There's an old idea being kicked around Europe and the United States about a new way in which we (the people) are allowed to legally consume music: global licenses attributed to us through our internet service providers that "would substitute royalty payments on the purchases of digital music over the internet." Hmmm... Blogosphere, assemble!
FMQB is reporting that the license fee would be "collected by" ISPs in addition to your monthly internet bill. You'd own the songs and get to put them on whatever player you want. Say goodbye iTunes exclusivity. And that's the idea. Apple may look pretty, but it grabs two balls in one fist with relative ease, making anything downloaded on iTunes only fair for one device, its iPod. There's been great contention in Europe over Apple exclusivity, and "consumer groups in Germany and France have now allied with Norway, Denmark and Sweden to push Apple to make songs sold from iTunes compatible with music players other than iPods."
Compatible with, say, the Microsoft Zune? Interoperability is the buzzword and a global license could be the key to shifting emphasis away from failing CD sales. CD, we hardly knew ye. But how will it work? What about free Wi-Fi? Will ISPs get a cut for handling money? And why should they be handling royalties, of which they have nothing to do with? So many questions... Blogosphere, do what you do best! Show us how insightful and witty you are while telling us the error of other peoples' ways.
Who knows, maybe interoperability will catch on. The future is a strange and dangerous place. In two years, I bet you'll be able to put Coke inside a Pepsi bottle, and vice versa. It may seem strange now, but in two years, when you're going into a Pepsi-controlled fallout bloc, you'll praise newly elected President Mitch Bainwol, Earth Division for that forward-thinking agenda, as those thugs will turn their plasma acid rifles on someone else.