Powerful computer and telecommunications companies are allying with upstart file-swapping service Kazaa in a bid to overhaul the way record labels are paid for music and other content distributed on the Net.
Stung by legislative proposals that could force computer companies and Internet service providers to become anti-piracy cops, Verizon Communications and an influential technology trade association are beginning to push a copyright proposal that could make downloading a song online as legal as listening to the radio.
Known as "compulsory licensing," the idea has floated around the US for several years in various forms, but it has been bitterly opposed by record labels and movie studios. Until now, it has been backed almost exclusively by the file-swapping companies themselves. But the addition of influential technology companies to the mix would shift significant political weight behind it.
News source: ZDnet