The record industry has welcomed the European Union's proposed online copyright legislation, which it says will enable it to distribute music online without the risk of piracy.
Music publishers planning to distribute music online say they will not do so until these laws are introduced because of the extent of casual piracy and free copying (in part due to the development of MP3 technology).
Publishers are hoping that a new European Union (EU) copyright laws, finalised last week, will lead to the introduction next year of legislation that will protect any switch to selling music in the form of internet downloads rather than on the high street.
The directive still has to pass through the European Parliament again this autumn before governments can introduce legislation based on it.
Music industry group the British Phonographic Institute (BPI) say legislation is needed to allow it to clamp down on piracy, agree licensing deals with MP3-focused websites and require ISPs to gain prior approval before transferring music from websites to users. This could be in the form of a paid for licence.
Andrew Yeates, director of legal affairs at the BPI, told vnunet.com, "Technology will enable new business models for the record industry to be created. Some will mirror broadcast models such as Sky digital, making music in one form available free and introducing a tiered pricing model.
"New business models at the other end of the spectrum involve substituting online delivery for retail sales."
However, Yeates does not expect the EU copyright directive, and in particular clauses relating to exemptions for technical processes for caching - the process of storing copies of files on servers without which the internet would slow down dramatically - to simply be rubber-stamped.
"We welcome the current position but we expect there to be further debate," he said.
ISP lobby groups plan to step up their efforts to allow greater exemptions for technical copies, arguing that they need more leeway to allow caching.
Service providers are also opposed to any moves to make them pay licence fees to store copyrighted material in caches, saying that the increased costs may be passed on to users.
Sales of electronic delivery of books, software and movies are also expected to take off once the new laws are in place, and the EU has also begun the process of updating laws to charge VAT on downloads.
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert