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Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing

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August 17, 2004 12:02:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

A Better Way Forward:
Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing

"Let the Music Play" White Paper


The current battles surrounding peer-to-peer file sharing are a
losing proposition for everyone. The record labels continue to face
lackluster sales, while the tens of millions of American file sharers
-- American music fans -- are made to feel like criminals. Every day
the collateral damage mounts -- privacy at risk, innovation stymied,
economic growth suppressed, and a few unlucky individuals singled out
for legal action by the recording industry. And the litigation
campaign against music fans has not put a penny into the pockets of
artists.


We need a better way forward.


The Premises


First, artists and copyright holders deserve to be fairly
compensated.


Second, file sharing is here to stay. Killing Napster only spawned
more decentralized networks. Most evidence suggests that file sharing
is at least as popular today as it was before the lawsuits began.


Third, the fans do a better job making music available than the
labels. Apple's iTunes Music Store brags about its inventory of over
500,000 songs. Sounds pretty good, until you realize that the fans
have made millions of songs available on KaZaA. If the legal clouds
were lifted, the peer-to-peer networks would quickly improve.


Fourth, any solution should minimize government intervention in favor
of market forces.


The Proposal: Voluntary Collective Licensing


EFF has spent the past year evaluating alternatives that get artists
paid while making file sharing legal. One solution has emerged as the
favorite: voluntary collective licensing.


The concept is simple: the music industry forms a collecting society,
which then offers file-sharing music fans the opportunity to "get
legit" in exchange for a reasonable regular payment, say $5 per
month. So long as they pay, the fans are free to keep doing what they
are going to do anyway -- share the music they love using whatever
software they like on whatever computer platform they prefer --
without fear of lawsuits. The money collected gets divided among
rights-holders based on the popularity of their music.


In exchange, file-sharing music fans will be free to download
whatever they like, using whatever software works best for them. The
more people share, the more money goes to rights-holders. The more
competition in applications, the more rapid the innovation and
improvement. The more freedom to fans to publish what they care
about, the deeper the catalog.


The Precedent: Broadcast Radio


It has been done before.


Voluntarily creating collecting societies like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC
was how songwriters brought broadcast radio in from the copyright
cold in the first half of the twentieth century.


Songwriters originally viewed radio exactly the way the music
industry today views KaZaA users -- as pirates. After trying to sue
radio out of existence, the songwriters ultimately got together to
form ASCAP (and later BMI and SESAC). Radio stations interested in
broadcasting music stepped up, paid a fee, and in return got to play
whatever music they liked, using whatever equipment worked best.
Today, the performing-rights societies ASCAP and BMI collect money
and pay out millions annually to their artists. Even though these
collecting societies get a fair bit of criticism, there's no question
that the system that has evolved for radio is preferable to one based
on trying to sue radio out of existence one broadcaster at a time.


Copyright lawyers call this voluntary collective licensing. The same
could happen today for file sharing: Copyright holders could get
together to offer their music in an easy-to-pay, all-you-can-eat set.
We could get there without the need for changes to copyright law and
with minimal government intervention.


The Money: Collecting It


Starting with just the 60 million Americans who have been using
file-sharing software, $5 a month would net over $3 billion of pure
profit annually to the music industry -- no CDs to ship, no online
retailers to cut in on the deal, no payola to radio conglomerates, no
percentage to KaZaA or anyone else. Best of all, it's an evergreen
revenue stream -- money that just keeps coming, during good times and
bad, so long as fans want digital music online. The pie grows with
the growth of music sharing on the Internet, instead of shrinking.
The total annual gross revenues of the music industry today are
estimated at $11 billion. But that's gross revenues. A collective
licensing regime for file-sharing can promise $3 billion in annual
profits to the record labels -- more than they've ever made.


How do we get filesharers to pay up? That's where the market comes in
-- those who today are under legal threat will have ample incentive
to opt for a simple $5 per month fee. There should be as many
mechanisms for payment as the market will support. Some fans could buy
it directly through a website (after all, this was what the RIAA had
in mind with its "amnesty" program). ISPs could bundle the fee into
their price of their broadband services for customers who are
interested in music downloading. After all, ISPs would love to be
able to advertise a broadband package that includes "downloads of all
the music you want." Universities could make it part of the cost of
providing network services to students. P2P file-sharing software
vendors could bundle the fee into a subscription model for their
software, which would neatly remove the cloud of legal uncertainty
that has inhibited investment in the P2P software field.


The Money: Dividing It Up


The money collected would then be divided between artists and
rights-holders based on the relative popularity of their music.


