I’ve mentioned several times that instead of sueing their customers and crying to congress for new laws that the recording artists need to move on to a business model that works with the current technology. What I haven’t done is suggest a new model to replace the old one. I think that in order to maintain any credibility on this subject I ought to point out one that I believe could work.
ASCAP is an organization that collects royalties for public, non-dramatic performances of their members works. These royalties are collected in the form of a license that gives the holder the right to "any or all of the millions of musical works in the ASCAP repertory." Why not extend a similar license to individual downloaders? Similar licenses are available from BMI for many artists who are not represented by ASCAP.
Why couldn’t these organizations offer a download site that allows one to pay a fixd price per month and download as much music as they like for as long as they hold a license? It would be much cleaner and easier than sueing the customer. Wouldn’t it?