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Collective Licensing for Web-Based Music Distribution 236

Two weeks ago we discussed a proposal from music industry veteran Jim Griffin to implement a monthly fee from ISPs in exchange for the legal distribution of copyrighted music. Now, quinthar brings news that Warner Music Group has hired Griffin with the intention to make that proposal a reality. Warner wants Griffin to establish a collective licensing deal with ISPs that would let the ISPs stop worrying about their legal responsibilities for file-sharing while contributing to a pool of money (potentially up to $20 billion per year) that would be distributed amongst the music industry. "Griffin says that in just the few weeks since Warner began working on this plan, the company has been approached by internet service providers 'who want to discharge their risk.' Eventually, advertising could subsidize the entire system, so that users who don't want to receive ads could pay the fee, and those who don't mind advertising wouldn't pay a dime. 'I.S.P.'s want to distinguish themselves with marketing," Griffin says. "You can only imagine that an I.S.P. that marketed a 'fair trade' network connection would see a marketing advantage.'"

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