Figuring out what is popular can be accomplished through a mix of
anonymously monitoring what people are sharing (something companies
like Big Champagne and BayTSP are already doing) and recruiting
volunteers to serve as the digital music equivalent of Nielsen
families. Billions in television advertising dollars are divided up
today using systems like this. In a digital environment, a mix of
these approaches should strike the right balance between preserving
privacy and accurately estimating popularity. 


The Advantages


The advantages of this approach are clear:


Artists and rights holders get paid. What's more, the more broadband
grows, the more they get paid, which means that the entertainment
industry's powerful lobby will be working for a big, open, and
innovative Internet, instead of against it.


Government intervention is kept to a minimum: copyright law need not
be amended, and the collecting society sets its own prices. The $5
per month figure is a suggestion, not a mandate. At the same time,
the market will keep the price reasonable -- collecting societies make
more money with a palatable price and a larger base of subscribers,
than with a higher price and expensive enforcement efforts.


Broadband deployment gets a real boost as the "killer app" -- music
file sharing -- is made legitimate.


Investment dollars pour into the now-legitimized market for digital
music file-sharing software and services. Rather than being limited
to a handful of "authorized services" like Apple's iTunes and Napster
2.0, you'll see a marketplace filled with competing file-sharing
applications and ancillary services. So long as the individual fans
are licensed, technology companies can stop worrying about the
impossible maze of licensing and instead focus on providing fans with
the most attractive products and services in a competitive
marketplace.


Music fans finally have completely legal access to the unlimited
selection of music that the file-sharing networks have provided since
Napster. With the cloud of litigation and "spoofing" eliminated,
these networks will rapidly improve.


The distribution bottleneck that has limited the opportunities of
independent artists will be eliminated. Artists can choose any road
to online popularity -- including, but no longer limited to, a major
label contract. So long as their songs are being shared among fans,
they will be paid.


Payment will come only from those who are interested in downloading
music, only so long as they are interested in downloading.


How does this help artists?


Artists benefit in at least three ways. First, artists will now be
paid for the file sharing that has become a fact of digital life.


Second, independent artists no longer need a record deal with a major
label to reach large numbers of potential fans -- so long as you have
any fans who are sharing your music online, others will be able to
access your music on equal footing with major label content. In other
words, digital distribution will be equally available to all artists.


Third, when it comes to promotion, artists will be able to use any
mechanism they like, rather than having to rely on major labels to
push radio play. Anything that makes your works popular among file
sharers gets you paid. There would still be a role for the record
industry -- many artists will still want help with promotion, talent
development, and other supportive services. With more options for
artists to choose from, the contracts will be more balanced than the
one-sided deals offered to most artists today.


What about antitrust?


Because a collective licensing solution will depend on a single
collecting society issuing blanket licenses covering all (or nearly
all) music copyrights, there will need to be some antitrust regulation
of the collecting society to ensure that it does not abuse its market
power. Both ASCAP and BMI, for example, have been subject to a
court-administered antitrust consent decree for many decades. The
regulation need not be extensive, as the collecting society will
essentially be selling only a single product at a single price to all
comers. Regulators will keep a close eye on the collecting society to
make sure that it deals fairly with artists and copyright holders,
most of whom will rely on the collecting society for compensation for
noncommercial filesharing.


How do we ensure accurate division of the money?


Transparency will be critical -- the collecting society must hold its
books open for artists, copyright holders, and the public to examine.
The entity should be a nonprofit, and should strive to keep its
administrative costs to a minimum. There are examples of similar
collecting societies in the music industry, such as ASCAP and
SoundExchange. We should learn from, and improve upon, their example.
Giving artists a bigger voice should help ensure that their concerns
with the current collecting societies are addressed.


When it comes to actually figuring out relative popularity, we need
to balance the desire for perfect "census-like" accuracy with the
need to preserve privacy. A system based on sampling strikes a good
balance between these goals. On the one hand, in a public P2P network,
it is relatively easy to find out what people are sharing. Big
Champagne already does this, compiling a "Top 10" for the P2P
networks. This kind of monitoring does not compromise user privacy,
since this monitoring does not tie songs shared to individually
identifiable information. At the same time, this general network
monitoring can be complemented by closer monitoring of volunteers who
will serve as the "Nielsen families" of P2P.


By combining these two methods, it should be possible to attain a
high degree of accuracy, protect privacy, and prevent "cheating."


What if the music industry won't do it?


The music industry is still a long way from admitting that its
existing business models are obsolete. But the current effort to sue
millions American music fans into submission is destined to fail.
After a few more quarters of lackluster sales, with file-sharing
networks still going strong and "authorized services" failing to make
up for sliding revenues, the music industry will be needing a "Plan
B." We hope they will see that voluntary collective licensing is the
best way forward.


