I wrote this article originally for Water & Music in October 2021 after clarifying some of my thinking through discussion with the fantastic community there. Cherie has very kindly allowed me to repost to this Substack as it is foundational to a lot of the writing I have been doing since. If you enjoy it then you should seriously consider joining Water & Music as a subscriber.
Overall very much agree with your thinking. Will be really interesting to see how a new paradigm could come into existence and gain critical mass of catalog support. Perhaps doesn't have to include the back catalogue if it's really driven by internet culture and organic growth.
The glaring blindspot in your argument's construct? Compulsory licensing. A willing buyer/willing seller market might entertain a "post-royalty" conversation. But when music workers are forced to provide devalued labor, the only tolerable euphemism for that slavery is 'royalty.' I would know. My debut was a bootleg album, with Lucien Grainge complicit in the cover up of the illegal taking.