There is quite an issue at the moment about copywrites in music, piracy, i-tunes vs other formats etc. People are conscious of the risk of having to rebuy their music in different formats- e.g. LP to CD... etc.
Thus I propose the following. A business would be set up which had deals with the music
companies to sell the rights for their music individually, WITHOUT THE MUSIC IN ANY FORM. The consumer simply takes hold of a security code identifying 1 individuals right to a single or album. I would propose that this is all organised through a website so that each person has an online database of all the music they have a right to.
In music stores, CDs etc would come marked with 2 prices- with digital rights and without. If you want to buy a CD without digital rights, you tell them your online account number/give them a membership card and they check your database for the necessary code. If you buy a CD with digital rights you still tell them your account number/give card, and the code is added to your database (or maybe it comes with the code on a card inside and you do it yourself?). Paying to download music online would work in a similar fashion. Note that it is important that you would only be able to buy 1 copy of any format on a single digital right.
The small amount that goes to the artist would be contained within the digital rights, and when starting this system up this is emphasised. Thus people who have illegally dowloaded or bought pirated music can still buy the digital right and support the artist, without paying the extortionate price for the CD. This would be good for the music industry, but bad for music stores, by shifting the effects of piracy to them somewhat, but it only requires the acceptance of the music companies to set up this scheme, and the music stores must follow suit. So basically the music companies would make the majority of their money from the rights, the music stores from the formats.
Or I am thinking that if you had your digital right number digitally imprinted onto the CD when you bought it, and then players would check for a viable DRN before playing. Then to play pirated CDs you would have to buy a pirated player as well, which would certainly reduce piracy... unless the pirates got around the DRN. Of course you couldn't actually do this with CDs because of the existing situation but you could start a new format to implement this. Also then you could have a situation where the music companies paid the police to check people with portable music players to see if they were DRN using ones.
Anyway the possibilities are various, but I hope you get the general idea.