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Plan would have students pay flat fee for unlimited access to P2P

A number of U.S. universities expressed interest in plans for a “music tax,” where students would pay a flat fee as part of their tuition in return for the promise of no lawsuits from the RIAA.

The plan, spearheaded by Warner Music’s Jim Griffin, would essentially free up copyright enforcement resources in place at the RIAA and universities in favor of a “blanket license” of sorts – even though the actual language of the plan simply grants a promise not to sue.

Money collected will be dispersed to artists through a means that has yet to be determined.

Griffin, a long-time cheerleader of “music surcharge” proposals, says the plan is still in its early stages. Despite that, however, he tells TechDirt that he is “actively engaged with universities and other parties to seek a constructive resolution to a complex issue,” and that his plan is “exactly the type of solution that several universities and their associations have been asking for.”

The anonymous tipster reports that interested schools include Columbia, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of Washington, MIT, University of Colorado, University of Michigan, Cornell, Penn State, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Virginia. Further supporting his claims is a PowerPoint presentation pitched to universities and signed by Mark Luker of EDUCAUSE .

The presentation, which Griffin says “belongs to someone outside [Warner Music] and represents that individual's interpretation of… meetings held several months ago,” says the plan is designed to:

  • Allow students access and the use of any music they want.
  • Avoid DMCA issues and lawsuits.
  • Avoid technological regulations that might hinder university networks.
  • Provide “fair” returns for copyright holders.

TechDirt notes that the idea is an adaptation of a larger surcharge suggested for all U.S. ISPs, where they would simply “add an additional fee to everyone's internet access, have that money go into a pool that the recording industry would be responsible for paying out.”

“This is a bad idea for a variety of reasons,” writes TechDirt’s Mike Massnick. “It's basically a music tax – allowing the record industry to be lazy. Someone else gets to go out and collect all this money and hand it over to the industry to distribute … It effectively sets the business model of the recording industry in stone, and harms better, more innovative business models by inserting the recording industry (and not the musicians) into a role where they don't belong.”

“We recognize that there are many different potential solutions to this issue, and we are determined to continue to think creatively and cooperatively with other parties in order to find the best ones,” replies Griffin. “At this early stage, many ideas may be discussed and discarded, but efforts to prematurely label or criticize the process only hinder achievement of constructive solutions.”



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Translation
By svenkesd on 12/8/2008 9:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Money collected will be dispersed to artists through a means that has yet to be determined.


RIAA and music labels keep 99%, artists get 1%.




RE: Translation
By chmilz on 12/8/2008 10:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
RIAA and music labels keep 99%, artists get 1%


99% of that 1% goes to factory churned has-beens like Britney Spears, instead of actual artists, to keep the big ugly celebrity machine turning.


RE: Translation
By Drexial on 12/8/2008 12:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly the points I was going to bring up. This fee all goes to the RIAA. This isn't a solution. Its just another way to gain more money compared to what the artists get already. In reality record companies are just loan/advertising agencies. They loan you money they think they will make back through record sales. Then continue to collect after that loan is paid off.

You don't sell enough to make the money back then you owe. If you don't make the millions they thought you would, its your fault. That's like if a company you invested in didn't perform the way you thought it would, then demanded back the money you invested, even though the shares are worth half.

I mean I understand the personal responsibility that should be involved with any contract. But it always seems the individual gets screwed. If you don't make money you still owe them whats left. If they don't make money you loose what you invested.


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