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Canadian Songwriters Propose $10/mo Internet Fee

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the let's-just-call-it-rent-shall-we? dept.

Canada 407

BitterOak points out this Windsor Star story, according to which "Canadian songwriters are proposing a $10 fee to be added to monthly ISP bills, giving users a license to download music using peer-to-peer file sharing technologies for free, without fear of reprisal. The money collected would be distributed to members of a Canadian association of songwriters (SOCAN). The story doesn't make clear whether the license would apply only to Canadian music, or how musicians in other nations would be compensated otherwise."

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407 comments

Intl. Distribution (3, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391960)

how musicians in other nations would be compensated

SOCAN (and most other country's performing rights organizations) collects foreign royalties for members of ASCAP, BMI etc through reciprocal international agreements.

So in answer, USian composers whose work is played in Canada still get royalties.

Re:Intl. Distribution (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392016)

And so the Canadian government will just divide the money evenly between all musicians, everywhere? You do understand how absurd that is, right?

Re:Intl. Distribution (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392132)

If only, it will almost certainly be divided up by SOCAN without anybody knowing how they're making the decisions and none of the artists having any idea as to whether or not their getting their fair share. Plus those with no reputation may or may not get anything at all, even if some people do listen to their work.

But on the balance this would likely be good for the unknown performers because it would likely open up a new audience, one which wouldn't likely pay just to sample.

Re:Intl. Distribution (2)

jonsmirl (114798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392420)

About 5,000,000 Internet households. $10 month, $120 a year. 95,000 members of SOCAN.
That's $7,000 a year for each member of SOCAN.

I find it more amazing that 1 out 300 people is a SOCAN member. Does Canada really need 95,000 song writers?

Re:Intl. Distribution (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392436)

But on the balance this would likely be good for the unknown performers because it would likely open up a new audience, one which wouldn't likely pay just to sample.

Unlikely. It would probably be distributed in the same way as royalties for audio CD taxes are, which means it's based on radio airplay counts. Translation: unless you're writing music for a major label, you're not going to see a cent.

That's the real reason the big music publishers want bullshit like this. It ensures that artists and songwriters will be forever beholden to the major labels. The songwriter organizations are playing right into the larger players' hands, and are basically defecating on the indie music scene.

For musicians as a whole, this law, if passed, will be a tremendous step backwards. By further institutionalizing the dependence on radio play and other highly restrictive channels, and by effectively reducing the value of sold music in Canada to zero (because you'll be able to legally share and download it for free), the proposed law would make it so that you can't make money with music except by teaching it.

In an era when the rest of the world is embracing the Internet as a great equalizer, Canada's law is threatening to destroy that---to eliminate the usefulness of the Internet as a medium for independent musicians to sell their music and make money outside the context of a major label. Frankly, any law like this is downright criminal.

Re:Intl. Distribution (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392196)

The various collecting societies have data and estimates about how often songs and artists are playing, and royalties are distributed accordingly. This has been going on for years, it's nothing new. When it comes to downloading, they'll figure out a way to estimate whose work is being downloaded, and how often. It won't be exact, but it'll probably be good enough for them. Also, it's usually not the government, it's a private organization, albeit often with special privileges.

A better question about this proposal is whether it only prevents suits from songwriters... or are the performers and producers going to each want another $10/mo. as well? Royalties are split between a lot of different people, and they'll all need to be on board with any agreement like this.

Re:Intl. Distribution (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392294)

When it comes to downloading, they'll figure out a way to estimate whose work is being downloaded, and how often

what a way to make money - buy a script kiddie to plant trojans to download your music and send the traffic (and canadian moolah) your way

The True Story (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392338)

I just traded a case of beer to some teen emo boy for a blow job!

Hmmmmm...... (4, Insightful)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391966)

Hmmm.......

