January 25, 2007 | By Derek Slater

Record Labels: Licensing File Sharing Isn't So Crazy After All

Nearly three years ago, EFF published a paper advocating voluntary collective licensing for P2P, a system that would get artists paid and allow fans to keep sharing music however they like for a flat fee. It seems the major record labels may finally be coming around to this sensible solution:

"This year, with music sales still sinking like a rock, the record labels are no longer apoplectic about the possibility of such a fee, which could be collected by Internet service providers through their customers' monthly subscription charges.

'It's a model worth looking at,' John Kennedy, head of the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry, said at a press briefing last weekend in Cannes at Midem, the annual global music market. 'If the ISPs want to come to us and look for a blanket license for an amount per month, let's engage in that discussion...'"

Along with the labels' considering an end to DRM for downloads, this is a good sign, and we hope it's more than just talk. While the labels could already be adopting this business model and getting artists paid, they have instead continued to drag their feet, filing futile lawsuits against ordinary fans and seeking restrictive DRM mandates in Congress. Their DRM strategy is failing, yet the harm done by the DMCA remains.

It was high time for a better way forward when we published our paper three years ago -- let's hope it's not another three years before the labels actually head down that path, and we can start to undo the damage of this wasted time.

(Link hat tip: Furdlog)


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Supreme Court overturns dangerous ruling that would have allowed design patent owners to gobble entire profits. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Dec 8 @ 4:14pm

SiriusXM and the Turtles may be happy together, but their settlement leaves unanswered questions for other services. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Dec 8 @ 3:55pm

For the next 12 days, learn about the simple, powerful step you can take to secure your various online accounts. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Dec 8 @ 1:27pm
JavaScript license information