Can pirated music be legalized and monetized?

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

As the battle wages on between the music industry and those who download tracks without paying, it’s clear record execs are having a hard time getting a handle on the situation. 

Enter 7 Sky Media.

The Danish company is taking a somewhat of a novel approach to "pirated" music by offering music bigwigs a way to monetize unauthorized copyrighted tracks.

"Our software is designed to play all digital files and locate the copyright holders regardless of where the file came from," Bo Schønemann of 7 Sky Media told Comon.dk.

"This means that we are the only company in the world that can offer the industry earnings from these vast quantities of [illicit] music, from which they currently do not receive a single penny."

The product comes embedded in a hardware digital music player or as a software.

When a user plays copyrighted music, ads are displayed and the revenue from these ads is then passed on to the copyright holders. If users don’t want to incur any ads, they can simply pay a small fee to bypass the click campaigns.

7 Sky Media works as a plug-in, so users can still play music on iTunes, WinAmp, Windows Media Player, etc. 

"My partner is from the music business and we will also use 7 Sky to help the ‘small’ musicians, partly by diffusion, so they can monetize their music without a record label," René Nygaard of 7 Sky Media explained.

"We’ve spent 3 years so far on agreements and contracts, this is not just an idea we have, but a real product."

The company is currently in negotiations with music companies and investment firms in preparation for domestic and international launches. 7 Sky Media attests they could have as many 12 million tracks offered through the system, but at this point the future is unclear.

Beyond label cooperation, integrating 7 Sky Media would require a user voluntarily download the application and install ad plug-ins to an existing player.

Fat chance. On the other hand, with the right kind of cooperation from Google or perhaps Apple, the product could work.

Of course, these companies would have to submit to preloading the plug-in on music players and within music systems for true success, but it could be a way for these large companies to keep the record labels at bay.

(Via Torrent Freak)