If, instead, they continue their war against the Internet and
continue inflicting collateral damage on privacy, innovation and
music fans, then it may be time for Congress to take steps to force
their hand. Congress can enact a "compulsory license" and create a
collecting society to move us toward a sensible solution. Government
involvement, however, should be a last resort -- the music industry
has the power to implement a sensible, more flexible solution right
now.


What about artists who won't join? How do we gather all the rights?


Artists and rights holders would have the choice to join the
collecting society, and thereby collect their portion of the fees
collected, or to remain outside the society and have no practical way
to receive compensation for the file sharing that will inevitably
continue. Assuming a critical mass of major music copyright owners
joins the collecting society, the vast majority of smaller copyright
owners will have a strong incentive to join, just as virtually all
professional songwriters opt to join ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.


The complexity of music industry contracts and history make it very
difficult for record labels and music publishers to be sure what
rights they control. Accordingly, by joining the collecting society,
copyright owners will not be asked to itemize rights, but will instead
simply covenant not to sue those who pay the blanket license fee. In
this way, music fans and innovators are not held back by the internal
contractual squabbles that plague the music industry.


What about file sharers who won't pay?


The vast majority of file sharers are willing to pay a reasonable fee
for the freedom to download whatever they like, using whatever
software suits them. In addition to those who would opt to take a
license if given the opportunity, many more will likely have their
license fees paid by intermediaries, like ISPs, universities, and
software vendors.


So long as the fee is reasonable, effectively invisible to fans, and
does not restrict their freedom, the vast majority of file sharers
will opt to pay rather than engage in complex evasion efforts. So
long as "free-riding" can be limited to a relatively small percentage
of file sharers, it should not pose a serious risk to a collective
licensing system. After all, today artists and copyright owners are
paid nothing for file sharing -- it should be easy to do much better
than that with a collective licensing system. Copyright holders (and
perhaps the collecting society itself) would continue to be entitled
to enforce their rights against "free-loaders." Instead of
threatening them with ruinous damages, however, the collecting society
can offer stragglers the opportunity to pay a fine and get legal.
This is exactly what collecting societies like ASCAP do today.


What about other countries?


Non-U.S. rights holders would, of course, be welcome to join the
collecting society for their fair share of the fees collected from
American file sharers. As for file sharers in other countries, there
is every reason to believe that if a collective licensing approach is
successful in the U.S., it will receive a warm welcome and
enthusiastic imitation abroad.


A relatively small number of countries today account for almost all
of the revenues of the music industry. So establishing a collective
licensing system in just a few countries could turn around the
downward spiral in music industry revenues. The music industry already
has an international "clearing" system for apportioning payments
between countries.


What about the authorized music services?


The "authorized music services" like Apple's iTunes and Napster 2.0
would be free to compete against the P2P services, just as they do
today. In addition, they could themselves adopt elements of P2P
architectures, thereby dramatically expanding the music inventories
they could offer music fans.


What's to stop the music industry from charging sky-high fees?


The enforcement costs faced by a collecting society for file sharing
will keep prices in line. After all, if the society attempts to
charge too much, intermediaries won't be able to bundle the fees into
the cost of their products ($5/mo. license on a $50/mo. broadband
account makes sense; trying to tack $100/mo. license, in contrast,
won't work) and file sharers will likely rebel in droves. For
example, when movie studios charged $90 for a VHS movie, they faced
widespread piracy. They learned that, by lowering prices, they made
more money and eliminated much of the piracy problem. In other words,
reasonable pricing makes the system work for everyone.


What about movies, software, video games, and other digital content?


The music industry is the only industry that appears to be unable to
adjust their business models to take file sharing into account. And
it is the music industry that has been leading the way in suing ISPs,
software companies, and individual music fans.


The movie industry, in contrast, is having its most profitable years
in history. The software and video game industries also continue to
show strong growth and profitability. Each one of these industries has
taken steps to adapt their business models to the realities of file
sharing.


Of course, if other industries want to form voluntary collecting
societies and offer blanket licenses to file sharers, there is
nothing to stop them from doing so. Individuals would then be free to
purchase the license if they were interested in downloading these
materials from the file-sharing networks.


Note: This document is released under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs license.
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 7:53:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

in article 7a4b4caf.0408161824.1cd6db3d@posting.google.com, Greg at
rocker1638@yahoo.com wrote on 8/16/04 11:02 PM:

> A Better Way Forward:

marvelous bad logic legerdemain. Politics.

the IDEA aint bad, as you say it essentially mimics the radio royalty
system... but ESSENCE isnt the MEAT.

