January 29, 2009

“Offbeat?” Only To Strict ©onstructionists [2:59 pm]

Isle of Man Plans Unlimited Music Downloads (pdf)

The island, a rainy outpost in the Irish Sea, is promoting an offbeat remedy for digital piracy, which the music labels blame for billions of dollars in lost sales. Instead of fighting file-sharing, the local government wants to embrace it — and it is trying to enlist a skeptical music industry’s help.

Under a proposal announced this month, the 80,000 people who live on the Isle of Man would be able to download unlimited amounts of music — perhaps even from notorious peer-to-peer pirate sites. To make this possible, broadband subscribers would pay a nominal fee of as little as £1, or $1.38, a month to their Internet service providers.

Ron Berry, director of inward investment for the Isle of Man, said the music industry needed radical approaches because of the “utter failure” of its current strategies. Global music sales have fallen nearly 25 percent since 2000.

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