No.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392006)

Actually, I would not have a problem with this...if it meant that nobody could be sued for downloading. Paying a tax that goes to artists (or recording companies, but at least there is some path toward music production there) and being allowed to download music as I see fit sure sounds like a good deal to me.

Of course, we know that is not what is going to happen (now you are going to pay and still get sued), so yeah, no deal.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392130)

Hmmm... Cable internet here is ~$30/month (depending on plan)... do they seriously think that 1/3 of bandwidth is used for downloading music? I certainly don't think so.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392134)

I don't think they'd be stupid enough to keep trying to sue - the major labels would be more than happy to have a guaranteed monthly income stream from essentially everybody in the country. I also don't doubt that labels would also graciously offer to take the job of passing the money on to the artists who deserved it, less a reasonable fee for all their valuable services, of course... Oh, and good luck getting any payment if you aren't signed to one of those companies doing the distribution.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392186)

I have no problem with money going to artists.

However, I do have a problem with them getting money when I'm not using their content. I do not wish to pay for my neighbor's teenage daughter's music addiction.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392188)

What about all the photographers, videographers, authors, and other members of the creative arts? I think we should levy a $10 tax for each of the aforementioned disenfranchised groups to recover their lost cost due to the internet. It would only be fair.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392316)

And comment writers. Sometimes someone's comment gets copied by someone else. They deserve compensation.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392210)

I have no problem either, we should all pay for our music on iTunes and then pay an extra $10/mo to... wait, I already paid, why am I paying again?

But I don't think it should stop with music! What about that copy of Office you downloaded? We should all pay $XX/mo to the BSA [bsa.org] (Business Software Alliance... not boy scouts) for downloading programs.... also remember the MPAA needs their $XX for the movies.... and the Entertainment Software Association needs their $XX for those games you download.... am I leaving anyone out? Music, software, movies, games... PORN! We owe the Adult Film and Video Association of America [wikipedia.org] a TON! $XXX/mo sound alright? Ok so your monthly internet bill is $1,800, we offer a convenient payment plan of only $20 charged three times a day...

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

ChromeBallz (1976216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392464)

Of course, that's the rub with this kind of plan. Still, a media tax on internet services would solve everyone's problem, $5-10 depending on the service you're already paying for. You could argue that people who don't download any media at all shouldn't be paying this, but that would raise a lot of technical issues which would get into big brother territory - Besides, bandwidth limits would take care of things like that.

Of course, this should also mean that things like iTunes would have to get cheaper aswell. A lot cheaper.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392474)

I have no problem either, we should all pay for our music on iTunes and then pay an extra $10/mo to... wait, I already paid, why am I paying again?

Yes, but many people will download their music for free. You have to share in paying for that, too.

If they raise my internet bill $10 per month, I will probably cancel my internet service. This is a loss of business for internet providers. They will have to raise it another $10 to make up for that.

am I leaving anyone out?

Yes, me. I run a carrier pigeon messaging service, delivering any message within a 100 km radius within a week. New technology has reduced my profits, and therefore new technology should be taxed so that I can maintain my previous profit levels despite my obsolescence.

This is Canada dontcha know. The profit of the capitalist market system is a social program here.

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

Imagix (695350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392250)

Are they also going to provide the locations to which Canadians can download the content that they are thus legally purchasing, with no DRM? (What do you need the DRM for, the entire population may download at will...) And at reasonable bitrates?

Re:Hmmmmm...... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392332)

Actually, I would not have a problem with this...if it meant that nobody could be sued for downloading

I sure as hell would.

I buy a lot of music on CD, don't down muskc, and I'm sure as hell not willing to pay a $10 monthly 'tax' on my internet connection so these greedy bastards can double-dip. I can guarantee, the artists I'm listening to don't get paid for in this scheme.

If they introduce this, I'm going to download so much &%^$*() music it's not even funny. They're already charging me a 'levy' on blank CDs -- if this comes in, and it's not optional, then I'm getting my moneys worth and downloading a shitload of music.