$5 a MONTH?????
come on.
stop leaving little steaming piles and get on with reality. instead of
working from the I-wouldn;t-buy-that-logic-from-a-slick-6-year-old premise
of "I'm gonna do it anyway so it makes sense to just LET me" nonsense, start
from the concept you pay lieing lip-service to: that of what it takes to
get the artist properly compensated. I don;t see any other service or
product industry jumping on the 'subscription system' that you reccomend
here AT THE INSANE PRICE LEVEL YOU PROPOSE. A buck a song barely meets any
form of 'generic pricing', and still deals with the idea all out of
proportion. Like it or not, as long as "You Can;t Stop Me" is the rationale
for setting prices then there's no reality grip at all. Moreover, that sort
of attitude makes me root for the RIAA approach (no matter how much I
dislike it's immediate results) out of sheer anti-blackmail reactionary
justice.
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 7:53:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

A little bitter sounding I would say.

I like the idea, and I think it would work just fine. I think that the
first 4 or 5 years there would be a lag in moneys but so long as all
files available were good files and you could easily find what you were
looking for, the idea would become the norm. $5 is more then enough to
make it worth the while of the artist and hardly a drop in the bucket
when the same kids will pay $1.50 or more for colored water in a sports
bottle. Marketing is everything and if convenience is involved the kids
will buy it. Adults will buy it without the hype.



JoVee wrote:
> in article 7a4b4caf.0408161824.1cd6db3d@posting.google.com, Greg at
> rocker1638@yahoo.com wrote on 8/16/04 11:02 PM:
>
>
>>A Better Way Forward:
>
>
> marvelous bad logic legerdemain. Politics.
>
> the IDEA aint bad, as you say it essentially mimics the radio royalty
> system... but ESSENCE isnt the MEAT.
>
> $5 a MONTH?????
> come on.
> stop leaving little steaming piles and get on with reality. instead of
> working from the I-wouldn;t-buy-that-logic-from-a-slick-6-year-old premise
> of "I'm gonna do it anyway so it makes sense to just LET me" nonsense, start
> from the concept you pay lieing lip-service to: that of what it takes to
> get the artist properly compensated. I don;t see any other service or
> product industry jumping on the 'subscription system' that you reccomend
> here AT THE INSANE PRICE LEVEL YOU PROPOSE. A buck a song barely meets any
> form of 'generic pricing', and still deals with the idea all out of
> proportion. Like it or not, as long as "You Can;t Stop Me" is the rationale
> for setting prices then there's no reality grip at all. Moreover, that sort
> of attitude makes me root for the RIAA approach (no matter how much I
> dislike it's immediate results) out of sheer anti-blackmail reactionary
> justice.
>
Related resources
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Anonymous
August 17, 2004 1:28:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <10i3de6oebc4o99@corp.supernews.com> keep@your.com writes:

> I like the idea, and I think it would work just fine. I think that the
> first 4 or 5 years there would be a lag in moneys but so long as all
> files available were good files and you could easily find what you were
> looking for, the idea would become the norm.

How much music has a lifespan of greater than a year nowadays? I think
"the first 4 or 5 years" would extend indefinitely.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 4:37:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

in article 10i3de6oebc4o99@corp.supernews.com, Danny Taddei at keep@your.com
wrote on 8/17/04 3:37 AM:

> $5 is more then enough to
> make it worth the while of the artist


show me.



--
John I-22
(that's 'I' for Initial...)
Recognising what's NOT worth your time, THAT'S the key.
--
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 4:37:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

JoVee wrote:
> in article 10i3de6oebc4o99@corp.supernews.com, Danny Taddei at keep@your.com
> wrote on 8/17/04 3:37 AM:
>
>
>> $5 is more then enough to
>>make it worth the while of the artist
>
>
>
> show me.
>
>

I've long since given up on teaching the blind to see


>
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 7:25:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Honestly I think the biggest problem from the consumer end is the payment
issue.
there are still many people who will not use their credit card online.
I for one. I dont believe in credit cards and I wont get one.
If I was able to buy internet credits in Cash I would gladly buy things on
the internet.
and I would gladly pay for quality downloads of single songs that I want.
I would expect to be able to hear the song at a lower quality rate to see if
it was something I wanted.
Bottom line is I cant buy a song online.
I wont buy a whole CD for one song.
Is there a difference between D/L and recording off of the radio like we
used to do?

Give the people a way to buy one song at a time without handing out your
credit card number online and there will be a lot more people paying for
music.

