Canada Says It Out Loud; Legal P2P Proposal Emerges

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Legalized file-swapping has been a concept since the late 90s, though major content holders have mostly resisted the possibility.

Despite immense volumes of P2P-based swapping and acquisition, most major label efforts have been focused on paid downloads, subscription initiatives, and more recently, broader content bundling and ISP-level filtering and enforcement.  The result is that file-swapping is almost always a gratis endeavor, one that leaves rights holders out of the equation entirely.

Against that backdrop, some executives are starting to consider more radical possibilities.  Just recently, the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) floated the idea of a $5 surcharge on ISP monthly accounts, in exchange for a file-sharing free-for-all.  The proposal, reported by the Toronto Star, could inject annual industry revenues of between $500 million to $900 million.  The proposal comes alongside a quickening CD sales slide, and increased consumer appetite for massive volumes of DRM-free content.