Taxing everybody's internet connection to pay for the proportion of people who actually download is bullshit. If you want to be able to voluntarily pay it, go ahead. But making it mandatory for everybody is a friggin' bad idea.

No. (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391978)

As someone who simply doesn't listen to music, pirated or otherwise, I'm going to go with "no way in Hell".

Re:No. (4, Informative)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392038)

It appears to be opt-in. So if you don't want to have a 'license to download', you don't pay.

It doesn't seem like a terrible idea, though I'd need to see a few more details.

Re:No. (2)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392066)

I'm in a similar boat - I listen to the radio if one of my coworkers puts it on, otherwise I very rarely listen to my 70s and 80s stuff that I probably purchased more than 20 years ago (though have since digitized, of course).

Basically, fuck them. With rusty barbed wire. Rectally.

Re:No. (1)

Zenin (266666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392404)

I listen to the radio if one of my coworkers puts it on,

BZZZT! Your company must ASCAP for a public performance license if anyone at your work is playing a radio that can be heard by anyone besides themselves (your office is not a "a small circle of a family or its social acquaintances"). If that isn't acceptable, listeners are welcome to use headphones.

http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html [ascap.com]

Re:No. (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392148)

I'm not sure whether you should be so quick to dismiss the proposal. Rampant copyright lawsuits hurt everyone, not just those who download.

Re:No. (1, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392424)

Oh please.

Do you really want to pay $10 for downloading songs? You know, even if you don't, it's because everybody does it. How about an extra $10 for downloading movies? It makes sense, everybody does it. And an extra $10 for downloading pirated Microsoft software? There's studies about that, you know. And an extra $10 for ebooks, let's not forget the publishing industry.

The internet surfing population does not owe artits a living. The world has changed, and (music) piracy is here to stay. It's time to reinvent business models so they don't depend on stopping copyright infringement. Adapt or die.

IFF it's *NOT* mandatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391982)

I'll buy into it IF AND ONLY IF it's not mandatory.

Otherwise, frankly, they can fuck off.

We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391992)

They negotiated a levy on all blank CDs long ago, for this same reason.

This is double-dipping.

Better idea - why not make it a levy on iPods and other music players. Why should I have to pay a royalty when I don't download music?

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392072)

You pay for blank audio cds. Does anyone really use those?

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392150)

Depends, do they still make those stupid CD players for component systems that can only write to audio CDs?

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392408)

My mistake - the levy is on ALL CDs, not just the "audio" format ones.

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392430)

You pay for blank audio cds. Does anyone really use those?

Yeah, I burn one every month. Or every month and every LiveCD I download.

Music CDs, no.

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392124)

I think this was actually floated here in Canuckistan early last decade. It never made it into a piece of legislation; it's effectively a tax on any computer with storage that plays music, whether it's a little $50 flash-memory player with cheap plastic buttons to $3500 laptop gaming rigs. There's no hope of equal enforcement, and either the loopholes would be massive or the entire industry would smash it down before it could ever be legislated.

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392266)

Been years since I bought a blank CD or DVD. I have about 30 DVDs left. At current burn rate this will last me a couple of years.

Unless this is really atypical behaviour, they're not getting a lot of money from blank discs.

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392394)

Been years since I bought a blank CD or DVD. I have about 30 DVDs left. At current burn rate this will last me a couple of years. Unless this is really atypical behaviour, they're not getting a lot of money from blank discs.

Which is why they want to get a constant stream of revenue from your internet connection. It's even better than selling you a CD, since they get a constant revenue stream, with no production cost to them.

Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392296)

I'd call it closer to triple dipping. They got years of cassette fees, years of CD fees, and fees from other sources. Fuck'em.

Desperation (1)

Tragek (772040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391994)

Wow, is this how desperate the music business is? Hell, as an artist I'd be pissed; I'd much rather get money from fans willingly, than from everyone by force.

Seriously, how does this make sense?