Doug

"Greg" <rocker1638@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:7a4b4caf.0408161824.1cd6db3d@posting.google.com...
> A Better Way Forward:
> Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing
>
> "Let the Music Play" White Paper
>
>
> The current battles surrounding peer-to-peer file sharing are a
> losing proposition for everyone. The record labels continue to face
> lackluster sales, while the tens of millions of American file sharers
> -- American music fans -- are made to feel like criminals. Every day
> the collateral damage mounts -- privacy at risk, innovation stymied,
> economic growth suppressed, and a few unlucky individuals singled out
> for legal action by the recording industry. And the litigation
> campaign against music fans has not put a penny into the pockets of
> artists.
>
>
> We need a better way forward.
>
>
> The Premises
>
>
> First, artists and copyright holders deserve to be fairly
> compensated.
>
>
> Second, file sharing is here to stay. Killing Napster only spawned
> more decentralized networks. Most evidence suggests that file sharing
> is at least as popular today as it was before the lawsuits began.
>
>
> Third, the fans do a better job making music available than the
> labels. Apple's iTunes Music Store brags about its inventory of over
> 500,000 songs. Sounds pretty good, until you realize that the fans
> have made millions of songs available on KaZaA. If the legal clouds
> were lifted, the peer-to-peer networks would quickly improve.
>
>
> Fourth, any solution should minimize government intervention in favor
> of market forces.
>
>
> The Proposal: Voluntary Collective Licensing
>
>
> EFF has spent the past year evaluating alternatives that get artists
> paid while making file sharing legal. One solution has emerged as the
> favorite: voluntary collective licensing.
>
>
> The concept is simple: the music industry forms a collecting society,
> which then offers file-sharing music fans the opportunity to "get
> legit" in exchange for a reasonable regular payment, say $5 per
> month. So long as they pay, the fans are free to keep doing what they
> are going to do anyway -- share the music they love using whatever
> software they like on whatever computer platform they prefer --
> without fear of lawsuits. The money collected gets divided among
> rights-holders based on the popularity of their music.
>
>
> In exchange, file-sharing music fans will be free to download
> whatever they like, using whatever software works best for them. The
> more people share, the more money goes to rights-holders. The more
> competition in applications, the more rapid the innovation and
> improvement. The more freedom to fans to publish what they care
> about, the deeper the catalog.
>
>
> The Precedent: Broadcast Radio
>
>
> It has been done before.
>
>
> Voluntarily creating collecting societies like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC
> was how songwriters brought broadcast radio in from the copyright
> cold in the first half of the twentieth century.
>
>
> Songwriters originally viewed radio exactly the way the music
> industry today views KaZaA users -- as pirates. After trying to sue
> radio out of existence, the songwriters ultimately got together to
> form ASCAP (and later BMI and SESAC). Radio stations interested in
> broadcasting music stepped up, paid a fee, and in return got to play
> whatever music they liked, using whatever equipment worked best.
> Today, the performing-rights societies ASCAP and BMI collect money
> and pay out millions annually to their artists. Even though these
> collecting societies get a fair bit of criticism, there's no question
> that the system that has evolved for radio is preferable to one based
> on trying to sue radio out of existence one broadcaster at a time.
>
>
> Copyright lawyers call this voluntary collective licensing. The same
> could happen today for file sharing: Copyright holders could get
> together to offer their music in an easy-to-pay, all-you-can-eat set.
> We could get there without the need for changes to copyright law and
> with minimal government intervention.
>
>
> The Money: Collecting It
>
>
> Starting with just the 60 million Americans who have been using
> file-sharing software, $5 a month would net over $3 billion of pure
> profit annually to the music industry -- no CDs to ship, no online
> retailers to cut in on the deal, no payola to radio conglomerates, no
> percentage to KaZaA or anyone else. Best of all, it's an evergreen
> revenue stream -- money that just keeps coming, during good times and
> bad, so long as fans want digital music online. The pie grows with
> the growth of music sharing on the Internet, instead of shrinking.
> The total annual gross revenues of the music industry today are
> estimated at $11 billion. But that's gross revenues. A collective
> licensing regime for file-sharing can promise $3 billion in annual
> profits to the record labels -- more than they've ever made.
>
>
> How do we get filesharers to pay up? That's where the market comes in
> -- those who today are under legal threat will have ample incentive
> to opt for a simple $5 per month fee. There should be as many
> mechanisms for payment as the market will support. Some fans could buy
> it directly through a website (after all, this was what the RIAA had
> in mind with its "amnesty" program). ISPs could bundle the fee into
> their price of their broadband services for customers who are
> interested in music downloading. After all, ISPs would love to be
> able to advertise a broadband package that includes "downloads of all
> the music you want." Universities could make it part of the cost of
> providing network services to students. P2P file-sharing software
> vendors could bundle the fee into a subscription model for their
> software, which would neatly remove the cloud of legal uncertainty
> that has inhibited investment in the P2P software field.
>
>
> The Money: Dividing It Up
>
>
> The money collected would then be divided between artists and
> rights-holders based on the relative popularity of their music.
>
>
> Figuring out what is popular can be accomplished through a mix of
> anonymously monitoring what people are sharing (something companies
