What do you think of Virgin’s fee-based download plan?

June 15, 2009

Cable TV company Virgin Media is set to launch a new music service which will allow its broadband customers to stream and download an unlimited number of tracks and albums for a monthly fee.

Virgin Media, which has almost 4 million broadband customers, has signed up the world’s largest music company Universal Music Group to offer its artists such as U2 and Amy Winehouse. It expects to sign up the remaining major music labels before the launch at the end of this year.

The price is expected to be between 10 to 15 pounds per month and the two firms say it is a groundbreaking world first to allow the customers to download as many tracks as they want.

But the as yet unnamed service will also inevitably compete with illegal music-downloading services, which come for free.

As part of the deal, Virgin will also have the right to temporarily suspend those customers who are repeatedly using illegal sites to download their music.

Would you be convinced to pay the extra fee to guarantee a legal service and support the creative industries?

Or do you turn a blind eye to illegal file sharing and think an internet service provider should do the same?

How would you react to your online connection being disconnected?


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I use & pay for napster right now but if I don;t pay then all the tracks on my pc become useless. This idea from Virgin is great!

Posted by craig horner | Report as abusive

Seems like a great service .. I’d end up paying for a month, downloading everything I want, then canceling before the month ends. Then maybe do that once or twice a year. Unless they had minimum terms and/or early termination fees.

Posted by Joshua Coady | Report as abusive

I think it is chilling, and a bad step forward. Seeing that virgin said that it would “never disconnect a user for file sharing” They are going back on that promise. illegal file sharing only exists because of the fact that copyright has been extended again and again, currently it sits between 20-70 years.

I would change my ISP if i got cut off. It will be interesting to see if it can stand up in court.

Posted by Gussy | Report as abusive

I can’t see that this will stop people believing that the value of intellectual property is zero (especially given the depressing posts above from crooks), and that therefore there is nothing wrong with stealing it. In essence the scheme just subsidy (this time with light users subsidising heavy users) and all subsidy is fundamentally unfair and unjust.

Me, I’d just publish the names of the crooks along with a list of what they’ve taken and let the IP creators decide just how nasty a debt recovery agency they want to employ. Take someone’s iPod away in part payment of their debt and there’s no point in them stealing any more music….

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive