Steve Lohr ponders the future of intellectual property on the Internet. In the article he cites an idea by William Fisher, a Harvard law professor, to apply a different economic model. Similar in spirit to the royalities paid by radio stations to copyright holders in exchange for broadcasting their music, “Mr. Fisher recommends placing a 15 percent tax on Internet access and a 15 percent tax on devices used for storing and copying music and movies like CD-burners, MP3 players and blank CD’s.” There are plenty of wrinkles here, mostly due to imperfect tracking. How do we divide up the money between the major labels? Aaron Swartz has an idea.
I agree with David Bowie on this. The economics will change. My guess is that copyright holders will ultimately be wealthier for it, as with home video.