Isle of Man to get unlimited legal music?

P2P sharing to go legal in the Isle of Man?
P2P sharing to go legal in the Isle of Man?

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.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.