Re:Desperation (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392052)

It makes sense if people are going to be allowed to download whatever they want without having to fear a lawsuit. Pay the artists (through the record companies, which is suboptimal but good enough), stop suing everyone, and start talking about bringing copyright law in line with new technology, rather than trying to fight against the growth and progress of computers and the Internet.

Re:Desperation (1)

Tragek (772040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392164)

Perhaps; But hasn't iTunes already done most of that? Or am I alone in finding that iTunes is far easier than piracy? Hell, I like iTunes better than piracy because I can hope that at least some of my money gets to an artist.

Re:Desperation (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392240)

I guess it depends on the obscurity of the content.

Re:Desperation (1)

Tragek (772040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392434)

So is this better or worse then, for obscure artists? Are they going to monitor people's downloading to ensure proper distribution? Or is SOCAN just going to flat rate distribute to all it's members? Neither seems tenable nor acceptable (of course, I've a beef against SOCAN ever since they started going after coffee shops).

Re:Desperation (1)

swamp_ig (466489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392272)

Seriously, how does this make sense?

It makes perfect sense! There's also going to be a $10 fee for movies, a $10 fee for video games, a $30 fee for porno (which everyone knows is the most dowloaded on the internet), a $10 microsoft fee, a $10 apple fee so you don't need to pay the app store anymore, a $10 fee for newspapers, a $10 fee for TV shows, ect.

Counter proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391996)

I have a counter proposal. Here it is...
Throw Canadian songwriters into a deep pit filled with raw sewage, punji sticks, and starving dingoes.

Re:Counter proposal (2, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392326)

Throw Canadian songwriters into a deep pit filled with raw sewage, punji sticks, and starving dingoes.

Dear Mr. Coward,

Unlike many harebrained ideas we receive here at Fox, your proposal for a new reality show intrigues us. Please wait by the phone for a call ...

Canadian songwriters?? (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391998)

Eh, that pretty much says it all. /thread

Re:Canadian songwriters?? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392136)

Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Bryan Adams. /comment

Re:Canadian songwriters?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392220)

also (unfortunately) Celine Dion and Justin Bieber.

If It is Such a Good Idea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392000)

If this is such a good idea, why don't the sell the licenses themselves? That's because they want someone else to underwrite their experiment. So even those customers who elect not to purchase a license, they'll be paying through their internet fees for the expense to collect and send the money to the artists.

Nice!

They did it already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392008)

They did this with CDs already. That worked out sooo well.

Wake up (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392024)

When will musicians wake up. If I want your music, then I will buy it. In no way do you deserve to charge me, a law-abiding citizen to do something that I am not even going to do.

And I am sick of people even considering it. It's so stupid. It's just music.

could spark a wave on 'net entrepeurship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392040)

A File Sharing Maximization (FSM) business would quietly help songwriter clients maximize their earnings from the songwriter's association by downloading his/her songs from arrays of desktops (many IP addresses) at varied but realistic times-of-day.

Deaf people think what of this idea? (2)

vik (17857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392046)

Seriously. There are a lot of deaf people and they won't take kindly to pre-paying for something they can't possibly use.

Vik :v)

Re:Deaf people think what of this idea? (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392084)

Funny, because blind people still pay taxes that are used to construct highways, at least as far as I know. People without children still pay taxes that are used to support public schools. So what exactly is wrong with deaf people paying a tax that supports the creation of music (in theory, anyway)?

My issue with this tax is that it is probably not going to result in an end to the recording industry lawsuits. That is the real problem here: they want taxpayer support, while retaining the ability to attack taxpayers who dare to download music.

Re:Deaf people think what of this idea? (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392200)

But blind people still benefit from highways (even though they don't drive, they still ride), and people without children benefit from educational taxes (because, seriously, would you want to put up with someone else's uneducated brat?). The only people this tax would benefit is the RIAA (or whatever the Canadian equivalent is).

