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$5 Per Month Fee Proposed For Legal Music P2P

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-nice-to-have-somebody-do-my-budget-for-me dept.

Music 528

sneakyimp writes "Both Wired and Ars Technica have reports on Jim Griffin's proposal that ISPs charge each broadband customer $5 per month to subsidize the ailing music industry. The resulting fund would ostensibly 'compensate songwriters, performers, publishers and music labels.' Although no specific version of the proposal has been referenced, a number of controversies are inherent to the plan: How is the money really divided? What happens when the MPAA, the Business Software Alliance, and various other industry groups want their own surcharge added? What about the supposed majority of broadband customers who never download illegal music? Griffin discussed the plan further at SXSW . We've previously discussed a similar proposal from the Songwriters Association of Canada.

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Stupid. (5, Interesting)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746498)

Presumes you're a criminal otherwise.
And by paying it, you admit it.

Re:Stupid. (5, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746588)

They've pulled this BS before. It's why there's a surcharge on "Music" CDRs. It's not actually legalizing it, it's just their way getting more money. And any time you see a list regarding compensation in this order: "songwriters, performers, publishers and music labels", you know for sure it's exactly the other way around. Music labels will take almost all of the money, then the publishers, then the performers, and last but not least, the songwriters.

Re:Stupid. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746728)

Music labels will take almost all of the money, then the publishers, then the performers, and last but not least, the songwriters.
In this case I think it's safe to say "last AND least".

Re:Stupid. (2, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746738)

> It's why there's a surcharge on "Music" CDRs. It's not actually legalizing it, it's just their way getting more money.

It is my understanding that the surcharge DID legalize duplicating music CDs in Canada.

But you are right of course, its just a money grab.

Re:Stupid. (1, Insightful)

pizpot (622748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746682)

If this goes down we'll shut our internet a couple months per year. I'd rather suffer than pay the RIAA for nothing. I already pay them for music cds I buy.

Re:Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746830)

No doubt. And this to me is the same as saying convenience stores are getting robbed too much and the poor proprietors aren't doing well. So let's tax the citizens $5 more to give out to them because the robbers get away on public roads.

Re:Stupid. (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746852)

Right, but the simple idea of doing this presumes that the ISPs would go along. I think that if the cost of internet went up by much my Mother would cancel her ISP and do without. Add to that people who cancel because it is offensive, and then multiply each by thousands, and you have ISPs loosing tons of money.

This just isn't a political reality.

Re:Stupid. (3, Insightful)

EmotionToilet (1083453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746950)

So now they expect us to buy our freedom and pay off the bullies. Seems like a terrible plan to me. How about they produce music worth paying for, and I'll cough up the $5 on my own accord.

Make it voluntary?? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746514)

ISPs sell different broadband packages, why not have a media package?

normal price +$5 for music downloads
maybe +$20 for tv & movies?

Its definitely a step in the right direction.

Re:Make it voluntary?? (1)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746632)

But how would they separate all the legitimate P2P traffic from the copyright-infringing stuff? Would non-"media package" users just be banned from P2P altogether?

Re:Make it voluntary?? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746704)

P2P nothing.

If I'm paying you a monthly fee, you are going to be hosting a reliable service. You will have an iTunes music store/Amazon store/whatever.

If I pay you, I'm not putting up with random qualities, names, ID3 tags, missing seeders, etc. I don't care how obscure my tastes, you have to host it for me. That's our deal: I pay, you let me download.

I expect better service than P2P for $5 a month.

Re:Make it voluntary?? (1)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746956)

I agree, but my comment was reacting to the terms of the proposal. I think that both the technical issues and issues of customer experience like the one you raise would make this incredibly difficult. The problem, of course, is that this extra $5 is presumably thought of by the industry as a penalty for criminals who are already ripping them off, not a payment by legitimate customers who can expect decent service in return.

Re:Make it voluntary?? (1)

BudVVeezer (585625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746654)

Uh... if you can opt in to download "illegal" content via P2P, doesn't that just make it easier for the content providers to track you down to sue you?

Re:Make it voluntary?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746808)

That would absolutely be the coolest thing ever.

Re:Make it voluntary?? (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746988)

I think it is a huge step in the wrong direction. The ISPs would get us used to having to pay extra for media and then, one day soon after, they'll start specifying where you get that media. Vaguely, at first, but more and more specific as time goes on. Pretty soon, you'll subscribe to the internet just like your cell or cable TV service: starting at 500 websites/p2p files for only $39.99 and up. Anything that gets us one step closer to this is one step in the wrong direction.

