Isle of Man proposes compulsory license for downloads

Would you pay a buck and half for unlimited music downloads?

How much is music worth, say all the music you can suck down a broadband connection? How about $1.38 a month?

The Isle of Man (a self-governing dependency of the British Crown) is proposing a universal music access fee of £1, which would allow any and all residents to download all the music they want – maybe even from P2P nets, The New York Times reports.

Under the proposal, ISPs would collect the tarriff, forward it to an agency (akin to SoundExchange, I suppose), which would pay out to copyright owners based on how often specific tracks were downloaded or streamed.

In 2006, a French proposal similar to the one being discussed on the Isle of Man made it to Parliament, but it was rejected after fierce lobbying from copyright owners. The government later threw its weight behind a new approach: requiring Internet service providers to disconnect persistent pirates.

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