I just read an article over at ArsGeek where the author was wondering how copyright infringement and illegal filesharing could be legalized. His suggestions where subscription-sites for legal downloading and/or pay-per-view-systems (specifically on the Pirate Bay which was to be legalized just like Napster but from what I heard the deal is a good as cancelled). However that might evolve, I don’t think that one of these two business-moldels will be there on the long run because both systems are limited to what one site can offer (with whom from the industry they made contracts) and no one is going to register on multiple sites just to get everyting they want, because it’s expensive and a pain in the a.s.s. Of course it works a little for music so it will work with movies to a certain degree but most of the people will still download whithout paying anything from illegal sites.
I gave these things some thoughts recently and I think in the end the only solution is to allow people to download whatever they want from whereever they want when they pay a monthly/yearly fee. The collected money than needs to be distributed to the artists (this will cut out most of the music- and movie-distributing and -marketing people, that’s why they are not really happy with this).
The thinking on how this might be organized (how do figure out a more or less cheat-free way which artist is getting how much money etc.) is just starting and it will probably take a long time until we have a system up and running because it has to be legalized by the law all over the world.
This model is called »Kulturflatrate« (»Culture-flatrate) in Germany.
I could not find the English term or any further reading in English, but this (German-subtlitled but English) video-interview with Danny O’Brian, who is activism coordinator at the Electronical Frontier Foundation, is a good start.