Distribution (3, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746520)

Or the record industry could stop living in the past and have modern cost effective (fair) distribution model that makes sense to modern internet users.

Re:Distribution (1, Troll)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746554)

They'll never be able to match free. This actually seems like a modern, cost effective and fair distribution model to me. Out of curiosity, what about it doesn't meet that criteria?

Re:Distribution (2, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746606)

Free doesn't mean "fair" (unless you like getting paid $00.00 for your time). Artists are already getting screwed by by the record industry without consumers adding to the fire. What Im looking at is a distribution system were artists and consumers don't get screwed and it isn't very expensive (iTunes fails on these two points accept ease of use).

Re:Distribution (2, Insightful)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746978)

I don't think you can blame iTunes for screwing the artists. iTunes needs access to music more than the labels need access to iTunes, so Apple doesn't really have the leverage to argue for better terms on the artists' behalf yet. I think this will change rapidly soon, though. Radiohead and NIN won't be the first or the last high-profile artists to tell the labels to fark off, and when more high-visibility groups find out what Prince learned (self-publishing = many more times the revenue, even if you only sell a fraction of what you used to) I think we're going to see a sea-change in the industry. The other thing that I'm waiting on is the music version of a Tila Tequila, but with talent. I want to see a singer / band that attracts a huge following and provokes a bidding war, then signs with iTunes or some other electronic distributor, bypassing the labels entirely. And before the Bonnaroo crowd starts yelling about Phish or DMB or some similar group, I realize that they've already attracted huge followings before going with labels. What I'm talking about is someone who isn't from the tour-tour-tour to build a following mold, but a group that goes straight from recording in their basement to being the next U2 or Smashing Pumpkins or Public Enemy, all without ever going near a traditional label. Once we get the first one of those, I think the old model will finally be destroyed and we'll see the new way of distribution become the way it is, as opposed to the way it should be.

Re:Distribution (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746842)

> This actually seems like a modern, cost effective and fair distribution model to me.
> Out of curiosity, what about it doesn't meet that criteria?

How about the bit where they have no content I am interested in, but I still have to pay?
How about the bit that a private group now gains the right to tax all broadband users just
    on a suspicion that they might some day download something?

You MIGHT transport my stolen lawn sculptures in your car. Therefore, I want the right to be paid
  $2.35 for all users of the public roadways. Now can you see the problem?

Somebody mod parent Troll.

Money for nuthin'... (1)

snowful (1231472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746532)

...and their chics are still free.

This is ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

Dice (109560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746538)

So, if I'm charged this $5/mo fee does that mean they can no longer prosecute me if I download music? Or are they going to do that as well?

Now, if we were talking about a $5/mo (or even $10/mo) fee to be able to download and listen to, burn, copy, whatever as much high quality DRM-free music as I want.... well, suffice to say that I'd be too busy clicking links and breaking out my credit card to make this post.

Re:This is ridiculous. (1)

desenz (687520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746720)

Totally agree. Right now I don't spend near $5 a month on recorded music(unless satellite radio counts), but I'd be glad to to know that I could grab what I wanted to without getting sued.

Re:This is ridiculous. (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746876)

Totally agree. Right now I don't spend near $5 a month on recorded music(unless satellite radio counts), but I'd be glad to to know that I could grab what I wanted to without getting sued.
Would you be willing to spend $5 a month to join a Copyright Infringement insurance pool? You pay up front (less than $60) and in return the insurance will cover negotiation & settlement for 1 year.

If you know how many people the **AA has sued so far, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out how many people would need to sign up (and which would need to be excluded) to make the running of such an insurance pool a profitable venture.

$4.99 for RIAA (5, Insightful)

eightball01 (646950) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746546)

$0.01 for everyone else.

If I'm paying an 'illegal download tax'... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746550)

...then you'd better fucking believe I'm gonna be illegally downloading some goddamn music.

ADAPT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL, you greedy fucking cockknockers! Don't keep trying to prop up the old one!

Well (3, Insightful)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746592)

I see this as their new business model. They may not make mega-millions with a flat tax like this, but they will always have the bare minimum to survive.

Re:Well (3, Informative)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746928)

I see this as their new business model.

I wonder what one has to do to qualify as part of this music publishing business? Everyday, I pass subway musicians with decent home burned CDs for sale. I have even bought a few, in fact one of my favorite classical CDs is direct from the musician. They are a part of the "music industry" how do they go about getting their cut?

I wonder what.... (1)

Vanyali (1146181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746558)

I wonder what would happen if someone figured out how to torrent a car.

Re:I wonder what.... (3, Funny)

Dice (109560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746580)

We would need much larger tubes.

