Greg Matter : Weblog: "What's the answer? It's neither the perfection of DRM, nor the absolution of digital property rights. I am sure that there IS aneconomic system that solves the problem. I don't know what it is, but I can speculate about its properties."
Greg (I forget his last name, but he works at sun) has a great post that resonates a lot with the things I've been thinking about here.
The parts that don't work are pretty obvious. How is the subscription rate set for a person? Is it a government role? What if I choose to live my life digital-free: should I have to pay taxes at all? Finally, how do I possibly compare the consumption of a bit of software versus a bit of music or a bit of video? (It turns out that time spent consuming the content is an interesting measure.)
It's fun to find out I'm not the only person coming up with ideas like this... I think we're at a point in history where this idea is just sort of manifesting itself. The rating system that I envision for the music distribution system is the same as one that Greg talks about in this post. I've sort of glossed over some of the problems by setting a price and making it an opt in service (instead of a tax). My hope is that by making a system that is compelling and easy to use, people will want to subscribe. Basically, we move music and music consumption to a service model.