EFF kicks off new pro-file-sharing campaign

The Electonic Frontier Foundation has kicked off a new campaign to back the use of peer-to-peer file sharing systems and to call for reforms in the ways that copyrights are handled and music is licensed.

The site itself, and the campaign, are nothing new for the EFF, and on the surface, it looks as if there's nothing here but complaining about the music industry.

However, there is a box about "Payment Options" that has some interesting ideas in it.

Bandwidth Levies is a scheme from Harvard Law that envisions using a governmental organization to administer copyright payments for music (and eventually movies) in a manner similar to the ASCAP licensing, whereby musicians (and their associates) are paid based on estimates of how often their music is listened to.

Noncommercial Use Licensing is a proposal from the University of Texas Law School that puts forth a levy on anything that can be remotely looked at as benefiting from P2P file sharing and distributes revenues in a similar manner to Bandwidth Levies (above). In this case, the consumer will pay when they get their internet access, blank media (DVDs, CDs, etc -- which are already taxed in a similar fashion in the US), and even computers.

Another reference is to Brad Templeton's Microrefunds, whereby you pay for information by default, but get a period of time in which to stop your payment if you aren't satisfied (for any reason, including paying too much for something).

A bunch of interesting ideas there, but I'm not sure any of them work due to the requirement to retrain the public. However, the background information for each of the ideas is interesting to read.