One of the threads about the new Hollings bill led me to a very interesting article at Salon Courtney Love Does the Math
which gave a clear picture of how and how much music artists would love to have an alternative to the record companies. A direct Internet connection; something like a hosting and management(?) service. Are there such services? Maybe I just need to buy a clue here...
There was another article about how Gnutella (or any free file-sharing) eventually grinds to a halt, lawsuit or no, once it gets big enough to be interesting - there are few providers for many consumers. So a pay service seems reasonable - but I don't see ads on TV for any. What isn't working? I refuse to believe that it's JUST a Hollywood conspiracy.
What kind of services would you pay for (music or movies)? Not just delivery, but added value such as "hardcopy" sales, user ratings, or what?
I'd really like to see pay audio/video hosting which is cheap enough for almost anyone. Love makes a repeated point in the article that musicians have often played only for tips - the music is freely given and so are the tips. When you have a potential audience of zillions, you can eat on this. PassTheHat.com? What's needed to make that work?
Editors, guides, indexers - how much is this service/are these people worth? "I like Zappa; what else would be cool?" User ratings/referrals are fine in many cases, but I think there is a case for the paid professional searcher.
Basically, a billing system which can be mandated ($3/view) or optional (leave a tip if you like) would seem to be required.
Fighting the RIAA/MPAA on their own legal ground is not the Internet Way.
Route around obstructions; don't try to bash through them.
Make your difficulties irrelevant - design a better middleman!