RIAA Wants Money From ISPs

from the not-as-stupid-as-it-sounds dept

Here’s a topic that will probably generate a strong response. Hilary Rosen is apparently now suggesting that the RIAA start charging a fee to ISPs for all the P2P file sharing that’s going on. While this is a bad idea, it’s not as awful as most people seem to think it is. I’ve said all along that file sharing is a (certainly not the only one, but certainly “a”) reason that people sign up for broadband access. It makes sense to me that the ISPs, in some sense should look at free music sharing as a “promotional cost” of getting people to sign up – and thus, shouldn’t be averse to paying some sort of fee to music publishers. One of my arguments concerning AOL/Time Warner is that they were stupid for not doing exactly this: offer free music sharing to anyone who signs up for their broadband access, and then take some of that money and pay their artists with it. However, the logistics of the Rosen plan are a bit out of whack. This might have made sense a few years ago, if the labels and the ISPs worked out the details together. But, to come back, retroactively and say “you owe us…” is only going to cause problems. Also, determing just how much they “owe” is going to be silly, as the RIAA has a history of misusing numbers in determing just how much they’ve “lost” to theft. Update: In a related story, the head of the IFPI is now saying that file sharing threatens thousands of jobs. I hate to break it to him, but any technology advance tends to “threaten” jobs. It’s up to the industries involved to figure out how to deal with it – and not to fight it. As Andy Grove pointed out, the printing press sure put a lot of monks out of work. Things change. The guy is also quoted as saying that the music “creators” are being “denied the right to choose how their music is used and enjoyed”. Of course, again, I’d have to point out to him, that the creator of something never has the “right” to determine how their product is enjoyed once it’s out in the open market. The market decides that for themselves.

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Comments on “RIAA Wants Money From ISPs”

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alternatives says:

My spoken word recordings

I have a series of 1 hour recordings of just me talking. Each of these have a price of $25,000.

When I put them up on a P2P network and someone DLs them and I am unpaid, am I not intitled to a chunk of the ISP tax now? How about a bigger chunk when I raise the price to $250,000?

Doesn’t MY copyright and MY pricing scheme matter? Or does it only matter if you are Sony Corp?

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