Re:Deaf people think what of this idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392334)

Wouldn't society benefit from having a sustainable music industry?

Re:Deaf people think what of this idea? (1)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392360)

Theoretically, doesn't the population at large benefit from creating an culture that is conducive to creating art? I rarely go to museums, but it is my understanding that the NEA puts a great deal of financial effort into many of the things that hang on those walls. What's the difference between childless adults fostering education compared to artistically-agnostic (either due to disability or disinterest) adults fostering the creation of art?

Re:Deaf people think what of this idea? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392270)

My issue with this tax is that it is probably not going to result in an end to the recording industry lawsuits. That is the real problem here: they want taxpayer support, while retaining the ability to attack taxpayers who dare to download music.

No, the bigger issue is that you take a group of people who now feel entitled to a perpetual payout because their business model changed. It may be 'reasonable' in this case (I think it's not) but it opens the door for everyone who feels that the Internet has hurt them financially to seek redress by tacking on fees. So we'll see:

$5.00 for still photographers
$25.00 for movie producers (hey movies cost a lot of money to produce)
$10.00 for the poor forlorn advertising agencies
$15.00 for the porn factories
$4.89 for the ISP to cover administration of the funds.

Now it starts to look like my wireless bill.

10 bucks a month? (4, Insightful)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392050)

So they would want me to add over 25% of cost to my monthly bill in order to download songs - which I wouldn't and don't?

I have a better idea. for that ten bucks a month I can download any song, movie, or game I want. No media protection, no online DRM, and no exceptions. Iron Man 3 would be available for me to grab and watch for free the day it's released.

Otherwise - Get bent.

Making money the old fashioned way... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392056)

When a government does this sort of thing, it's called a tax. When an established church does it, it's a tithe. Sorry, SOCAN, but when anyone else does it, it's just plain old stealing, and I don't mean copyright infringement.

Allocation? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392058)

How does it tell good musicians from bad musicians? If I spray my crotch silver and put furniture in my hair while playing toilet rolls and call myself a "musician", what keeps me from getting the same amount as Lady Gaga?......oh, wait

SOCAN can go fuck itself. (2)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392070)

It's already responsible for all sorts of idiotic laws and levies in Canada that shouldn't exist. It's idiotic.

If you have a wedding at a public venue you rent, you will be charged the 'SOCAN' fee.

Even if you don't play any music.

Even if you have a band playing music that will only play their own songs and they aren't a member of SOCAN.

So I say again,

SOCAN can DIAF.

(I also remember reading a story some time ago about the idiotic SOCAN levy on blank media not actually being paid to any actual musicians.)

However, it's become more and more apparent with every passing day that the CRTC isn't interested in consumers'/citizens' rights, so I'm sure this will go through, and we'll continue to be fucked by Canadian coporations.

Re:SOCAN can go fuck itself. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392286)

I don't know if this is the same in Canada but in the UK shops that sell musical instruments have to pay a levy to the PRS because someone, while testing their potential purchase, might play a copyrighted song with it which to them is a public performance. What a bunch of utter wankers.

WHAT SONGWRITERS ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392104)

Canada? Has songwriters? Name one!

Re:WHAT SONGWRITERS ?? (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392244)

Canada? Has songwriters? Name one!

I will name two. Sarah McLachlan, Loreena McKennitt

Naw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392152)

Our courts have already thrown out all the copyright cases brought before them because they were idiocy. So I'm not worried about reprisal.

Existing levy on blank CDs (2)

click170 (1170151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392154)

Sure, we can talk about adding a 10$ fee to internet bills, but only *after* you rescind the levy on blank media.
Canadians already pay a levy on blank CDs for the expressed purpose of compensating artists.

This is at least workable. (1)

Manuka (4415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392156)

May need to iron out the kinks a little and fine-tune the dollar amount, but conceptually, this is a workable idea (and surprisingly so, coming from the music business!). We've been screaming at the music industry to come up with ideas to allow them to adapt to and survive the new internet reality, and they're delivering on it.

