Musicians promised cut of digital pie

The profits from file-sharing programs that allow users to swap music files will be shared with artists once litigation settles down, according to an executive involved in digital download services.

Kevin Bermeister is the chief executive of AltNet, which distributes content via peer-to-peer (P2P) applications such as Kazaa. ABC News reported that Bermister told a Brisbane, Australia, music conference that file-sharing companies are exploring ways to return money to the artists whose songs drive the P2P market.

“As the progression of the litigation [against P2P companies] moves on ... there will in fact be a return of profits to artists,” Bermeister told a session on digital rights at Q Music’s Big Sound conference.

“There are funds established, there are distribution methods being explored for moving profits back to artists. I’m witness to actions that will end up seeing distribution back to artists,” he said.

However, Bermeister said the major players in the record industry have failed to embrace the demands of the new market.

“We’ve tried very hard to create relationships with the majors ... only to be attacked and targeted by litigation and attempts to control the activities of the file-sharing parties. I think that is a sad set of circumstances because in this environment, the market has already spoken. The users have already shaped what it is that they want, and we need to listen and embrace and modify and change and build on those strengths.”

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