Monday, April 02, 2007


Marketplace is one of my favorite shows. Oh, and did I mention thank goodness for podcasts? I'd never hear it if it weren't for them. Anyway, Celia Hirschman had a great piece on how the future of online-music could evolve:

Wanna know how the record business could save itself, pay artists, and eliminate piracy easily?

Simple. Make the Internet Service Providers the point at which a download is counted.

Whether you buy from itunes or steal from Bit Torrent, an Internet Service Provider, or ISP, brought the music to you. The ISPs know what was doanloaded, and will never have to reveal it, but make the ISPs pay into a royalty pool managed by an independent third party.

Also, their "final note" - that KITT (of Knight Rider fame) is being sold. Only $150K, if anyone wants to make me a loan...oh, and another Knight Rider movie is in the works...


Halley said...

Yeah, but what about free ISPs? Like the library or certain coffee shops- wouldn't everyone just go there to download their music? Wouldn't they feel the burden?

antonymous said...

There are lots of ways around this - block file-sharing protocols/ports at public access points (which some places already do), so that only web and email traffic go in and out.

You could cap the total amount of data transferred to a specific machine. It's easy to tell which users are abusing bandwidth and block them from all connectivity.

You could have the coffee shop actually charge money for internet use (unpopular? yes, but do coffee-shop owners really like it when you buy one cup of coffee and hog bandwidth for 8 hours a day anyhow?).

You could also have a special exemption for places where wifi is offered free of charge - a blanket fee for places like that. Besides, if you've got 5 people in a coffeeshop trying to download music, everyone else there is downloading at a ridiculously slow clip. They're not coming back there, and you're losing customers. There's incentive enough for owners to keep their own bandwidth pest-free.

Coffeeshops, like the music industry, will just have to adapt. Or else you could just bring a book to read, or heaven forbid, enjoy the company of your fellow coffee drinkers!