Die Isle Of Man plant eine Kulturflatrate (vorher auf Nerdcore: Isle of Man testet die Kulturflatrate). Dazu gab es zwar die Meldung, die ISPs hätten von diesen Plänen noch nichts gehört und der Mensch auf der Midem, der das Thema zur Sprache brachte, sei „nur“ Radiomoderator, nun hat aber Ron Berry, der E-Commerce-Berater der Isle Of Man-Regierung, im Digital Music Forum erklärt, wie sie die Flatrate planen und umsetzen wollen. Letztlich haben sie die Situation des Copyrights betrachtet und gesehen, dass Klagen und Three Strikes keinerlei nennenswerte Auswirkung auf die Situation haben. Und die einzig richtige Alternative gezogen.
The alternative, it was decided, was to find a way to legitimize what people were doing anyway, and start developing a revenue stream based on file-sharing. For Berry, the common factor for piracy is the Internet connection, leaving the ISP or MSP (mobile service provider) the place to act. Again, Man's situation—there are only three ISPs, and most subscribers use Manx Telecom—made working through the ISPs/MSPs a relatively uncomplicated matter.
There were lots of potential models for extracting fees through the ISPs, and Berry said that various opt-in and opt-out schemes were considered, but, ultimately, it was decided that the only thing that would realistically work was a flat fee on every ISP user. That means that everyone who accesses the Internet, even if it's done through a prepaid mobile phone plan, will be facing an additional fee, even if the devices they use can't actually play music.
Clearly, that's something that might provoke a bit of public outcry, but Berry mentioned a number of reasons why he didn't expect there would be a significant public pushback. By targeting everyone, the fee would be small—about £1 a month—that would easily disappear into the fine print of a service plan. As for complaints from those who don't use digital music, Berry compared it to situations where people pay for things like public pools as part of their town taxes, even if they don't swim. He also noted that Man's population is familiar with the UK model, where fees are attached to specific services, such as the license fees on television sets that go to support the BBC.