was over a year or two ago.

I owe the MPAA $0. Zip. Zero. Nada. And there's no reason for me to pay an ISP tax to them.

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662737)

I think you have the MPAA confused with the RIAA.

Re:No thanks. (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 years ago | (#24662807)

No it's the MPAA. His music collection is comprised entirely of summer blockbuster soundtracks.

Re:No thanks. (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | about 6 years ago | (#24662741)

So how should musicians be compensated then? (I don't care about labels, I care about musicians). You want to just download their stuff for free forever? You want the Internet to turn into a giant cop? I'd rather have everyone pay a little bit and then copy the music around freely than face a future of a cop in every computer, crippled hardware, DRM, and lawsuits against college students. Oh, and according to law, copyright violation can be a criminal matter. Sorry.

Re:No thanks. (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 6 years ago | (#24662833)

Um, over my dead body.

Hasn't this idea come up before? With CD-Rs? Someone was proposing that every CD-R purchase was used for illegal music CD copies, so a "music label" tax would be applied to all CD-R purchases.

It's more than an idea. You pay that fee on every cd burner you buy. Enjoy.

Just as long as I can decline to opt in (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 6 years ago | (#24662331)

Fine and dandy, as long as I've got the option of not paying the fee and not getting access to the music. I don't care for most of the stuff the major labels put out, and I'd rather not pay for something I've no interest in getting. If I want music from them I'll pay for the items I want, thank you very much.

A license for Blanket Music? (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#24662357)

What is this "Blanket Music" of which you speak and why would I desire to license it?

Ugh, I meant RIAA. (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | about 6 years ago | (#24662369)

Ugh, I meant RIAA.

I Don't Steal Music (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 6 years ago | (#24662381)

I don't pirate music. If this went through, I'd feel like a guy having dinner with a bunch of friends. He has water and a light salad while his friends get steaks and drink expensive wine. Then they say "let's split the bill evenly."

No thanks.

Support for Blanket Licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662385)

I would wholly support an added $5/mo charge (or something similar) onto my internet access bill if it would just stop all of this horrendous RIAA lawsuits going on.

Cracks are developing in the "Making available" argument. Recently, that whole $220k verdict may be coming apart due to a mistrial.

The RIAA/MPAA have nothing to lose by having all of the ISP's offer a manditory levy. If they continue to get consumers with balls who stand up to the courts, they could lose everything. It's just that simple.

Look at what happened with Ma Bell. They brought it to the courts, lost.. and now we have answering machines, fax machines, etc. If they had just left things alone, we all still might be paying rental fees on anything connected to the phone network. (That would suck, I know..)

Re:Support for Blanket Licensing (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 6 years ago | (#24662843)

$5/month?! Holy crap! With my music download rate, I would be paying the same for one soft copy of a song as I normally would for a whole physical album. Screw that. I am more than happy to spend my approximate $2/year in iTunes purchases. If I want a whole album and it's not brand new, I'll go to a used album store and promote recycling.

Somehting went bad... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662387)

I think something needs to be rephrased, the guy meant to say:

"No record company, he adds, can endure "purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture."

Voluntary payment (4, Insightful)

snarfies (115214) | about 6 years ago | (#24662409)

' No civilized society, he adds, can endure 'purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture.'

Really. Because I'm pretty sure that almost every society on the planet Earth has had art, knowledge, and culture work that was for several millenium, if not longer. I'm reasonably sure nobody paid the guys who made cave paintings. Art, knowledge, and culture - the REAL stuff, as opposed to, say, Brittany Spears and the line, are produced by volunteers in their spare time. They do it because they have a burning passion to do so, and financial considerations tend to be secondary, if not tertiary.

Re:Voluntary payment (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 6 years ago | (#24662545)

I think he misspelled 'monetized' as 'civilized' there.

If the downloads aren't encoded in a lossless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662417)

format, and if Time Warner expands their bandwidth metering trial, then I'll be sticking with CDs thank you.

We've been over this... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662421)

"In this model, consumers would pay royalties into a pot (by paying an extra monthly fee to their ISPs, for instance) and would then have access to all the music from all the labels that participate in the scheme."