Re:I wonder what.... (4, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746818)

I wonder what would happen if someone figured out how to torrent a car.

We are laying the legal groundwork for that problem right now (albeit unknowingly). With nanomachines on the horizon, it won't be more than 50 years till you will have access to a formulator capable of replicating a car. But someone will still have to design the car in the first place. We will be up against the exact same problems we are now with music. People will be trading atom-level model files for Ferraris over the intarwebs. Toss in your old car, a design file, and a whole lot of power (assuming we haven't hit, or have solved, the peak oil problem by then), and you get a new car.

It will be the end of natural scarcity of manufactured goods, but not the end of scarcity of energy, good design, or the rarer raw materials. While I loathe the current state of Intellectual Monopoly law, it will be necessary to continue to compensate creators (not necessarily labels) for their work, and the fields where the cost of design can be hidden in the price of the manufactured good will dwindle.

The laws that will protect cars 50 years from now are the laws we are using today to attempt to protect music. Maybe cops will ask for "License, registration, and proof of designer royalty payment, please?"

But then, we'll probably just be the computers' pets by then anyway, so no need to worry.

So... (3, Informative)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746560)

Basically the same amount our northern neighbors pay (as taxes) to keep their MAFIAA on a leash? Maybe we should just copy their entire section of IP laws.

How will they sue us? (1)

stevedmc (1065590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746562)

How are the record companies going to continue to sue people if everyone and their grandma are forced to pay a $5 royalty every month?

They're losing money (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746676)

They lose money from all the law suits. I'm not talking about future sales from pissed off customers. They've actually said they are taking a loss to "stop piracy" (read: scare the shit out of you, so you buy their crap)

This is genius, now they'll make free money from every internet connection while saving money by not having to pay all those legal fees. The funny thing is, they could still release every thing with DRM. Then they can just sue you for breaking the DRM (they'd have about the same amount of evidence as their current trials, a few of which they've won).

On top of that, there will be idiots that pay the fee and still buy the real CDs - because it is what they've always done.

Again? (2, Funny)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746568)

Didn't they do this with blank CDs a few years ago? Then the indemnification ended, but the tax that's passed back to the RIAA remained.

Maybe if the $5/mo was a voluntary "add on" fee granting immunity from copyright suits it might work.

Oh, almost forgot to include the obligatory Fuck The RIAA line.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746614)

If I found out I was paying a tax on blank cds/dvds (which I use for data backups) I would give away some copies to get my money's worth.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746734)

I use CDs/DVDs for data backup, not music, so I guess they are stealing from me. I should go download a ton of stuff - I feel owed.

Like a tax... (2, Interesting)

lastomega7 (1060398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746572)

...to support illegally download music?

Apple won't like it... (2, Insightful)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746574)

Who'll pay extra for iTunes if they're already paying to use P2P whether they like it or not?

This is an utterly ridiculous idea. It taxes those who don't download copyright-infringing files to pay for those who do - and who will probably continue to download much more than $5-worth of tracks, subsidised by others.

Illegal downloaders need to stop freeloading off the rest of us and pay for the things they want.

Illegal downloaders? (1, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746686)

"Illegal downloaders need to stop freeloading off the rest of us and pay for the things they want."

Sorry, you shouldn't blame the downloaders, blame the uploaders, as they are the enablers of the whole thing.

Did you just arrive from Digg?

Re:Illegal downloaders? (1)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746798)

Because none of us should be expected not to break the law when someone makes it easy for us to do so? So looting shops during riots is okay; we should blame the rioters not the thieves?

There is more to personal responsibility than "if it's difficult I'll refrain from doing it."

Re:Illegal downloaders? (1)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746892)

we should blame the rioters not the thieves?

Not the rioters, we should blame the shops. All those shiny goods enabled our need for looting...

Re:Illegal downloaders? (1)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746812)

Err, that's really a completely false statement. That's the sort of thing that leads to banning things because they could potentially be used for something bad. Downloaders are just as in the wrong as uploaders are. I'm as anti-**AA as anyone here, but claiming that uploaders are somehow to blame while downloaders somehow aren't is really silly- either they're both wrong or neither is.

How about. . .? (4, Insightful)

MistaE (776169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746576)

Give everyone that doesn't download music a $5 discount? They already charge most of us up the ass and throttle d/l and u/l speeds as it is. Why should we pay anything additional?

Holy crap, a ticket to pirate! (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746586)

If they assume I'm a criminal, then I feel pretty good about actually being one. That $5 would morally open the floodgates to me downloading everything my cable modem can gobble.

IT's like the "We think you are a pirate" tax on the Zune.

