France Shifts the Cost of File Sharing

“Under the amendment, Internet service providers would pay part of their revenue to Sacem, a group that has handled artists’ royalties since 1851, Soufron said. Details of the payments are not in the amendment. The group redistributed 578 million euros to musicians last year.

Legal music downloading sites such as Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes have French-language sites, as do major music companies such as Vivendi Universal SA. Last night’s amendment would allow someone having bought a song from one of those sites to share it with family or friends.”

If you’ve been looking at many of the hackneyed solutions universities have been using to account for the “file-sharing dilemma,” this to me simply seems a natural extension (and far less broken). People are going to steal music as long as they feel as if they’re being ripped off. Some will continue to steal. This ensures that no matter what, someone gets paid.

Now the real question is: how onerous will the payment method be (and that’s asuming the amendment even survives)? Here’s a huge clue X 4 to the French administration – if people feel it’s too expensive, they won’t pay. Europe


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