As, I indicated I would do a few post back, I will now elaborate on my idea for a music sharing service that pays the artist. Simply put, I figure someone would could put together a non-profit site where any musical act who agreed could put have any of his, her or their, releases available in one place in streaming audio as well as multiple downloadable forms. The acts would have the option of including an electronic tip jar, for people who would like to financial compensate them for work and the site would have advertisements and would pay the artists all the ad revenue their content generates for the site, minus some minimal amount of overhead needed to keep the site running.
The site could be government in the same way I described for the similar social networking site I proposed here and on the Abolish Work blog. As I stated:
“The way it would work is that all users can list one and only one fellow user (or themselves or no one) as their representative. Representatives who are listed by 10% or more (or perhaps some other percentage) of the user base get to be on the governing body, whose main function is to oversee the development staff, negotiate with advertisers ect. Representatives can be recalled anytime, they are no longer listed by the determined percentage required to be a representative. It also occurred to me that representation can be decided anonymously.”
My understanding is that sites like Spotify and Youtube are all ready using advertising revenue to pay the creators of streaming content and so I see no reason this cannot work with downloadable content as well. Sites like The Pirate Bay are already enriching themselves this way with downloadable content, so I see no reason why a site providing the same service could not simply give the money to the relevant artists instead. The way I see it intellectual property rights are becoming unenforceable and we are entering a post-scarcity age when it comes to information. This proposal would at least still allow the creators of audio content to get paid for their trouble, when people download it for free.
Of course, I think the artist should also get the opportunity to dictate what kinds of advertisements are associated with their download page, and even opt out entirely of advertisments if they wished. I could potentially see different recording companies or artist creating their own similar sites, to give themselves more creative control. Anyway, that is my proposal, though I do not know how much I can do to pursue it, but it strikes as a direction music creators may inevitable have to go.