It's not unlike the monthly license paid by commercial entities to Muzak and its ilk for playing background music in public locations or some of the licenses paid by churches for displaying lyrics.

The benefit to end users is the get-out-of-jail-free card for downloading all manner of content. Conceivably, on a package that includes the music/video license, QoS tagging could be implemented to improve the experience, providing the value add to the user. On the flip side, the benefit to an ISP is that they wouldn't have as much administrative headache of dealing with the copyright cops for that class of users. If ISPs have a way of identifying these sorts of users to content providers like Pandora, those content providers could provide a different tier of service, since they wouldn't have licensing to deal with either.

I think it's certainly an idea worth exploring and refining.

Re:This is at least workable. (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392248)

May need to iron out the kinks a little and fine-tune the dollar amount, but conceptually, this is a workable idea (and surprisingly so, coming from the music business!). We've been screaming at the music industry to come up with ideas to allow them to adapt to and survive the new internet reality, and they're delivering on it.

If you really think this is a good idea then you have absolutely no understanding of how the music industry works.

Let's say that the $10 a month fee in enacted. In a couple of years, the record companies will be complaining that too many people are downloading music for free instead of buying it, so the fee needs to be raised to $20. A couple years later, still not enough. Sales are still way down. We need to raise the fee higher. And Higher.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

I can't stop laughing (2)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392258)

It's not unlike the monthly license paid by commercial entities to Muzak

Yes, and it represents a similar level of quality. Really, you think a sanctioned 33% tax (and absolutely certain to grow!) on your internet access is worth supporting and even further entrenching all that auto-tune crap coming from the major labels and clear-channel radio stations?

Re:This is at least workable. (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392322)

Scary thought.. Assuming they can get the kinks out and make it equitable while also being fair..

The recording industry could then open up servers that only those connecting from "taxed" ISPs can go and download every song held by them and potentially the other industries? While you're at their site downloading, there could be advertisements for upcoming shows, merchandise, etc. They might actually make a profit off it.

The only problem I see now is, how will iTunes (not that I use it) survive this? Who would buy a song if they "already paid" via their internet bill and went to site x to get it for "free"?

Sign me up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392162)

Where do I apply for the Canadian Musician Membership Club.

Bridge toll. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392174)

Why not cut to the chase and just toll everyone passing any bridge, junction, road crossing, waterway and then divert the loot to the "intellectual property 'rights' holders" ?

because that is, entirely this.

It's not so abstract... (2)

Thraxy (1782662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392182)

I live in Denmark, and I pay a TV license because I own a computer. Around $400 a year.

Apparently, since the TV network is a "public service", they can charge me, because MAYBE I might go on their website and look at their stream, which isn't even HD. Greed in high places always manages to fuck everyone over in the end... I guess that's the lesson learned.

If I had those $400 extra a year, maybe I could afford a TV set.

Re:It's not so abstract... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392306)

Being charged a fee makes no difference as to whether you go tot he website or not. Your computer is taxed. The tax is earmarked for the TV broadcaster.

It's not like it costs them a different amount if you do or don't watch their output. You don't get charged for that because there's no reason to charge for it. It's just a tax based crudely on the group of people most likely to benefit from the service it pays for.

Re:It's not so abstract... (1)

Thraxy (1782662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392382)

The CEO also left a while ago after some scandal and got a golden handshake... more than 1½ million dollars worth. That leaves a lot of people like me angry at that this is the shit we pay a "media license" for.

Here's an idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392198)

Why don't they offer a service where people can voluntarily pay them $10/month to stream any song they own the rights to and see who signs up.

I want some swag, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392212)

So, to get a cut of that swag, I just have to join SOCAN! Su-weet!