Treat me like a criminal and I'm much more likely to actually turn into one.

Sheldon

How is this different from taxation? (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746594)

How is this different from taxation, and subsidising culture from public funds?

Re:How is this different from taxation? (3, Insightful)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746762)

In Canada we already subsidies "Canadian" content/culture from public funds. And it's different from a tax, since in a tax the money goes to the government. In this case the money goes to artists (supposedly). Functionally (to the end user) there is no difference at all. On the note of subsidizing culture with public funds, I totally think that government should be doing that. Museums, art galleries, stuff like that are a wonderful resource for the people.

Taxation GENERALLY is useful; This is not (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746778)

It is subsidizing an industry that is dying because ppl do not want their crap. This would be akin to us paying a fee on our cars to support buggy whip makers. So far, nearly ALL of RIAA studies have been shown to be flawed at best, and outright lies at worst.

Re:Taxation GENERALLY is useful; This is not (1)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746940)

It is subsidizing an industry that is dying because ppl do not want their crap.

Yep, that music industry is dying, look at that poor pathetic creature, it's on it's last legs...

Re:How is this different from taxation? (1, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746822)

You can choose not to have broadband. You can't choose to not pay taxes.

Re:How is this different from taxation? (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746874)

You can choose not to have broadband. You can't choose to not pay taxes.

How is this different from a tax on ADSL lines, then?

stimulating the industry? (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746598)

I spend considerably more than 5 bucks on music a month. If I'm paying to download music off the net, I suspect that I may be less motivated to pay more than 5 bucks a month for music.

Opt-in could make this work (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746600)

Why not? If you download a single CD a month, that $5 pays for it, right?

In return, the **AA's have to waive any right to come after you in civil court. Users get their 'free' downloads, the **AA's get a bit of cash, and everyone walks away happy. Some ISPs may even respond (as pointed out earlier) with 'media' packages, or adjust their own pricing to compensate.

Ridiculous idea (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746618)

It may sound like a noble and interesting idea to some, but there are other issues besides the fact that it will be nearly impossible to divide the money correctly.

The real issue here is the morality of the fee. Those who are pirates download content worth significantly more than $5. This fee would be no problem to a person who downloads hundreds of songs per month, but a technologically impaired senior who wants to communicate with his children who live in another state/country will also have to pay.

If such fee would pass, then I say we should pay $1 to reimburse victims of pedophilia, who were victimized over the internet. And many other types of victims, of course.

My point is obviously that the music industry should have no say in this matter, nor any other industry or company. Or we could flip the coin and make the music industry pay for the rehabilitation of all drug users who snorted coke while listening to Kurt Cobain, or small girls who cannot handle the pressure of looking like Christina Aguilera.

Re:Ridiculous idea (2, Insightful)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746712)

The real issue here is the morality of the fee. Those who are pirates download content worth significantly more than $5.

What you are raising is the issue of the morality of taxation. We pay taxes for education, whether we have children or not, because we believe that society as a whole benefits from schools.

a technologically impaired senior who wants to communicate with his children who live in another state/country will also have to pay.

That's why taxation is usually progressive.

Re:Ridiculous idea (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746754)

What you are raising is the issue of the morality of taxation. We pay taxes for education, whether we have children or not, because we believe that society as a whole benefits from schools.
Except for the vital point that your government taxes you, not corporations.

Re:Ridiculous idea (2, Insightful)

sempernoctis (1229258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746966)

What you are raising is the issue of the morality of taxation. We pay taxes for education, whether we have children or not, because we believe that society as a whole benefits from schools.
And look how the public education system has turned out. If this were to happen, not only would consumers not be paying according to how much they consume, but the artists (and record labels and everyone else on that side of the equation) can't be compensated based on the value of their product. The MAFIAA and its members would work out a disbursement system among themselves based on who can waive the biggest proverbial stick at the negotiating table, and that would be that.

Re:Ridiculous idea (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746970)

Schools are not (yet) private corporations.

Society as a whole does not benefit in any way from the RIAA labels. Society could run along just fine without them. This is for the benefit of private corporations, not the benefit of society as a whole. The money will go to relatively few already-rich people, after being taken from very many people of varying income levels. These corporations are not, in fact, running in any sort of deficit of funds. They're currently profitable. This is simply an attempt to gain more profit on the backs of internet users.

Music artists aren't the only people who have their copyrights infringed on through internet piracy. There are authors, movie studios, game developers, software developers. Would you propose they be allowed to assess fees as well?

Basically, what this tax does is subsidize the music pirates at the cost of everyone else, and funnel money into some wealthy corporations. So the few gain on the backs of the many.

