November 13, 2003
Now here is a heavy handed, stupid idea that may get done
Everyone is struggling with how to pay for digital content. There are two basic ways. Either you can set up some systems that guarantee payment on a per use basis for each content type across all possible devices (and allow very deep penetration into people's useage patterns of said content), or you could impose some arbitrary tax on the devices and pathways to those devices used to consume digital media. The later is the approach favored by this guy: John Palfrey : Alternative Compensation Systems for Digital Media
The idea of taxing a thing that may or may not be used for content consumption and distributing those taxes among probably owners who may or may not have suffered any loss is not new. It was done with audio cassettes and video tapes in both the US and abroad. The reason these systems catch on is that they are enforceable. There is a physical thing that can be taxed. There is a system to collect taxes. There is enforcement.
Much cleaner than micropayment systems, cross platform payments, DRM and all that other stuff. I predict that and compulsary licensing is the solution we end up with.
Posted by Martin at November 13, 2003 3:29 PM
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