Matt Bellamy of Muse is the latest musician to weigh in on the music downloading problem. His solution? A progressive tax on all downloads tied to the amount of data usage regardless of what that data actually is:
Usage should have a value. Someone who just checks email uses minimal bandwidth, but someone who downloads 1GB per day uses way more, but at the moment they pay the same. It is clear which user is hitting the creative industries and it is clear which user is not, so for this reason, usage should also be priced accordingly. The end result will be a taxed, monitored ISP based on usage which will ensure both the freedom of the consumer and the rights of the artists."
The notion is similar in concept to the Canadian recording media levy which sees Canadians paying a tax on all blank media regardless of its usage. The tax is then used to compensate musicians.
Similarly, an independent musicician sending his demo to another person would have to pay Muse for the privilege.