If everyone paid what they thought the 'government' services were worth, and there was a ban on government debt being greater than 20% of the tax take, then there would be an automatic brake on government overspending.
Think outside the box for simple solutions to apparently complex problems.
It seems to me that a lot of the problems with copyright occur when the rights belong to some corporation rather than the original creator of the work.
Why not rewrite copyright law to ONLY allow copyright to individuals rather than corporations and to make those rights non-transferable.
Therefore no selling, bequeathing or assigning those rights to others just individuals making money out of their creative efforts by licensing the use of their works to other individuals for a limited time.
This would mean that copyright only lasted for as long as an individual lived and so the money for the creative effort would be automatically directed towards the creators not some faceless corporation.
I remember walking into a pub in the East end of London when I was a young lad back in the 60's. There was a group playing that I'd never heard of before and they were bringing the house down with their brand of rock.
It was the first time I ever heard Status Quo play live.
What most of these government proposals forget is that they are not starting with a blank sheet of paper.
There are already a huge number of mobile phone owners in the UK most of whom would not give up their details for a government database.
A large proportion of those existing users don't have a passport or even a driving licence, (kids etc)
A large proportion of those users have prepay phones and will not show up on any network as a customer (kids again)
So just how are they going to populate this mythical database with any sort of accurate data ?
My wife and I visited New Zealand and watched with some amazement as 30 or 40 tourists exited a bus and proceeded to run around, video cameras glued to faces, taking film of everything and anything. We speculated that they got home and had to look at all of their videos to see where it was they had been.
This is based on a self-selecting sample as it ONLY includes people with access to a computer.
How many degrees do you think there are between yourself and a subsistence level individual dying of starvation in Africa ?
So if I understand the 'economics' argument presented here. If it costs me 10 zillion dollars to produce the new record and I choose to distribute it electronically then I ought to charge nothing for it because my marginal costs are zero.
Perhaps I'm being stupid here but why on earth would I spend any money producing music if I couldn't have at least a chance of recovering my investment ?
I'm not looking for a guaranteed return here, just a plain old capitalist chance of making a profit.
I paid cash for my cellphone and I use a pay as you go plan which I top up with cash. They can record as many of my conversations as they like as they've no way of knowing who owns the phone. Oh and I change my phone every once in a while just to keep it private.
I live in the UK and recently went to see 'Tegan and Sara', a Canadian duo, in Leeds. I looked in the local record shops prior to the concert and couldn't find a single one of their CD's on sale. The concert was a sellout, as were most of the other venues on the tour, yet the artists mentioned that their record company had put nothing into promoting the tour. All the fans were there because they'd found the music on the web and bought tickets the same way.
Some of the discussion here seems to revolve around covering the cost of making the original recording if the digitized form is 'free'.
Why not view concerts as a sponsored recording sessions ?
Which will be the first venue to automatically record and digitize ALL artists that perform there and then use those recordings to promote both themselves and the artists, maybe both sound and vison.
Until I retired a few years ago I would take short trips to the US to go to a particular concert because some of the artists I really enjoy don't tour Europe often enough.
So if I'm prepared to pay a few hundred dollars to get to a concert how much do you think I'd pay for a live webcast of a concert ?