Surcharge for sharing music?


The music industry is now lobbying for a file-sharing surcharge to compensate rights-holders for music shared online. It will involve ISPs collecting say $5/month from its broadband users.

It seems unlikely to me that this proposal willl be accepted by ISPs or the general public. There is no distinction made between broadband users who download music intensively and those who do not engage in such activities. Seems as if the music industry is making the general public responsible for their drop in CD sales and the increase in music piracy on the web.


  1. mpollock

    March 17, 2008 @ 12:01 pm


    I agree. This seems like a shameless attempt on the part of the downward-spiraling record labels to shift the cost of their business failure to the internet-using public at large!

  2. kparker

    March 17, 2008 @ 12:19 pm


    I don’t know, this isn’t the worst idea (and something that we have seen elsewhere in the DAT sections of copyright).

    I haven’t thought through this real hard but I wouldn’t mind paying $5 a year to have the RIAA stop suing individual people. It seems like a small price to pay and while the lack of a relationship between price and use is a little economically inefficient, when the price is only $5 I’m not sure that argument carries a whole lot of weight.

    Of course, if the RIAA still keeps just suing people and being meddlesome than the $5 isn’t worth it, but if they did stop that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  3. mpollock

    March 17, 2008 @ 8:27 pm


    $5 every month is actually pretty huge in my mind. That’s about how much I spend monthly on legal downloads on iTunes. I guess I feel like I’m part of the non-file-sharing public to which the costs of others’ actions are being shifted, and I don’t like it! 🙂

    And somehow I doubt that, even if passed, this will stop the RIAA from further action…