Music Biz Considers ISP Tax

If you had Coca-Cola coming through the faucet in your kitchen, how much would you be willing to pay for Coca-Cola? There you go.According to Wired, Music Industry Proposes a Piracy Surcharge on ISPs:

“The labels are beginning to like the idea of an access-to-music charge,” says [head of the International Music Manager’s Forum, Peter] Jenner, “because they’re increasingly aware that their current model is broken.” U.S. music sales, which peaked in 1999 at nearly $15 billion, dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006. Last year’s figures are still being tallied, but with CD sales cratering and online sales overwhelmingly dominated by singles, the only question is how far they’ll fall.

Meanwhile, the industry’s antipiracy efforts appear more and more futile.

How would you feel about an involuntary $5/month surcharge on your internet service provider? Right now, I pay about $30 a month. Bumping that up to $35 is a 16.7% increase. That’s an extra $60 a year. Then again, right now I pay $9.99/month to eMusic for 30 legitimate indie label MP3 downloads.

So if we had legal clearance to use filesharing apps, would that put eMusic, the iTunes Music Store, and Amazon’s MP3 store out of business? Or would they just have to figure out a way to add value to a product that we can otherwise get for free. Sort of like Aquafina, Ice Mountain, and Dasani did…

One thought on “Music Biz Considers ISP Tax”

  1. Well, since I pay $12 a month for eMusic downloads, I would surely pay $5 a month to legally use file-sharing services.

    Of course, we’re music fans, so the question is kind of a no-brainer for us. For folks who don’t really care about music, though, it would amount to a fee being collected on a service they don’t use. I can’t see that going over very well.

    If the technological experts can figure out a way to impose the surcharge on those who use the services, that would be optimal…but knowing the way things are, piracy proponents would figure out a way around it.

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