All well and good. No one likes to be called a thief -- at least where I come from. But hey, I go to lot of trouble making my YouTube videos and taking my photographs, which appear o the Web in some form or another. How do I ever know someone isn't just taking them and using them for some purpose that I didn't intend?
But that's fine with me. I don't do these things to show off my talents in the hopes of making money, or even CREATE THEM for the PURPOSE of making money.
Why would it not be possible to have a behind-the-scenes micropayment system that covers EVERYTHING? Whether that be copying a photo I posted to Flickr or a YouTube video I linked to on my blog.
If such a behind-the scenes-system -- say, something you sign up for ONCE and never bothers you again, except to say in a nice way "Your funds are running low!" would AUTOMATICALLY take one, maybe two cents out of your "account, without you being aware of it but knowing that it is doing so, every time you view a YouTube video -- COMMERCIAL OR NOT!!, and sending it to the registered party's "account." In this way, 10,000 YouTube hits of your cat playing with your baby would put $100 in your account.
Me listening to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's 9th on YouTube would automatically send one cent to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's "account." Every time I replayed it.
Why is this hard to implement? Sure, it would be a vast project, but my God, iTunes was a vast project. Surely, I do NOT want to spend $576 on the latest version of Photoshop. But I don't use it every day. How about every time I booted it and used it for more than ten minutes, every ten minutes thereafter, two cents would disappear from my "account?"
I don't know what deal Brian Epstein got the Beatles for royalties on their first few albums. It could not have been much, now in hindsight releasing what amazing treasures they ended up being. But Beethoven got nothing every time some idiot played his Missa Solemnis a continent away.
Why, instead of this constant "You stole it from me! No I didn't, I've bought it a hundred times in other forms, why should I pay you again?" bullshit, we just install this system of micro payments?
I'd put $100 into my account today, only if it let me listen to Jan Akkerman's "10,000 Clowns on a Rainy Day" for a year any time I wanted to.