sends in Ars coverage of a speech by Jim Griffin, who is a consultant for Warner, one of the big four music labels. Griffin is encouraging dialog on the idea of blanket licensing of music
— a topic heretofore more likely to be heard from the EFF or the Barenaked Ladies. "Taking music without paying for it may not be 'morally voluntary,' Griffin says, but he admits it has become 'functionally voluntary.' No civilized society, he adds, can endure 'purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture.' So Griffin's job is to help Warner monetize digital music, and he's convinced that the issue of payment for music is nothing less than 'our generation's nuclear power.' Griffin's most intriguing idea, and one he's been pitching for some time now, is a voluntary, blanket music license; essentially, bringing the collection society model to end users. In this model, consumers would pay royalties into a pot (by paying an extra monthly fee to their ISPs, for instance) and would then have access to all the music from all the labels that participate in the scheme."