After a year of research, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is urging copyright holders to join together to offer blanket licenses to P2P networks.
They are drawing parallels with the copyright problem radio once faced in the US – Performing Rights Organisations (PRO) such as ASCAP and BMI were founded to allow radio stations to play music legally and ensure that artists and publishers were properly compensated.
The EFF also regard music licensing in the internet age as dogged with the same problems that the player piano industry fought though in 1909 with sheet music manufacturers. This early situation was also solved by a blanket license.
The money to be made is attractive – if users paid, for example, US$5 per month, income to the music companies would be more than US$3 billion – and almost in pure profit as no CDs would have to be manufactured or shipped.