Industry Group Suggests "Free" Music
The Association of Independent Music (Aim), which represents the UK's independent record labels, has suggested that music downloads could become free to consumers. That is, if Internet Service Providers (ISPs) pay the record labels, instead. The proposal represents a shift in the recording industry's method of enforcing copyrights online, and looks at ISPs as being comparable to radio stations. ISPs, like radio stations, would pay royalties to the record labels, but provide the music free to the consumer.
Understandably, Internet Service Providers have so far been less than enthusiastic about the prospect. Of course, if ISPs are made to pay royalties, that cost would almost certainly be passed onto consumers.At a press conference outlining their ideas, the panel of music industry experts also said that record companies were wrong to sue people who illegally download music.
"Prohibition always ends in disaster," said Dave Rowntree, drummer for the rock band Blur. "As an industry we've learnt our lessons."
"We all agree the consumer is the wrong target to be focusing our attention on," said Alison Wenham, chief executive of Aim.