Fill your (three) boots with free music on the Isle of Man

20 January 2009

Aside from each resident having three legs and therefore a decidedly unfair advantage in international athletics, the Isle of Man has also achieved 100 per cent broadband penetration. It doesn't matter where you live, if you want a cheeky high-speed internet connection, you can have it.

That's not so say that every one of the (roughly) 80,058 inhabitants has a broadband connection, but that still hasn't stopped a local government minister proposing the creation of a compulsory music licence, not unlike our TV licence.

It'd mean that anyone on the island could download as much music as they wanted, direct from music labels. It throws up all manner of quandaries; any downloads would almost certainly have to include DRM, otherwise they could be pumped through the big fat pipes running on the sea beds and copied by anybody, anywhere. But minister Ron Berry's concern is that piracy will occur regardless, and where broadband is so readily available then a new distribution model could and should be attempted.

"Had the music industry embraced [Napster the first time]," said Berry, "we'd have a very different medium today."


TOPICS:   Cool Stuff   Technology


  • Mike H.
    I az got 3 legz, but da middle 1 ain't 4 walkin aight!
  • Andy v.
    we should just pop free wifi spots in lampposts like in hong kong and everyone will be happy!
  • MB
    I don't really get the link between broadband penetration and music. Just because you have broadband, it doesn't mean you necessarily download music (legally or illegally). Why should an internet user have to pay a download music licence fee when they might not want to listen to music? And who would keep the cash raised by this licence? The Isle of Man government or the music corporations?
  • lucerysmum
    I live on the Isle of Man-Ron Berry isn't a minister-he owns a local radio station.....very good it is too ! At last people can see we are normal people with the same things as everyone else-not backwards people from soemwhere the Isle of Man isn't ! And watch out for our cyclists.....a local lad won 4 stages of the Tour de France last year !
  • tom t.
    I reckon there should also be a licence for smelling flowers.
  • The B.
    Good on the Manx for yellow jerseys, although I'd have thought swimming would be more their forte, or does the webbing between the fingers give an unfair advantage?
  • Steve
    Ron Berry has a VERY bad reputation amongst the IOM musicians for reason which I will not divulge here, suffice to see that Mr Berry would most likely benefit more than anyone from such a scheme. You have to ask the question, how on Earth is music going to survive is no one wants to pay musicians for making music...and for the fees Mr Berry is suggesting that are paid to record companies, that would equate to the tiniest fraction of a penny per year to the musicians themselves. In a nutshell, treat Mr Berry with a GREAT deal of caution....

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