Haven't we already voiced loudly what this kind of shit leads to?

music gets their cut,
tv demands their cut,
radio demands their cut (because everyone records the non-music time),
movies demand their cut,
video games demand their cut,
book publishers demand their cut,
magazine publishers demand their cut,
news sites demand their cut,
etc etc etc, repeat this for EVERY possible industry.

And don't forget, they'll START at a "reasonable" fee. But then every year or two bring it to court saying "that's too low, the market's grown and so should the cost!" and "inflation!!! we need to increase the price to keep the same value!!!" and before you know it that reasonable (let's say $5) fee, has grown to $25 in the course of 10 years, and continues to grow at that rate forever. (See the canadian's blanket tax on CDs/cassettes/etc)

Nobody can afford internet anymore due to the collective $500/month royalty charges, america goes offline. (or bankrupt... and then offline.)

Meanwhile, they'll still find ways to rape you in court if they can.

But I don't use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662437)

But I don't use much music, and most of what I do are not members of the RIAA cartels. Why would I want something like this?

No thanks (3, Insightful)

mrroot (543673) | about 6 years ago | (#24662461)

I prefer my ISP to be like a utility, and not a content provider. And if history tells us anything, most other people do too. Remember AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy all had their own exclusive content, but in the end the consumer didn't want to pay for that content, all they wanted was a link to the Internet where they could choose their own content.

Not paying monthly fee ... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 years ago | (#24662469)

In this model, consumers would pay royalties into a pot (by paying an extra monthly fee to their ISPs, for instance) and would then have access to all the music from all the labels that participate in the scheme.

I have said it before, and I will say it again.

I am not going to pay a monthly fee on my internet connection or anything else to "excuse" me for all of the copying I don't do.

I don't download music, I buy music. I buy a lot of music -- this year, about $800 on CDs so far, most of that from 3 record labels, and not mainstream ones. The artists I listen to aren't covered under your Brittany-where's-my-panties-Spears tax, and aren't on those labels who are trying to benefit from this.

The last thing I want to see if some *(&^%(*& monthly surcharge on having an Internet connection to help offset the losses to artists I don't listen to.

Everybody who proposes one of these surcharges really needs to be fed their own head in very small pieces, because it's a stupid idea, doesn't address the issue, and won't be paying the artists I listen to. It basically is an attempt to have their revenue stream guaranteed by law.


How about (1)

Maudib (223520) | about 6 years ago | (#24662479)

How about they stfu and go out of business forever? K thx bye.

And Then... (4, Interesting)

dcollins (135727) | about 6 years ago | (#24662495)

(1) They have a guaranteed, mandatory monopoly forever.
(2) And they don't have to produce anything anymore.

Yea right... (1)

git68 (957160) | about 6 years ago | (#24662499)

I seriously doubt that support for this will be growing here!

And where do unsigned artists come into play? (3, Insightful)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | about 6 years ago | (#24662507)

This looks like a pretty interesting (dare I say, good?) scheme to get us consumers to actually pay for the music we get off the web. However, the problem I'm feeling from it is that this is still very label oriented. What about musicians who want to make a living off their music online but don't have a label? How do they get involved?

Another sticky wicket would be dividing up the cash in the pool for the artists. A good point had already been brought up by a poster to whom I replied earlier. How can we consumers use this system to benefit the artists we like, and avoid lining the pockets of those we don't? Is there some kind of download tracking? Registration (or other tracking) of songs? And then, do all artists get the same share of the pie, or does it vary based on number of plays, actual play time, or some other scheme?

If the questions get ironed out, and this is something which can be opted into (as opposed to being unilaterally fobbed on us) I wouldn't mind paying a bit extra each month to support my favourite acts. But only if the concerns about how it works are answered.

Reaching Yet Again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662525)

There is no reason for unlimited access to a catalog to be tied to ISPs. Consumers already have the option to pay for services they desire over the web. Emusic and Napster (among others) already operate on this sort of model.

This comes off as a transparent attempt for the RIAA to control the web market by tying its members to the points of access.

The RIAA thrives off of the misconception that it represents all music in the US when in fact it represents a small fraction.

Supply and demand: a recap (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | about 6 years ago | (#24662529)

Let us ignore all the various government intrusions that try to subvert the real market laws: supply and demand.