Just Tax Every Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392224)

Why don't we just put an additional 100% tax on everything, and then give everyone a job (or even better, a free check every month) subsidized by those taxes? It's so simple, I don't know why we don't just do that.

Details please! (1)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392280)

There has been some discussion about having a similar system in Sweden. However, the finer details made it clear that while it would be legal to download via BT, it would still be illegal to upload, so you could still be dragged to court for doing something you are paying to be allowed to do. I didn't see any mention of whether or not the Canadian version would allow people to upload as well. Does anybody know?

And let's face it: if you are only allowed to download there is no point is paying the fee since you can be busted for having uploaded the files via BitTorrent.

Song writers? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392300)

"Songwriters Association of Canada" a business that claims to represent song writers, proposed this idea.

The president of this company is famous for writing a song by the name of ""Does a Fool Ever Learn"
Ironic eh?

Music sales... (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392310)

What, exactly, do they think instituting a $10 "download all you want and now we can't sue you for it" tax will do for sales?

How about just saying "we're not assholes, so we're not going to sue you for downloading (or uploading in a torrent), but we'd better not catch you selling pirated copies"? I think that would do wonders for sales; especially given that I don't buy an album until I've listened to the whole thing and people I know who listen to the same music I do are all the same way, so borrowing it from someone else is straight out.

True? (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392330)

From: http://www.windsorstar.com/entertainment/Canadian+songwriters+propose+music+sharing/4387146/story.html [windsorstar.com]

"We aren't entirely sure that anybody other than those people who are directly involved really understand all of the nuances. Without monetizing what happens on the Internet, which is mostly file-sharing, it is going to be very hard for anybody (in music) to make a living."

(emphasis mine)

In essence, if it can be spun and makes money, it's ok. I wonder how many are already salivating on a cut from this cake.

Let me get this (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392352)

Wait let me get this straight, they refuse to provide an easy access to full online music catalogs so people can buy any song they want online yet they want to impose a $10 fee for Internet usage. Yah no thanks I can download all I can already since the 500+ cdr I have in my house paid for that right.

That would give me a 339% price increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392354)

I live in Canada. I pay $2.95 a month for dial-up from 295.ca. Adding $10 on to that works out to a price increase of 339%.

Everything fits into the box you designed, yes? (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392362)

I'm Canadian, I don't download music, how do I opt out?

Make it Opt In (4, Insightful)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392366)

Shooting this down without having a discussion about it is terribly short sighted. We keep complaining that the RIAA and co need to think of better business models. Maybe this is it. I am not opposed to paying 10 dollars a month to download as much music as I want. I am however opposed to it being tacked onto my Internet bill against my will. So why not make this an Opt In option? People who don't download music don't need to Opt In. I could Opt In and download whatever I want without fear of legal reprisal. I don't think that's such a terrible deal. Next it'll be Hollywood wanting it's 10 bucks a month, or Book Publishers. Again, I'd be happy to pay 10 bucks a month to be able to legally download all the movies or books I want to. As long as it's my choice, I think that's a really reasonable price to pay. Having the Internet cost 100 bucks a month because of Entertainment Taxes when all you want is Wikipedia is ridiculous. Being given the OPTION to pay 100 bucks a month with all that Entertainment legally included is actually fairly reasonable.

Opt out for "me" (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392380)

If I am a musician selling music and am not a part of that cartel? And I don't want my music downloaded freely? Let me hear an argument how this would HELP musicians.

Why go to the ISP directly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392388)

If this system is opt-in, just provide a peer-to-peer program that only works if you pay the fee and lets you trade music with the community with impunity. A simple bit torrent tracker system can be used to gauge the popularity of songs to properly distribute the revenue.

They've got the wrong idea (2)

ascii_(!!!!)_comb (2009668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392400)

So this organization's idea is: they perceive that they are being robbed, hence to rectify the situation, they are going to rob the masses by force. Second, they're not going to provide any downloading services at all despite taking money from people. These people suck at business and morals.
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