Grokster and statutory licensing
So, Grokster and Streamcast make money from advertising. It seems like a much better solution than suing them out of business would be a statutory license that took some of the revenue and provided it to artists.
This approach was used with player pianos, and with music played in bars and restaurants, where some of the revenue needs to be shared by law with copyright holders.
Statutory licenses have been proposed before, but one problem was that there wasn’t anything particularly relevant to license. One proposal was to impose a tax on all broadband connections, whether or not the user downloads any copyrighted content.
The beauty of an advertising business model on peer to peer is that it is a logical target for a tax. The ad server could even measure the content that was being downloaded, and use the data to allocate the money proportionately.
Back in the day, when Congress extended statutory licenses to music played in restaurants and bars, were they wiser and more foresighted? Or was there a closer balance between the power of the music industry and the power of the bar and restaurant association?