All 80,000 residents of the Isle of Man will soon have unlimited music downloads for one flat fee. The announcement was made yesterday by a government official at the MidemNet conference in Cannes.
Ars Technica reports (via The Daily Swarm), the British Isle is completely blanketed with the broadband coverage needed for a national compulsory music license to be possible. Ron Berry, the official who made the announcement, said, “At the end of the day, we’re not going to stop piracy. Embrace it… Had the music industry embraced [the original Napster], we’d have a very different medium today.”
There are still issues that could arise with such a program, however, which AT notes, includes “the fairness of forcing everyone to pay, whether they want to download files or not.”
However, the success or failure of this idea in the coming months could have great influence over the music industry of Europe and ultimately spread elsewhere. Hey if the Isle of Man can do it, why not America? Or at least Rhode Island.