A new compulsory tax on broadband subscriptions in the Isle of Man could mean unlimited legal music downloads for its residents.

The local government has been in communication with four major record labels over the scheme, which would see residents make a nominal payment for a blanket license to munch on all the tunes they want.

"At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let's embrace it," Ron Berry, the Manx government's Inward Investment Minister, said to the MidemNet conference, according to The Register.

BPI... in favour?

Chief executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor, has welcomed the move, saying a blanket fee for P2P downloading would benefit the music industry.

"If ISPs take the position advocated in the Isle of Man, we'd be in an enormously better position," Taylor said.

However, the change might spark anger from a number of broadband users, because statistics show that around 81 per cent of them wouldn't be considered as music file sharers. In their case, the tax would be like being forced to have a TV License without owning a TV.

But the new scheme, which will carry only a small levy on top of the usual subscription fee, might encourage more people to start downloading music and legally building their digital collections.