When you have a limited supply of an item, and some demand, the price tends to go up. When you have an unlimited supply of an item, and some demand, the price tends to go down.

Music, or any content that can be distributed digitally, can have near infinite supply. The price, in such a case, may fall to zero. Some people will have some "moral imperative" to paying the original artist, but in reality the current distribution does NOT pay the original artist. Look at how the coward monopolists at BMI distribute royalty license fees.

There's a great catch, though, and one that I've used to help small bands make a pretty decent buck: find out what you have that can be sold in limited supply.

For musicians, their live performances are always going to be in limited supply. The music, since it is infinite in supply and has a value of zero in terms of quality between licensed and unlicensed copies, should be a marketing item.

Make your money the way most of us here make it: by doing new work for new customers. Your old work, as ours, is a great portfolio tool to attract new clients. Once you've gotten the clients' attentions, offer them value added items. Instead of hoping to get $15 for a CD that they can download for nearly nothing, offer an autograph session and only autograph your CDs. I own an offset print shop, and we can do custom CD runs for almost nothing. Sell collector's items, autograph them, and you've got a valid limited-supply product. Sell limited-run T-shirts. Offer personal time for your wealthy fans to hang out back stage, at a fee, or even offer online or IRL lessons to groups of fans.

A person's pay is not for work they've done in the past. No one pays their plumber a license to flush their toilet. No one pays their plumber a fee when they use the plumber's tactics to fix their own toilet again. Past work is relatively worthless if it can be mimicked by others, easily.

Copyright only exists today because of the momentum of it. It is dying a quick death. There are artists out there who moan and complain about it, but they're the ones who just can't see the forest for the trees: writing music, creating drawings, etc, is no different than going to plumbing school. Your labor of creation is the lesson time you spend to figure out a way to sell your future labor. Write a song, learn to fix toilets: they've both education. YOu don't get paid to learn to fix toilets, you don't get paid to write your own music. Both steps take you to the next level: finding customers to sell your services to.

I don't like the idea ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662539)

of involuntary payments being collected by ISPs and transferred to a private sector entity such as SoundExchange. There's zero acccountability in a situation like that. Forget it. My tax dollars are involuntarily collected (well, I can refuse to pay them and go to jail) but the media companies are not the government and it's ridiculous that they should be treated as such. They have too much influence in Washington as it is.

Furthermore, this idea that ISPs should have to serve as Internet cops and tax collectors needs to be put to rest. Their job is connectivitiy. Period.

Music CD-R (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 6 years ago | (#24662541)

If I burn a Linux boot CD to a Music CD-R, where do I go to get my media surcharge refunded?

Why should I pay (1)

dhperry (1061458) | about 6 years ago | (#24662547)

Let me subscribe to services such as Pandora and let the make money on advertising that I can ignore. I do not want to pay a fee for something that I don't use. I have always thought that the radio model of having a station pay to play a song is backward. The music publisher should be paying the radio station. Most bands would never have been heard of and could not sell music without airplay. One exception was the Grateful Dead. They were successful due to work of mouth.

Tales from the Afternow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662573)

Sounds like the listener license from Tales from the Afternow...

It's all beginning.

Seriously? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 6 years ago | (#24662595)

No civilized society, he adds, can endure 'purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture'.

Sure it can. Artists are supported by those that appreciate the work at the level it's worth to the benefactor. The "problem" is that the music isn't worth that much to many people. Perhaps free/stolen is what it's worth. Artists get over yourselves and/or create a better product.

I don't download music/movies (free or paid). Why shuold I be forced to pay a tax (excuse me, fee) to support something I don't want or use over a voluntary access medium (like the Internet)? Why should my Grandmother? Artists, create something worth buying or get a real job.

Music isn't nuclear power, it's fucking music. Griffin's idea isn't "intriguing", it's asinine. A blanket music license is just a universal tax on an unnecessary product to suppport a failing business model.

Sounds like communism to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662605)

So I have to pay for shit I dont use now?

Re:Sounds like communism to me (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 6 years ago | (#24662845)

actually thats what we call taxes

Concerts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24662607)

Maybe they should start charging ridiculous prices at their concerts to make up for the lost CD sales?

Then the artists could make money by performing!

And maybe charge 20 dollars per t-shirt while they're at it?

