February 23, 2008 by Zainab Somji
The Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) recently proposed legalization of peer-to-peer music filesharing via the imposition of an obligatory $5 monthly fee on all Canadian broadband users. It is estimated that this would result in the collection of $500 million to $900 million per year, to be distributed to musicians and creators to compensate them for the downloads of their songs. The solution sounds simple, but is laden with problems.
It is highly doubtful that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will accept this scheme without resistance. The enforcement of the monthly levy will see many angry internet subscribers, especially those who do not download music at all but who nonetheless have to pay for the service. Furthermore, the proposal requires that the distribution of the collected monies to each musician be based on the amount of downloads of that particular musician. ISPs will thus be required to engage in the costly activity of policing customer downloads closely. If that is not deterrent enough, the possible privacy issues that will result from such policing will likely further discourage ISPs from accepting the SAC proposal.
 “Could $5 a Month Save the Music Industry?” The