When it comes to stomaching music piracy, whether good or bad, Canada finds it quite easy to do. Without harsh punishments like the RIAA in the US, Canadians rarely need fear reprisal for pirating music.
The Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) believe that perhaps a middle ground can be found. If Internet service providers (ISPs) would charge $10/month fee, they could in turn allow users to download any music they want reprisal free. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) currently use a similar model for business which play music to their patrons.
Eddie Schwartz of the SAC, believes this will also make it easier to prosecute offenders, saying “The surest and swiftest way to dramatically reduce infringement is to give consumers an authorized way to music-file share. Once such an authorized system is in place, consumers who refuse to pay a reasonable licence fee will clearly be choosing to infringe and can be dealt with accordingly.”
Although this idea would certainly benefit songwriters, it would be difficult to satisfy all parties. David Fewer, director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, believes that while possible, this may or may not be a good idea. He believes the SAC proposal does not explain where all of the money would go, nor does it include whether or not the record companies would get a cut.
While the fee is likely to only affect Canadian music, there is also a question of how international artists would be compensated.
Is this a sound business model, or are there too many holes?