Warners propose university download licence scheme

January 2009


Warner Music Group’s digital music strategist, Jim Griffin, is proposing a “‘voluntary blanket licensing’ for online access to music” scheme whereby students are taxed for the privilege of legalized file-sharing with the proceeds collected by a nonprofit organization. A number of universities have expressed an interest, unsurprising in light the recent passage ofthe Higher Education Act (HEA), which included provisions forcing colleges and universities to combat illegal file-sharing on campus, may eventually cost these institutions some $500,000 USD annually. The proposal will make all students, whether they live off campus or not, or even whether they share music or not, to pay an extra fee with their college tuition as a levy. One article, Debating an ISP Piracy Tax, commenting on the idea says “The idea of collective licensing is obviously not new. The EFF proposed just such a system back in 2004 but the music industry instead decided that “suing the hell out of everyone” (TM) made better business sense. In light of the group’s creation, the EFF penned a guide on the right and wrong way to go about collective licensing” adding “The EFF believes a good system would be voluntary for users, artists and ISPs. A bad system would be little more than a Capone-esque protection racket, where you either “voluntarily” adopt the system, or get knee-capped. Knowing what you know about the music industry’s tactics, which would you guess will be their approach”. See more using these links.



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