The Performing Rights Society for Music is a royalty collection organisation operating in the UK, and they've come up with a new plan to stop music piracy on the Internet - traffic lights.

Web links in search results will give given a "green" tick of approval for websites that are offering legal content, while a red "stop sign" type graphics would be shown next to websites that have been judged to be offering pirated content, and/or have repeatedly ignored "takedown" requests and other behaviour which adds to their "piracy score".

The new proposal comes after a recent government backed report which showed that most consumers were not aware of the legal status of content when they find it on the Internet, as in most cases, it is not obvious which content are legal and which are not. And with so much free content in traditional media, and online, "the concept of 'ownership' and 'purchase' has itself been redefined," wrote the report's author, journalism professor Ian Hargreaves.

And so the new plan will attempt to make it easier for the "moral majority" to spot websites offering pirated content, and do the right thing. Except the main issue of who decides which sites are "good" and which are "bad" is a contentious point, even if the suggested "independent body" is set up to oversee such a massive operation (which might have to, on a daily basis, classify thousands of websites just to keep up with the number of new websites being set up, especially websites offering pirated content).

And then there's also the suggestion that the "red lights" will actually help pirates identify the best websites to download pirated content, forming an online "red light district".

You can read PRS for music's press release on this new plan, as well as the proposal PDF file, by going to this link:

Traffic Lights: Creating a distinction between legal and illegal content online

(Story Source)