Re:Ridiculous idea (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746846)

The real issue here is the morality of the fee. Those who are pirates download content worth significantly more than $5. This fee would be no problem to a person who downloads hundreds of songs per month, but a technologically impaired senior who wants to communicate with his children who live in another state/country will also have to pay.

So... it's like school tax.

Re:Ridiculous idea (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746982)

Yes, because you don't benefit whatsoever by having a reasonably educated community.

yes! (2, Funny)

kometes (64603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746622)

This is outstanding. Pay the $5, dissolve the RIAA, wait a month, and drop the fee.

I love paying for stuff I don't use (0, Redundant)

cunamara (937584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746624)

Great, here's a plan. Jack up my broadband costs by $5 per month to subsidize the incompetent music industry... BUT I DON'T DO P2P! I don't download music in general because MP3's suck to listen to. The only downloaded music I have is legal Dead shows, downloaded mostly in lossless formats. Every torrent application I have tried was pitifully slow, much slower than a simple download from a server, since there were usually more leechers than peers (not to mention all those Comcast users with throttled bandwidth). Who needs that bullshit?

It sort of reminds me of a few years back when I was an independent contractor and the business's worker's compensation company tried to charge me $50 a month to not be insured by them.

The idiots in the music business need to get a clue. And frankly, at this point, who the heck cares if the majors go belly up? It's not like it'd be a huge loss in terms of great art.

Surcharge (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746628)

The "what if I don't want to" argument is a little weak in my opinion. If you are forced to pay it, I'm guessing you would end up using it (since you are already paying). If I had access to all of the songs on the iTunes Music Store, you can bet I would take advantage of it. I don't now because I don't want to pay for the tracks.

The "what about other groups" argument is fantastic. I don't know how someone could reasonably question how something like this become a precedent, causing every group under the sun to suddenly jump out and demand the same thing.

What I worry about is what happens if this goes into effect and gets challenged. I think it's safe to say that someone could mount a good challenge here in the US based on some law. So if I "take advantage" of this forced fee then it gets ruled illegal, do they get to come after me for all the music I "stole"? Do I have to give up everything I downloaded under the plan?

The "how do we divvy up the loot" question is the worst one. Do we put one group in charge (like the RIAA)? Do we really expect them to be fair to all the artists who aren't a member of their group? Or do only they get paid, thus effectively making the a de-facto monopoly? Does that mean there are "good" artists (who my fee pays for) and "bad" artists (who my fee doesn't, thus I can't download their stuff)? Should we let the government run it, thus making it an entitlement bureaucracy? Does every artist get an even share (good for little guys), or do the big artists get more (they are more popular... after all). Does the medium matter? Does my fee pay for me to have the rights to get free sheet music? Why not? If I'm an artist, can I opt out of this saying "no one downloads my music, despite the fee"?

There are so many unanswered/unanswerable questions for this. I don't know how they can push this with a straight face. I'm guessing most of their answers would be something along the lines of "don't worry about it".

The Canadian media tax doesn't seem to have helped much, or solved any of these questions. Why would the US be any different... just because it's a different medium being taxed?

They see $$$, they want in. They could build a subscription MP3 store (real MP3s), band together, and create a de facto (optional) "music tax" that people could pay and use. They don't need to force it through regulation... unless they aren't really looking out for our interests. That can't be true...

Be sure to write Jim G. a note! (2, Interesting)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746630)

For anyone who's interested, I've posted my correspondence [jaith.net] with Jim. He definitely seems to be a lobbyist of some kind. He doesn't address the issues, he just doles out some rhetoric.

So then we can download...... (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746644)

If this fee is forced on you, then you are entitled to download the crap out of your connection from P2P.

Why ? Because you are charged for the music.

Even though I never burnt a song onto CD back 10 years ago in Europe, I had to pay extra for each writable CD to cover the piracy fees of the poor music industry. Well, that system was also an introduction into warez and music downloads. Even though I exclusively used CDs for backups, learning about this stupidity quickly made me discover how much stuff is available to download, and how easy it is to rip a cd or copy it.

Now the crap starts with the net then, and when it gets here I will be forced to pirate stuff to justify it.

What happen to free market economy? (3, Insightful)

Opr33Opr33 (1180091) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746646)

Make a good product and it will sell. Don't charge me when I avoid your product.

Re:What happen to free market economy? (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746750)

If they knew how they wouldn't be in this situation now would they?

Musician Welfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746702)

So if this happens can I sign up as a musician and get my cut?

(Not that the RIAA won't take most of it anyway)

Subsidy for accountants (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746708)

I think we should also ask for a $5.00 tax on every copy of Turbo Tax that is sold.
Every one of those babies costs a tax preparer a client.

