Washington Internet Daily, artikeln

Jag skrev nyligen om STIM:s föreslagna bredbandsavgift, och en intervju om detta i Washington Internet Daily. Artikeln finns inte allmänt tillgänglig på nätet, men jag har nu fått tillstånd att publicera den:

Rights Group Plan Would Allow File-Sharers to Pay ISPs More for Legal Downloads

A Swedish rights body is mulling legal file-swapping if ISP subscribers pay more. The plan, first reported by the English-language paper The Local, would license file-sharing and was unveiled Friday, a Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM) spokeswoman confirmed, providing no more details by our deadline.

Moderate Party legislator Karl Sigfrid, who favors decriminalizing file-sharing, said a modest fee would be more palatable to ISPs and users than tougher enforcement of intellectual property rights, but STIM’s plan won’t work until the international copyright regime is changed.

STIM wants to talk to ISPs about enabling customers to pay for music streaming over networks, The Local quoted the group as saying. The regime would raise an average user’s monthly Internet charge in proportion to the total amount of music downloaded, allowing users to access and download all tracks available online at a given time. The system would entail licensing agreements between STIM and other rights owners.

STIM reportedly noted several technical, financial and legal barriers, such as negative effects on existing legal music services. But Sigfrid said the proposal raises other issues as well.

Sigfrid’s chief criticism is that “Sweden can’t solve the file-sharing/copyright conflict in a way that’s radically different” from how it’s done elsewhere. To decriminalize file-swapping, with or without the Internet fee STIM suggests, Sweden must work within the EU, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and other international bodies, he said. But nationally, Sweden can resist setting harsher penalties on file-sharers, Sigfrid said. Uploading and downloading copyrighted content is illegal, but that need not be countered with means many people find overly invasive, he said.

And collecting and distributing user fees could lead to arbitrary distribution of the money, Sigfrid said. Someone collecting money for copyright owners will put it to other uses, he said. If charges are mandatory, non-downloaders would be paying for others’ music. If voluntary, who would pay the fee, he asked.

If international terms can be reached, a monthly fee for downloads would be preferable to more enforcement, said Sigfrid, adding that STIM’s proposal can’t work unless the international copyright regime changes. “Still, the change has to start somewhere, so I think the STIM proposal is a good initiative to start an international debate,” he said. Sweden’s national recording industry association didn’t respond to a request for comment. — Dugie Standeford

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