New: Alternative Compensation Systems.

With every passing day, online music downloading becomes more prevalent and industry countermeasures become more odious. What if there were a compromise that paid artists while letting you get music however you wanted? This is the idea behind “alternative compensation systems” and “compulsory licensing”.

Here’s the proposal in a nutshell: Some group of people pay a small fee (like a couple dollars a month). In return, they can download whatever they want, however they want. We track what is downloaded and then distribute the money received, in proportion, to the people responsible for the songs. Everybody wins: users get all the music they want, software developers can continue innovating, and the industry gets paid.

Several people have prepared more detailed proposals. Terry Fisher of the Berkman for Center of Internet and Society at Harvard Law School brought together a group of the interested parties to hash out the details of such a system and think about ways to deal with the problems. This page summarizes the current proposal and major issues.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

posted December 14, 2003 07:36 PM (Technology) #


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Aaron Swartz (