It's a good idea (0, Redundant)

doofusclam (528746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746714)

I pay $5 a month, and my IP address is immune from any RIAA lawsuits concerning music torrents.

I would pay that, and so would anyone I know. Somehow however I think their idea won't work like that.

Re:It's a good idea (1)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746964)

if it was opt-in, I wouldnt pay it, I dont download music illegally now, but if I paid five dollars and i could download all the music I wanted, Id need absolute proof that my money would go to the artist, or at the very least the copyright holder, regardless of whether thats a label or not. without that proof, its a no-go for me.

Gladly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746716)

I'd gladly pay $10/month, assuming that it is voluntary and I get to choose the distribution of which organisations receive how much of my $10.

Both those things are important because they guard against the slippery slope of more and more "IP-owning" organisations wanting their "cut" of the revenue. This isn't just about music, it's also movies, and software, and e-books, and ... you-name-it. The list of organisations who might want to skim money from this income stream is endless, so let the user decide who will be paid.

However, I might add that this solution is pretty much equivalent to the music industry or whoever setting up their own subscription download service, and I could join it for $5/month. If they share the files through BT and I have to be a member to talk to their tracker, the cost to the RIAA of bandwidth would be much lower.

More taxes (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746724)

First it was a tax on all digital recordable media (minus DAT, I think) to compensate and cover for musicians and the music industry, now there's talk of a surcharge to our network connections?

Hey, idea. Does that mean the *AA's have to pay that fee as well? If all of us have to, why shouldn't they? They're connected to the internet as well, they should be forced to pay this per month, but since they're holding large amounts of bandwidth, they should pay EXTRA. After all, their connection can download more music than my connection could. They face a greater threat of piracy within their own network!

See how my useless and nonsensical argument puts all this bullshit in it's proper light? It's ALL FUCKING STUPID.

JUST SAY NO (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746740)

The industry is ailing because customers are fleeing them. Ppl are tired of the fleecing. It is not because ppl are stealing the music that they claim. My bet is that RIAA and the majority of the labels will be gone within 7 years.

Anyone Surprised at Their Logic (3, Insightful)

zentec (204030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746742)

I'm not surprised that the proponents of the music industry would come up with concepts such as these. I'm sure they rationalize that people already subsidize shoplifters through higher prices at the store, so since broadband is used to pilfer their product, every one who uses broadband should pay. While it's true, we all pay higher costs due to shoplifters, the store has an incentive to reduce losses or the prices will become prohibitive and customers won't shop there any longer. This surcharge does nothing to cause music producers to change their ways to prevent losses, it forces the liability of bad business decisions upon non-customers.

Those who think this is a good idea should take note that nowhere in this Jim person's argument does it stipulate that the $5 per month surcharge is blanket authorization to download everything and anything. Your $5 gets you the privilege of still paying $.99 at iTunes, or a $12 per month Rhapsody account or running out to Wal-Mart and plunking down $20 for a CD. The music industry will continue to label the internet the tool of choice for music "thieves", because doing so is necessary to justify the $5 per month stipend.

I'm hopeful that the ISPs will tell these people to go get bent. There is a very real possibility of a consumer boycott over this issue, especially from the honest customers who do not download music. If my ISP proudly proclaimed they were collecting this fee, I'd go without broadband.

As far as seeking legislative relief, I don't think too many legislators are going to want to be seen with the hot potato of asking consumers to fork over $5 to help the music industry. It's an election year and a down economy, what fool would suggest...aside from Ted Stevens, Pelosi...well, maybe seeking legislative relief isn't such an idle threat. Get ready to write a lot of letters.

Hey! What about us? (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746744)

You levy music piracy and you will swiftly end up having to levy for movies and software.

Solution (4, Interesting)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746746)

The solution:

-- There should be a license that you pay for only if you're interested, and if you pay this license you're allowed to download music.

By subscribing to the license, you make a legally binding promise to follow certain simple rules that apply for this license.

-- If you also want to make music available for others to download, you indicate this when you subscribe to the license. This again involves a legally binding promise to follow rules that apply for this kind of license.

-- When you make music available for others to download, you must use software that is approved for this purpose. Getting such software approved should be very easy, because the requirements are simple.

One requirement is that this software record and report statistics about how many times each song is downloaded. The money from the license fees gets distributed to artists and music companies based on these statistics.

Another requirement on this software is that it make an automatic check that the software that requests the download displays a currently valid license.

With this scheme, regular Joes who provide music for others have no economic incentive to trick the system. That's important. It means that lots of software can be easily approved.

