C|Net News reports that the Distributed Computing Industry Association (the P2P industry group), has proposed a third business model for legally sharing music via P2P (Trade group proposes new P2P music model). You can read the details of all three models in a Power Point presentation (ever hear of open formats DCIA?): P2P Music Models [PPT].
Like their other models, this model has a snowball's chance in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks chance of succeeding, but then the DCIA isn't really interested in success, they are just interested in acting as if they want a solution. However, to the extent that they are proposing solutions that give the music industry a chance to control the market, the DCIA is essentially fronting for the RIAA. So let's take a look at this "new" model:
The model is a joke from the introductory sentence:
Sell content to consumers in the P2P marketplace - first by digital watermarking and DRM, then through uploader incentives and user participation programs.
Ummm, and why would people want to buy something they can get for free? Why will people download music files with DRM when they can, just as easily, download files without DRM? This makes absolutely no sense. Which brings us to "Phase 1":
Introduce digital watermarking system and apply DRM to copyrighted music in P2P distribution regardless of point-of-origin
What planet do these guys come from? Seriously. What sort of draconian, totalitarian solution will be required to ensure that all copyrighted music that enters P2P distribution networks has DRM and watermarking? This is simply ridiculous. It is hard to believe they can say this with a straight face. However, wouldn't Hollywood love this solution? All content would be ID'd and protected by DRM. I say that the DCIA can take my non-DRM, non-watermarking Ogg Vorbis ripper when they pry the keyboard from my cold, dead fingers.
Maybe We Can Bribe Stupid People, aka Phase 2
Incentivize active file sharers with revenue-sharing program for upgrading and applying DRM to music files they redistribute
This is a really great way to identify uploaders, who will presumably have to provide all sorts of identifying information to the RIAA in order to get their share of the funds. These readily identifiable uploaders better make sure they aren't sharing non-DRM'd copyrighted files or they will be in for a world of legal liability. This, of course, would tend to make their ability to redistribute much less than those who don't play nice with the RIAA/DCIA.
In any case, how in the world will they implement this? Will uploaders get paid for each download? Will uploaders get paid for each DRM wrapper that is opened? If so, how will the RIAA/DCIA keep track? Will each uploader have to create a unique DRM wrapper? The problems here are not trivial.
Also, explain to me again why P2P is the best way to implement this system? Why not just use webpages?
All Your Files Are Belong to Us, aka Phase 3
Ubiquitously deploy ID/DRM system to protect consumer-produced as well as label-produced musical works
Well, of course consumers should be able to participate in this DRM'd paradise. After all, if consumer-produced music wasn't properly DRM'd then we would be swamped with lots of non-DRM'd files in the P2P network, which would make it much, much harder to stop the non-authorized filesharing of copyrighted music.
Although this would be "voluntary" ("Develop technologies to permit consumers to insert file-fingerprints and register their own recorded musical works for P2P distribution" [emphasis added]), in the end it would become mandatory for all filesharing:
After full marketplace acceptance, evaluate TBD methods for potentially filtering unknown music files in manner acceptable to all affected parties
Gee, isn't that what the RIAA is asking for now? Thanks for nothing DCIA.