Warner Music Latest To Jump On The Music Tax Bandwagon

from the please,-gov't,-save-our-business-model! dept

Remember earlier this month how there was a story about a guy going around pitching a required tax on ISPs for music sharing as a good idea? Well the main guy who was pushing that proposal has now been hired by Warner Brothers to make it a reality. While the idea is gaining some momentum, it doesn't change the extremely questionable nature of this proposal. It's a proposal based on the laziness of industry execs, who want others to go out and collect money for them, which they'll then get to "distribute" (by which we mean not actually distribute) to musicians.

The fact is that there is simply no reason for this proposal to go ahead. It treats everyone as a criminal first. In the article, one supporter of the plan even admits this:
"At this point, 96 percent of the population is guilty of some sort of infringement, whether they're streaming or downloading or sharing. What we have here is the widespread use of technology that declares all of the population to be illegal."
While that 96% number is made up and pure bunk, it's a bizarre world in which someone claims that nearly everyone is breaking the law and therefore we should punish everyone, rather than get rid of the law. Considering that more and more musicians are showing that there are perfectly good business models that don't require treating everyone as a criminal, can someone explain why this "music tax" should be put in place? And can they then explain what will happen when every other industry wants its own "you're a criminal" tax included on internet connectivity?

Filed Under: copyright, jim griffin, music, subscriptions
Companies: warner music group


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  1. identicon
    Gerd Leonhard, 29 Mar 2008 @ 1:12am

    I am the guy you quoted above (96%...)... more on

    Mike, you say: "While that 96% number is made up and pure bunk, it's a bizarre world in which someone claims that nearly everyone is breaking the law and therefore we should punish everyone.." which is a quote from a comment I made on the Jim Griffin idea of the music flat rate. 2 things on that: 1) It is bizarre to call it PUNISHMENT when this idea will actually allow people to get 'feels-like-free music' because the ISPs, telcos, operators, search engines or social networks can actually be licensed to provide it.

    You may not see this quite yet but I think the flat rate will roll out in 2 stages: a) users (or their ISPs) can pay the $5 per month to get the all-you-can-eat unprotected music service b) the networks i.e. music service providers will bundle the charge and develop smart and unobtrusive 'advertising2.0' models around the music to make it de-facto free for the users. Paying with attention. If that reminds you of radio I wouldn't be surprised

    b) research has shown that almost 100% of active internet users in western countries are indeed using their net connections to listen to or download music that is not deemed 'licensed' (as currently defined) - because these licenses don't exist (see: widgets, on-demand streams, sharing applications etc etc)

    I just published a new book about all this stuff btw, and it's available as 'free' i.e. pay-what-you-like pdf see http://www.mediafuturist.com/music20_book/index.html

    Finally, Mike, I do wish you would get off this TAX thing - it's just a cheap label to use when you don't have time for proper research and real journalism.

    While I grant you that it's tough to trust any of the big labels to actually come up with solutions that are not just self-serving, I think this idea DOES merit real investigation and more neutral coverage. It may take more time to fully emerge but this is not a tax - IT'S A LICENSE. Read http://www.mediafuturist.com/2008/01/the-end-of-co-1.html if you want to know more

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