Music companies do have an incentive to trick the system, so as to inflate their own statistics. Checks against this will be needed. In addition, because of this, the statistics should probably be arranged in such a way that any number of downloads from the same license counts as a single download.

Did the submitter RTFA? (1)

zookie (136959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746774)

From the summary:

How is the money really divided?

From TFA:

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.

Re:Did the submitter RTFA? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746906)

Did you read between the lines?

This means they will demand the right to monitor (or own) all p2p sites.

That "answer" poses more questions than it answers.

Finally figured it out (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746784)

Why all this fascination with music? All this effort put into creating it and stealing it and breaking DRM and trying to protect it? I finally figured it out. It is to allow a very large number of people to make money by doing something that adds absolutely nothing to this world. It is all fluff and does not make anything better. It simply wastes a lot of time and effort and money that could be put to better use.

People need to realize this and just give it up.

Re:Finally figured it out (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22747002)

How does music not add to the world? Art (all forms) enriches the human experience. Fine art enriches the human experience more than mediocre art. Fine art is relatively rare, and time consuming for a person to produce. Charging for it make perfect sense. If humanity has been making and enjoying art for longer than humans have been living in 'civilized' fashion, then there's certainly a good reason it exists.

pay tax and get sued, alright! (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746788)

I don't want to pay those retards $5/month for their crap. I buy CDs or iTunes downloads when there's something I want. Which isn't very often these days. Most of the crap they sell, I do not want. I do not steal. And I do not want to pay $5 that I will get nothing in return for. Besides, these guys will still go on sueing people, right? We know they will. If they're going to sue for damages, they don't deserve a tax from us honest folks, and they don't deserve to be double-dipping into the wallets of the people they will sue.

Sounds Great (2, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746796)

I pay my 5 bucks, and now Steve Jobs will let me download as much as I want from iTunes for free!!! Same with Amazon. Right?

Or do you expect me to pay twicT?

Re:Sounds Great (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746878)

I pay my 5 bucks, and now Steve Jobs will let me download as much as I want from iTunes for free!!! Same with Amazon. Right? Or do you expect me to pay twice?

I think you may be on to something. Online stores - especially iTunes - have increasing leverage with record labels. They have millions of customers, and they're taking away business from traditional CD sales.

Makes the whole one-hour-of-crap-plus-one-good-song-on-a-shiny-piece-of-plastic model harder to sell for $10 a pop when you can get the one good song for $1. This could be a ploy just to either take away business from "legitimate" online stores, or to make those stores more expensive.

$5? I'd go for it (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746820)


If the music I wanted was freely and legally available for download from the internet in lossless un-DRMed form I'd be perfectly willing to sell out $5 per month for access to this music. I currently spend about 10 times that per month for my music acquisitions.

Great idea (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746834)

Now I'm expected to pay for the illegal downloaders? It's not exactly making me happy with either side since I don't download.

Minority/Majority (5, Insightful)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746848)

They've been repeatedly telling us that the minority of users use the majority of the bandwidth (for P2P). So why would they tax the majority of users then? Of course it makes no sense.

Some other fees they might consider... (3, Funny)

techmuse (160085) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746854)

The sports rebroadcasting fee, to compensate sports networks for their broadcasts that you retransmit

The politicians opponents fee, to compensate them for money that you don't give to their campaigns

The tapped powergrid fee, because you might tap into the power grid at some point

The Emperor's club fee, because you might use the services of an illegal prostitution ring and not get caught (and not be the governor of a large state).

What? You don't do any of these things? Then why should you pay for it? Instead, you should pay a fee to ME, for no particular reason, other than I think you should give me your money whether I've given you anything in return or not! :-)

What about non-RIAA music? (5, Insightful)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746896)

None of the bands I listen to and download are RIAA members. How will my money get to them?

RIAA will never go for it. (2, Insightful)

jrhawk42 (1028964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746900)

The music industry is moved by a few major labels, and those labels hate variety which is exactly what p2p provides (and for free). If people are given a free run of the artist they can listen to their choices will expand a lot, and to be competitive major labels would need to sign a wider variety of acts thus cutting in on the corporate profit. Not to mention all the other problems with how reimbursement is going to work with this system. Personally I think artist will give up trying to sell the music, and focus more on property rights, merchandise, and concerts.

I don't infringe copyright. (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746910)

I don't infringe copyright (I refuse to say "steal music"), therefore I shouldn't have to pay for those that do.

This is a totally stupid proposal, unless the understanding is that 100% of Americans *do* infringe copyrights. In which case: why is this a crime?