> like Big Champagne and BayTSP are already doing) and recruiting
> volunteers to serve as the digital music equivalent of Nielsen
> families. Billions in television advertising dollars are divided up
> today using systems like this. In a digital environment, a mix of
> these approaches should strike the right balance between preserving
> privacy and accurately estimating popularity.
>
>
> The Advantages
>
>
> The advantages of this approach are clear:
>
>
> Artists and rights holders get paid. What's more, the more broadband
> grows, the more they get paid, which means that the entertainment
> industry's powerful lobby will be working for a big, open, and
> innovative Internet, instead of against it.
>
>
> Government intervention is kept to a minimum: copyright law need not
> be amended, and the collecting society sets its own prices. The $5
> per month figure is a suggestion, not a mandate. At the same time,
> the market will keep the price reasonable -- collecting societies make
> more money with a palatable price and a larger base of subscribers,
> than with a higher price and expensive enforcement efforts.
>
>
> Broadband deployment gets a real boost as the "killer app" -- music
> file sharing -- is made legitimate.
>
>
> Investment dollars pour into the now-legitimized market for digital
> music file-sharing software and services. Rather than being limited
> to a handful of "authorized services" like Apple's iTunes and Napster
> 2.0, you'll see a marketplace filled with competing file-sharing
> applications and ancillary services. So long as the individual fans
> are licensed, technology companies can stop worrying about the
> impossible maze of licensing and instead focus on providing fans with
> the most attractive products and services in a competitive
> marketplace.
>
>
> Music fans finally have completely legal access to the unlimited
> selection of music that the file-sharing networks have provided since
> Napster. With the cloud of litigation and "spoofing" eliminated,
> these networks will rapidly improve.
>
>
> The distribution bottleneck that has limited the opportunities of
> independent artists will be eliminated. Artists can choose any road
> to online popularity -- including, but no longer limited to, a major
> label contract. So long as their songs are being shared among fans,
> they will be paid.
>
>
> Payment will come only from those who are interested in downloading
> music, only so long as they are interested in downloading.
>
>
> How does this help artists?
>
>
> Artists benefit in at least three ways. First, artists will now be
> paid for the file sharing that has become a fact of digital life.
>
>
> Second, independent artists no longer need a record deal with a major
> label to reach large numbers of potential fans -- so long as you have
> any fans who are sharing your music online, others will be able to
> access your music on equal footing with major label content. In other
> words, digital distribution will be equally available to all artists.
>
>
> Third, when it comes to promotion, artists will be able to use any
> mechanism they like, rather than having to rely on major labels to
> push radio play. Anything that makes your works popular among file
> sharers gets you paid. There would still be a role for the record
> industry -- many artists will still want help with promotion, talent
> development, and other supportive services. With more options for
> artists to choose from, the contracts will be more balanced than the
> one-sided deals offered to most artists today.
>
>
> What about antitrust?
>
>
> Because a collective licensing solution will depend on a single
> collecting society issuing blanket licenses covering all (or nearly
> all) music copyrights, there will need to be some antitrust regulation
> of the collecting society to ensure that it does not abuse its market
> power. Both ASCAP and BMI, for example, have been subject to a
> court-administered antitrust consent decree for many decades. The
> regulation need not be extensive, as the collecting society will
> essentially be selling only a single product at a single price to all
> comers. Regulators will keep a close eye on the collecting society to
> make sure that it deals fairly with artists and copyright holders,
> most of whom will rely on the collecting society for compensation for
> noncommercial filesharing.
>
>
> How do we ensure accurate division of the money?
>
>
> Transparency will be critical -- the collecting society must hold its
> books open for artists, copyright holders, and the public to examine.
> The entity should be a nonprofit, and should strive to keep its
> administrative costs to a minimum. There are examples of similar
> collecting societies in the music industry, such as ASCAP and
> SoundExchange. We should learn from, and improve upon, their example.
> Giving artists a bigger voice should help ensure that their concerns
> with the current collecting societies are addressed.
>
>
> When it comes to actually figuring out relative popularity, we need
> to balance the desire for perfect "census-like" accuracy with the
> need to preserve privacy. A system based on sampling strikes a good
> balance between these goals. On the one hand, in a public P2P network,
> it is relatively easy to find out what people are sharing. Big
> Champagne already does this, compiling a "Top 10" for the P2P
> networks. This kind of monitoring does not compromise user privacy,
> since this monitoring does not tie songs shared to individually
> identifiable information. At the same time, this general network
> monitoring can be complemented by closer monitoring of volunteers who
> will serve as the "Nielsen families" of P2P.
>
>
> By combining these two methods, it should be possible to attain a
> high degree of accuracy, protect privacy, and prevent "cheating."
>
>
> What if the music industry won't do it?
>
>
> The music industry is still a long way from admitting that its
> existing business models are obsolete. But the current effort to sue
> millions American music fans into submission is destined to fail.
> After a few more quarters of lackluster sales, with file-sharing
> networks still going strong and "authorized services" failing to make
