Music industry: 'Make file sharing legal'

Paul O'Mahony
Paul O'Mahony - [email protected]
Music industry: 'Make file sharing legal'

Sweden's largest music rights organization has proposed making file-sharing legal by including the cost of music downloads in packages offered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).


Writing in Friday's Göteborgs-Posten, the Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM) explained its willingness to sign cooperation agreements with ISPs.

The most pressing issue, according to STIM, is to find "new solutions making it possible both for those who create music to get paid for their work and for the freedom and ease of the internet to be used and developed to the maximum effect for all internet users".

File-sharing, though illegal, presents a good example of the efficient use of technology, said STIM.

"We want to sit down with the ISPs and discuss how we can work together to enable their customers to pay - via their internet subscription - for the music streaming through the providers' networks, thereby allowing them to become legal music surfers."

According to STIM's model, an average user's monthly internet costs will rise in proportion to the total amount of music being downloaded.

In return, internet users will be able to access and download all the music available on the internet at a given time.

"It will all become possible by ISPs entering into licensing agreements with STIM and other rights holders, in the same way as radio stations, retail chains and sporting venues," said STIM.

The organization believes that parents, who perhaps are uncomfortable with their internet connections being used for illegal downloading by teenage children, could be potential early adopters.

But STIM also concedes that a number of technical, financial and legal barriers need to be overcome before their proposal gains general acceptance.

"For example, any negative effects on existing, legal music services must be taken into consideration. But we are convinced that solutions for the future can be created by discussing ways to surmount the problems rather than digging new trenches."


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