Saturday, March 14, 2009

Choruss - Jim Griffin

Check out the slide show by Jim Griffin regarding the proposed licensing scheme for file sharing on college campuses in the USA.

The intention is to implement a voluntary licensing scheme which does not required amendments to copyright law nor government intervention. Similarly Griffin does not propose that the fees paid for legal downloading should be applied on a compulsory basis, rather intending to offer opt-in, opt-out and all-in options. However, Choruss's focus is not solely on the legalisation of p2p file sharing - Griffin refers to this as a mere side effect - the aim of the proposal is to ensure monetisation of the digital music industry which includes other digital architectures in addition to p2p.

Interestingly he notes that in introducing a voluntary collective licensing scheme that mathematical perfection is impossible but that a reasonably fair division of funds can take place.

He states that it would be impossible, short of a compulsory license, for Choruss to prevent all future DMCA notices - partially because it will only apply to audio and also because it will only concern artists and labels that have agreed to cooperate. Major record labels are said to be negotiating however not all arists or labels will sign up to the scheme. They hope to have a test in place from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010.

Developments in technology mean that it is now far easier to count and compensate for the sharing of music than to filter exchanges and prevent it. Griffin concludes by noting that 'control' should not be the ultimate aim of the music industry.

While admirable in intention, as usual, there seems to be more questions than answers (check out the chat forum on the side of the slide show). The presentation goes for 1 hour.

Further Reading

Educause, Choruss: A New Business Model for Digital Music (3 March 2009) <> at 14 March 2009

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