> up for sliding revenues, the music industry will be needing a "Plan
> B." We hope they will see that voluntary collective licensing is the
> best way forward.
>
>
> If, instead, they continue their war against the Internet and
> continue inflicting collateral damage on privacy, innovation and
> music fans, then it may be time for Congress to take steps to force
> their hand. Congress can enact a "compulsory license" and create a
> collecting society to move us toward a sensible solution. Government
> involvement, however, should be a last resort -- the music industry
> has the power to implement a sensible, more flexible solution right
> now.
>
>
> What about artists who won't join? How do we gather all the rights?
>
>
> Artists and rights holders would have the choice to join the
> collecting society, and thereby collect their portion of the fees
> collected, or to remain outside the society and have no practical way
> to receive compensation for the file sharing that will inevitably
> continue. Assuming a critical mass of major music copyright owners
> joins the collecting society, the vast majority of smaller copyright
> owners will have a strong incentive to join, just as virtually all
> professional songwriters opt to join ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.
>
>
> The complexity of music industry contracts and history make it very
> difficult for record labels and music publishers to be sure what
> rights they control. Accordingly, by joining the collecting society,
> copyright owners will not be asked to itemize rights, but will instead
> simply covenant not to sue those who pay the blanket license fee. In
> this way, music fans and innovators are not held back by the internal
> contractual squabbles that plague the music industry.
>
>
> What about file sharers who won't pay?
>
>
> The vast majority of file sharers are willing to pay a reasonable fee
> for the freedom to download whatever they like, using whatever
> software suits them. In addition to those who would opt to take a
> license if given the opportunity, many more will likely have their
> license fees paid by intermediaries, like ISPs, universities, and
> software vendors.
>
>
> So long as the fee is reasonable, effectively invisible to fans, and
> does not restrict their freedom, the vast majority of file sharers
> will opt to pay rather than engage in complex evasion efforts. So
> long as "free-riding" can be limited to a relatively small percentage
> of file sharers, it should not pose a serious risk to a collective
> licensing system. After all, today artists and copyright owners are
> paid nothing for file sharing -- it should be easy to do much better
> than that with a collective licensing system. Copyright holders (and
> perhaps the collecting society itself) would continue to be entitled
> to enforce their rights against "free-loaders." Instead of
> threatening them with ruinous damages, however, the collecting society
> can offer stragglers the opportunity to pay a fine and get legal.
> This is exactly what collecting societies like ASCAP do today.
>
>
> What about other countries?
>
>
> Non-U.S. rights holders would, of course, be welcome to join the
> collecting society for their fair share of the fees collected from
> American file sharers. As for file sharers in other countries, there
> is every reason to believe that if a collective licensing approach is
> successful in the U.S., it will receive a warm welcome and
> enthusiastic imitation abroad.
>
>
> A relatively small number of countries today account for almost all
> of the revenues of the music industry. So establishing a collective
> licensing system in just a few countries could turn around the
> downward spiral in music industry revenues. The music industry already
> has an international "clearing" system for apportioning payments
> between countries.
>
>
> What about the authorized music services?
>
>
> The "authorized music services" like Apple's iTunes and Napster 2.0
> would be free to compete against the P2P services, just as they do
> today. In addition, they could themselves adopt elements of P2P
> architectures, thereby dramatically expanding the music inventories
> they could offer music fans.
>
>
> What's to stop the music industry from charging sky-high fees?
>
>
> The enforcement costs faced by a collecting society for file sharing
> will keep prices in line. After all, if the society attempts to
> charge too much, intermediaries won't be able to bundle the fees into
> the cost of their products ($5/mo. license on a $50/mo. broadband
> account makes sense; trying to tack $100/mo. license, in contrast,
> won't work) and file sharers will likely rebel in droves. For
> example, when movie studios charged $90 for a VHS movie, they faced
> widespread piracy. They learned that, by lowering prices, they made
> more money and eliminated much of the piracy problem. In other words,
> reasonable pricing makes the system work for everyone.
>
>
> What about movies, software, video games, and other digital content?
>
>
> The music industry is the only industry that appears to be unable to
> adjust their business models to take file sharing into account. And
> it is the music industry that has been leading the way in suing ISPs,
> software companies, and individual music fans.
>
>
> The movie industry, in contrast, is having its most profitable years
> in history. The software and video game industries also continue to
> show strong growth and profitability. Each one of these industries has
> taken steps to adapt their business models to the realities of file
> sharing.
>
>
> Of course, if other industries want to form voluntary collecting
> societies and offer blanket licenses to file sharers, there is
> nothing to stop them from doing so. Individuals would then be free to
> purchase the license if they were interested in downloading these
> materials from the file-sharing networks.
>
>
> Note: This document is released under the Creative Commons
> Attribution-NoDerivs license.
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 7:58:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <sxKUc.139640$J06.11621@pd7tw2no> Douglas_Schultz@hotmail.com writes:

