Isle of Man want to tackle file sharing by legalising it?

It seems as though the Isle of Man have their own ideas on how to tackle illegal file sharing, and other such methods of downloading copyright content as the Isle of Man’s government has announced that they don’t mind if their citizens take up the act, as long as they pay a blanket tax in order to go about doing so.

The Isle of Man want their people to be able to download whatever they want, whether it be through a P2P client, or through a torrent website, or any other format, and just pay a monthly fee.  They are pitching the idea to rights holders and ISPs to get their feedback on the scheme, and it seems as though its up to the ISPs to make a deal with the larger record labels to see that this plan is going to work.

The Isle of Man is claiming that the proposal has come from years of attempts to tackle the issue as well as deal with the industry, and by getting the rights holders and ISPs on board is the only real way to go ahead with the scheme.

Ron Berry, the Isle of Man’s inward investment manager, says, “A blanket license for ISPs to allow their subscribers to download music for non commercial use as an intrinsic part of their monthly ISP or MSP charge is the way forward.  However, to enable this to happen, it needs to be a collaborative effort between rights holders, telecommunication providers and Internet service providers, and a supportive government.”

Berry went on to say, “At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let’s embrace it.”

It comes as a fair old shock that those in the industry are actually backing the plan, and Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, has announced that the move would actually be better for the industry.  “If ISPs take the position advocated in the Isle of Man, we’d be in an enormously better position,” claimed Taylor.

The music industry has faced tough times ever since the introduction of file sharing, such as P2P downloading and torrent websites and has been attempting to try different ploys that have been fairly ineffective, such as lowering the prices of music CDs and releasing music on USB sticks.

The former manager of Pink Floyd, Peter Jenner, underlines the necessity of the industry to come to terms with the current opposition they face, saying, “Let’s face up to it. We’re in a crisis, which is not getting better.  The last 10 years have consistently got worse. The reality is that people are downloading for free. We’ve got to compete with free. I can’t see that anything that’s going on at the moment with the record business is going to solve what’s happening.”


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