Funny, today I had a discussion with a colleague about legal options for distributing music, and then I come across this article about something related — a peer-to-peer broadcasting network.
Our idea, which probably isn’t new and has lots of legal problems we didn’t think about, went roughly like this: Since it’s legal to give a CD one has bought to somebody else, who can listen to it and then return it — because the owner can’t listen to it while he’s given it away, and clearly lending your CDs to somebody else for free can’t be illegal — it should be possible to do something equivalent over the web.
This would be like a sort of floating license — only one person can listen to a particular song at any one time. Users would transfer their right to listen to music over the web instead of physically, but I can’t see any legal difference. If songs are so popular that many people want to listen to them simultaneously, the provider would simply buy more licenses … does this make any sense? Probably not, so it’s a good thing we’re not in the music business :-)