“Functionally voluntary” music may lead to blanket licenses

Aug 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Entertainment

Ars Technica: Jim Griffin consults for Warner, one of the four major music labels, and he sees a disturbing sight when he looks around at the digital music landscape. Taking music without paying for it may not be “morally voluntary,” Griffin says, but he admits it has become “functionally voluntary.” No civilized society, he adds, can endure “purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture.”

So Griffin’s job is to help Warner monetize digital music, and he’s convinced that the issue of payment for music is nothing less than “our generation’s nuclear power.” If our society can monetize music in a balanced, consumer-friendly way, the results will be awesome. If we can’t… well, remember Chernobyl?

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