The Isle of Man government's e-business division has come up with an innovative proposal to license ISPs and telcos on the island, which it unveiled during the MIDEM international music market and conference in Cannes. The Isle of Man is a self-governing British crown dependency in the Irish sea, with a population of 60,000.

The move would enable ISP and telco subscribers to access music for non-commercial use from peer-to-peer services, via fixed line broadband or their mobile devices for a blanket monthly fee.

Ron Berry, inward investment manager for the Isle of Man government, said in a atatement: "This gives us the unique opportunity to lead the way in music licensing. The proposal is a culmination of a year's negotiations with key partners in the industry which began at MIDEM in 2008."

Berry added that it was still inviting input from rights holders to ensure that it is a long-term solution. He also suggested the system could affect the business models of commercial digital download services on the island.

"A blanket license for ISPs to allow their subscribers to download music for non commercial use as an intrinsic part of their monthly ISP or MSP [mobile service provider] charge is the way forward," said Berry. "However, to enable this to happen, it needs to be a collaborative effort between rights holders, telecommunication providers and Internet service providers, and a supportive government."