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Canadian Songwriters Want ISPs To Pay Them

from the say-what? dept

It’s well known up in Canada that there’s a tax on recordable media which is supposed to be used to pay musicians for music that is copied onto those products. However, now a group of songwriters is claiming that ISPs owe them royalties for all the songs downloaded by users. This goes back to the heart of the issue about whether or not ISPs have any responsibility over the material that is transported across their network. While most people realize that it would be somewhat crippling to the internet to make ISPs responsible for what travels across the internet, that doesn’t stop people from trying. Of course, I’ve said in the past that ISPs should try to work out deals with musicians to give away their content – since that would attract new ISP subscribers by giving them value. Then the ISPs could give some of their subscription fees to the musicians. However, that would be based on a deal that both sides agreed to, and not some after-the-fact demand from the songwriters.

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Comments on “Canadian Songwriters Want ISPs To Pay Them”

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Jeremiah (user link) says:


It boils down to physics.
Whomever controls the physics of distribution is granted the monopoly over who/how gets what.
Up until the latter end of the 90’s, the physics of music distribution rested soley in the hands of major record labels, entertainment companies and distribution houses. A side effect of this arrangement was a prohibitively high cost of entry to the marketplace (not only the cost of production, but promotion especially) and the greater control that distributors began to exert on record companies to bring them product they could sell easier. Read: Britney Spears.
At the top of the 21st century, however, it appears the next model of physical distribution is the digital infrastructure we call the Internet. This infrastructure is mostly owned by telecom companies, aka ISP’s.
Whether or not they like it (probably a classic case of unintended consequences), ISP’s are now in the business (literally) of music distribution. Hence, they need to wake up and smell the fine scent of Royalty Coffee.
ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, RIAA would all be well advised to begin bringing ISP’s into the fold of supporting the development of artists and the production of work that inherently adds value to their own product. In other words, if ISP’s started investing in content, their “service” would be much more valuable.
To reduce the statment once more: I’d be a helluva lot happier with my $60/mo cable bill if I could download songs (or better yet, access to a giant mp3 server) where I could hear licensed (read: the artist got paid) music.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Infrastructure

Do you think that any royalty payment, now or in the future, will be included in that $60/mo payment? Do you think the costs, if an ISP has to somehow police this stuff, will not be passed on to you?

Finally, do you think that the costs of policing this kind of thing willbe inexpensive or that the mechanisms in place will not be obtrusive or intrusive? People who get frustrated at american airline terminals or similar seuciry checks where they are made to feel like criminals, these people will soon leave any provider that even attempts to put intoplace a fraction of the control required to even attempt to police or audit the downloading of copyright-owned content.

I know *I’m* not going to *pay* for the pleasure of being treated like criminal trash.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re: Infrastructure

I know *I’m* not going to *pay* for the pleasure of being treated like criminal trash.

Oh, come on, the Federal government needs more free labor making license plates in the jail systems, that is why there is such a push to put kids in jail for downloading music online… It is just cheaper to put them in prison then to treat them like criminal trash.

All kidding aside, they show the proof that everyone is using their internet access to illegally download music, and I’d be happy having a bunch of money added to my ISP bill. But I have news for them, 30-40% of the public is not “everyone.”

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re: Infrastructure

No…what THEY want is for ALL net users to give them money, whether they download music OR NOT. Period.

THAT is the issue. Plain and simple. Just like the CD levy…we pay them money EVERY BLANK CD WE BUY, even though I do not use those CDs for recording music…they get my money.

Guilty until proven innocent.

Its not about morals or laws, its about a money grab pure and simple.


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