Will Music Fees Be Included In Student Tuitions?
December 9, 2008 at 7:42 AM (PT)
U.S. universities are getting a glimpse at a plan that would build a small music-royalty fee into the tuition payments they receive from students, reports WIRED.COM. If successful, the model -- proposed by digital music strategist JIM GRIFFIN on behalf of WARNER MUSIC GROUP -- could be expanded to make ISPs the collector of such micropayments, eliminating some of the most irksome and contentious issues dividing the music industry and its customers.
An industry source told WIRED.COM that the independent nonprofit organization that would collect funds from universities and ISPs and disburse them to copyright holders will be called CHORUSS and that three of the four major labels have signed on, with UNIVERSAL the remaining holdout. A simple whois lookup revealed that GRIFFIN's ONEHOUSE DIGITAL registered the CHORUSS.COM domain in AUGUST.
Nonprofit technology advocate EDUCAUSE is shopping a version of the unlimited music plan on behalf of WARNER and the other major labels to several high-profile American universities including CORNELL, COLUMBIA and the UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO. Although talks are in the early stages, they could lead to ISP-level music licenses offered to the general public.
In return for a university paying fees to CHORUSS, its students would be able to continue downloading as they have been -- BIT TORRENT, LIMEWIRE and so on -- without fear of legal reprisal. Unlike previous plans that require the use of onerous digital rights management, this one would allow students to download music in the unprotected formats they prefer, using the hardware, software and networks of their choice.