-J

No, and fuck this idea. (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746914)

I don't pirate music. In fact, I pay for music downloads.

Who else gets subsidized later? The MPAA? Movies cost more than music to make. Are they getting a $10 fee? What about authors? A very good PDF is about the same size as an MP3, and OCR is getting pretty good. They get $5 too? I'm sure video games are pirated. That's another $5. Who am I missing? Software companies... hey, Free Software, too! Let's double US Broadband prices in case users infringe on someone's copyrights!

I thought of this back in the days of Napster (3, Insightful)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746938)

Everyone who wants legal music pays $5/month, and the money is pooled, with the entire pot allocated to artists proportional to downloads. It would bring the underground P2P industry "above the radar" and the artists would get a tiny share of a huge pie instead of a big share of nothing. Honestly, I spend even LESS on music now, but $60/yr is about as much as this is worth to me.

Even by the most conservative estimates, it would produce hundreds of millions of dollars per year in royalties. Or they can maintain the status quo and get nearly nothing. If it were me, I would take the money. But what do I know?

Back when the original Napster was under attack, I suggested this as a reasonable plan. Nobody thought the music industry would accept an "all you can eat" plan at such a low price. But today's P2P reality is exactly that at a price of $0. When the music industry finished overplaying their hand, $0 was the only price left on the table. It's like playing "Deal or No Deal", turning down all the offers, holding out for the $1M prize, only to watch the entire board clear, leaving the $.01 prize. Considering where the music industry is today, $5/month from a huge population is no longer a lowball offer.

If it were ridiculously cheap, I would have no problem with throwing some coffee money into music. It would probably renew my interest in the product. As it stands today, I have an Ipod full of ripped CDs I bought over the last 20 years, and I can listen to the classics indefinitely. At $18.95 per disc, I won't be seen in the music store anytime soon.

But I don't download Music !!!!! (1)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746948)

I have never D/l any music. I have a cd collection and some iTunes. I can honestly say I've never shared online. Why do I have to pay ?

How much for movies? (3, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746954)

How many dollars per month for

Movies
Games
Software Applications
TV
Books
Comics
Anime
Audiobooks
Pictures

It adds up. And how are they going to determine who gets how much? Oh I guess I know the answer to that. The collector agency gets the bigger part, and the rest is distributed based on some kind of algorithm that favors the current big coorporations.

Cool (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746980)

five bucks a month for an unlimited license to download movies and music and television shows?

I'm in!

Good idea in theory, hard in practice (1)

paxundae (1031998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746984)

This is actually a good idea, not an **AA scam as some have suggested. But it would have to be everyone paying it (at least for now...deep packet inspection is getting easier every day) because otherwise it's impossible to weed out the cheaters. The RIAA and other groups are starting to come around to the idea that a blanket license may be the best way to get some money out of it. It's cheaper for them (they don't need to run an iTunes-esque service, nor sue thousands of people to try and scare the rest) and easier for the public. The idea would be a negotiated license, probably with rates overseen by the DoC, between the ISPs and the rights-holders of digital media, at least music and video. They would agree not to sue for anything, and the ISPs collect extra money and hand it over. The big hold up thus far has been how to divide the money that the ISPs collect. You want to do it on a pro rata basis in order to encourage people to be new and inventive to gain popularity, but it's hard to measure. You would sample content available and content being downloaded on a variety of networks, possibly do user surveys, and need to come up with an exchange rate (e.g. a movie is worth more than a song). If you haven't downloaded music or movies before and feel like this would just be a way to cheat you out of $5, remember that you could now start downloading, safe in the knowledge that it is going to the artists (assuming we get it divided up and delivered properly, which will be nontrivial). Possibly you could opt-out, but to do that you would need to have a way of blocking transfers to those users who haven't paid the license fee. Right now, we can't do it (and given current internet architecture, it's hard to imagine how we ever could, even with DPI, unless we block all encrypted traffic or impose harsh bandwidth limits). A group (couldn't find a link now, still looking) has been trying this in China, figuring that the Chinese IP system is still developing and open to new ideas, and that a good example there could lead to change in Europe and the U.S., but the sticking point of how to divide up the collected monies has stalled it for now.

or, we could... (1)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746996)

boycott all isps and internet and go back to using abaci [or at least floppy disks]

I already pay my monthly dues... (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22747006)

I don't download music. It's too much "work" for some stuff to listen to when I'm looking for mindless entertainment while driving around, etc. Instead, I pay my money to XM radio (77/yr...google forums for it).

As for having something with me when I'm not in the car? That's why I have Phil Hendrie clips on my phone and a bluetooth headset.

Grump
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