> Honestly I think the biggest problem from the consumer end is the payment
> issue.
> there are still many people who will not use their credit card online.

In that case, they probably will never be able to purchase music
on-line.

> Give the people a way to buy one song at a time without handing out your
> credit card number online and there will be a lot more people paying for
> music.

Would you go to a record store and buy a single for, say, $3? That's
probably what they'd have to charge to cover the cost of the media and
labor even (or especially) if they made it for you right in the store.

Do you have a suggestion for a way to pay for music obtained on-line
if you don't use a credit card? Maybe mail a check to the company to
set up a debit account? I'll bet about three people might do that.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 9:42:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 15:25:12 GMT, "Doug Schultz"
<Douglas_Schultz@hotmail.com> wrote:

>there are still many people who will not use their credit card online.
>I for one. I dont believe in credit cards and I wont get one.
>If I was able to buy internet credits in Cash I would gladly buy things on
>the internet.

Don't you have Debit cards in your part of the world? If you can't
trust yourself with a credit card?

Security issues are non-existent with either. As long as you take
reasonable precautions - report lost/stolen cards promptly, check your
statements when they arrive - the banks cover you for fraudulent use.
It's worth it to them, to get your custom. Use and enjoy :=-)

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
August 28, 2004 3:16:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jazzman" <jzmn@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1gj6zeh.1gv5afl131i728N%jzmn@hotmail.com...
>
> What the lamer(s) who wrote this thing don't realize, is that as soon as
> we set up this kind of extensive traffic monitoring on the net, we have
> the means to stop the exchange of copyrighted files altogether.

We've HAD the means all along. It's just that the internet service provider
industry doesn't want to be liable for security issues.

--
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com
Anonymous
August 28, 2004 10:26:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 23:16:42 GMT, Bob Olhsson <olh@hyperback.com> wrote:
> "Jazzman" <jzmn@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1gj6zeh.1gv5afl131i728N%jzmn@hotmail.com...
>>
>> What the lamer(s) who wrote this thing don't realize, is that as soon as
>> we set up this kind of extensive traffic monitoring on the net, we have
>> the means to stop the exchange of copyrighted files altogether.
>
> We've HAD the means all along. It's just that the internet service provider
> industry doesn't want to be liable for security issues.
>

Yes. It's QUITE impossible for people to change the names/filetypes of
copyrighted files.

And it's also impossible encode them in trivial ways that mung any
attempt to peek the file for renamed files.

DAGS on "Steganography"
Anonymous
September 1, 2004 6:02:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles <"Charles Krug"@cdksystems.com> wrote:

> Yes. It's QUITE impossible for people to change the
> names/filetypes of copyrighted files.
>
> And it's also impossible encode them in trivial ways
> that mung any attempt to peek the file for renamed files.

"Extensive monitoring" implies checking file contents...

--
Jazzman DX7II - 01/W - S3000XL - Ion

" Without geometry, life is pointless "
Anonymous
September 1, 2004 6:29:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Wed, 1 Sep 2004 02:02:23 +0200, Jazzman <jzmn@hotmail.com> wrote:
> U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles <"Charles Krug"@cdksystems.com> wrote:
>
>> Yes. It's QUITE impossible for people to change the
>> names/filetypes of copyrighted files.
>>
>> And it's also impossible encode them in trivial ways
>> that mung any attempt to peek the file for renamed files.
>
> "Extensive monitoring" implies checking file contents...
>

Ah good. Come up with a method that works for all possible encryption
methods and enjoy your subsequent retirement.

n.b. -- I think content owners are DEFINITELY entitled to be paid for
their content. The fact that record companies and filmmakers were
caught flat-footed by the Internet I find, frankly, amazing. There's no
reason on Earth why they couldn't have been there first with a
high-quality product.
Anonymous
September 7, 2004 7:06:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles <"Charles Krug"@cdksystems.com> wrote:

> Ah good. Come up with a method that works for all possible encryption
> methods and enjoy your subsequent retirement.

If the intended end receiver can decrypt the file being exchanged, what
makes you think the monitorers can't ?

--
Jazzman DX7II - 01/W - S3000XL - Ion

" Without geometry, life is pointless "
!