I read this Post from Felix Salmon, and thought back to an old Plan of Mine to actually pay for good digital information. People always proclaim that digital information cannot be controlled for quality or limited access, so no method of payment will survive. I disagree. My original plan was for each Page viewed longer than 30 seconds would be paid a tenth of a Cent. The FCC, and later World Trade agreement, would rule that the recipient IPO utilized be mandated with the payment, add an appropriate Profit ratio, and bill the Viewer. I felt this would be a first Step in a process where there monthly bill process for IPO service be altered to a per-View experience for Customers, with the necessary Charge for system maintenance and supervision.
The system would have an extreme number of advantages. Popularity of Site would pay the greatest amount, so eventually Quality of Product would be the major determinant of Payscales for authorship. Originality of Content will become the principle framework upon which the Payment system would be based. Significant Site followers could contribute to maintenance of the specific site, without direct contribution to the site. Authors would receive reward for effective provision of Content. Readers would only be billed for their usage of the system, from either Site author or IPO. The later can be mollified by FCC allowance of IPO payment of all system charges, prior to necessary payment to the Site author. The 30-Second delay before Charge assessment is easily tracked by IPOs, and cancels Charges for Net-surfing.
The program suggested would eventually lead to lower Unit Cost to all, and result in a general long-term shrinking of actual IPO charges, even though their Income would likely increase because of the switch to Site charges. The Consumer will likely pay more initially, but find declining Costs as the IPOs realized a greater capitalization from superior billing. The one-time charge per Site click allows the Consumer the cheapest avenue for pursual of information, especially if the re-click cycling be limited to once every 5 minutes. Authors, on the other hand, would be able to make money if they could generate heavy, consistent traffic. I like the billing system, and IPOs could cheaply introduce the necessary Software to track Site movement and stay. It is simply getting Business formats to change–never easy! lgl