A Microsoft patent just revealed shows Redmond's plans to make file sharing a music industry revenue stream.
Zunescene found the patent, which could be added to new music playing devices. It would force royalty payment after three plays of a copied track and would give the source of the transferred file a piece of the action, a percentage of the revenue gained from that song.
File trading now delivers more music than any for-profit delivery system per Zunescene -- more than iTunes, Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy combined, so it's logical that Microsoft looks for ways to profit from it, especially given the tenacity of the RIAA and other music label agents in trying to fight it.
As one example of the latter, a Eurocourt was conned last week into making ISPs liable to block file trading, against existing statue and case law as per the legal matters blog Out-Law. That Belgian court cited one solution as Audible Magic's CopySense "digital fingerprint" system, which IDs pirated files and blocks their delivery.
However, EFF reports CopySense is trivial to defeat. One after another DRM system has fallen, thanks to the creativity of hackers. But, embedding the DRM into a proprietary device might succeed where others failed.