Sounds good? I call bullshit (1)

zappepcs (820751) | about 6 years ago | (#24662637)

As pointed out, why pay for crap artists? There is a simple reason. When painted into a corner by their business tactics to date, they have decided that we'll cave and pay them for whatever music they want to give us if they stop suing kids and grandparents. The intent here is to maintain a tight fisted grip on distribution at any cost, even if that means taking a cut in revenues. That way that can keep making money from crap artists and telling the public what they should be listening to. NIN will still sell individually as will other bands so you have to pay twice if you pay an RIAA tax to your ISP because that tax does NOT pay for ALL music you might download.

It is a plan to rob all Internet users. pure. and. simple. They are shit scared to sell it by the song. iTunes already set the price and it's too low for them... even if they could break into the digital content distribution business with any kind of success. If they sold it by the song, there is EVERY chance that their current cash cows would flounder, and fast.

I, of course, am all for watching that floundering happen. Hoping for such is probably cathartic as a hobby, and we all have to have some of those.

We already have this.. (3, Insightful)

Dreadneck (982170) | about 6 years ago | (#24662657)

It's called subscription music services - like Rhapsody and Napster. Keep it voluntary. I don't like the idea of having to pay the RIAA protection money to access the internet.

Re:We already have this.. (1)

Dreadneck (982170) | about 6 years ago | (#24662793)

Also, one has to wonder what happens to the quality of music the labels offer when their incentive to produce quality work - profit - is removed. Anyone care to bet that even with this music tax the RIAA will have a loophole to still charge for 'premium content' not licensed under the tax? In effect, they'll get to charge you for the crap you don't listen to and charge you again for the music you actually want. It seems they want to have their cake and eat it too.

Sure sounds great (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 6 years ago | (#24662665)

I'm deaf so where do I get my waiver? I guess I get to download movies for free then. ;)

Why do I have to pay? (1)

franknagy (56133) | about 6 years ago | (#24662679)

I don't listen to music much and certainly don't download it so I object strongly to a "tax" on my ISP charges (already high as it) to pay for something I don't use and don't want.

Who needs labels then? (1)

egork (449605) | about 6 years ago | (#24662689)

If we will be paying the flat rate and have access to any content, what role could labels play in this scheme? Will they _not_ sue us, _not_ block modern distribution technology, _not_ steal money from artist etc.?
Why wouldn't they just stop doing that right avay and disappeared in a puff of logic?

amazing solutions (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#24662739)

from people who still don't understand how the fundamentals have changed

recorded music is now nothing more than an advertising vehicle for artists. if some old timers have a problem conceptualizing that, imagine the business model of radio: it gave music away for free in order to sell ad spots and create buzz. got that? apply that concept to recorded music now. welcome to present day reality

artists: no more coasting on royalties. you'll have to do regular work, concert gigs, to make a living like the rest of us mortals, or be spokesman for advertisers. you'll still be disgustingly rich and get lots of blow jobs from eager female fans. i don't exactly empathize with your plight of losing royalties

distributors: the internet has replaced you. you can't compete with free, sorry, enjoy your extinction

Anime (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | about 6 years ago | (#24662769)

If they could do this for anime I would be very happy pay a low tax. Just so long as I can get fansubs/subs, But as for now my fansubs are something you can get 'busted' for. Anime industry needs to release worldwide subs at the same time as in japan. Dubs are useless waste of time and American companies are too cheap to pay for decent Voice actors. This of course will never happen, just plain reality that companies suck and don't listen to their consumers.

It's only taken them TEN YEARS! (4, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | about 6 years ago | (#24662825)

It's only taken them TEN YEARS to come up with what Napster tried to hand them on a platium platter a decade ago-and they responded then by suing them out of business. Now 10 years later they're slapping themselves on the back for coming up with this original idea?

Will someone please give these clowns a clue pill?

Unusual economics (2, Insightful)

nasor (690345) | about 6 years ago | (#24662831)

No civilized society, he adds, can endure 'purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture.

That might be true for things like sculptures or books or theater tickets, but that's only because all those things are scarce and have a marginal cost to produce. If I can take all the books or paintings in a physical store home with me without paying, then yeah, that's probably not going to be workable. The marginal cost of a digital music file (or movie, or ebook) is basically zero.

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