The likes of Adam Ant and Billy Bragg are among the names backing the Free At What Cost? project. Launched by British composer Hélène Muddiman, the idea behind the campaign is to ensure that artists and content creators get a fair deal by charging for online views and listens.
The basic idea is to protect content against free viewing in an extension of the idea of simple DRM. While the logistics are still to be fully detailed, one of the proposals is to use a Bitcoin-like payment system to enables people to pay artists directly for access to their content.
Muddiman is keen to help find a way to ensure that content creators get paid for their work, saying “Theft is theft. There is no difference between stealing digital content and stealing from a shop, other than, at present, it’s easier.” She is already working on developing the technology that will be needed and, as reported by the Guardian, says that it could “change the economics of the web”. It’s an idea that has been toyed with before, but it now seems that great strides have been made both in terms of development and