Blog Post

FMC: Resetting the P2P Table

fmc1.gif[by Derek Slater] Today’s opening panel brought together heavyweights on both sides of the Grokster aisle, though the discussion was unusually tame. Everyone pointed to ways that the music industry can succeed by experimenting with new business models.

RIAA’s Cary Sherman and ASCAP’s Chris Amenita explained that, after the Supreme Court’s decision, P2P companies have put everything back on the table, and several appear ready to convert to licensed, filtered networks. Specifics were not disclosed, but licensing and settlement discussions have already begun. Sherman hopes that the community-building value of P2P can be preserved while stifling infringement.

EFF’s Fred von Lohmann reminded everyone that Grokster will do nothing to stop the availability of files on open, unfiltered P2P networks. Even Sherman seemed to agree with this point. Nevertheless, von Lohmann suggested that collective blanket licensing is a viable model. He pointed to ASCAP and the other PROs’ success as evidence that blanket licenses are flexible enough to adapt to new technology and get artists paid without trying to control consumers through DRM.