"I do not believe that the record label owns the song, the publisher does not own the song, even the artist does not own the song," McBride told AFP in an interview.
"It is the emotion that a fan attaches to that song, to that lyric that makes it popular. What the record business needs to do is to monetise the behaviour of that fan."
McBride said record companies need an alternative to what he sees as an outmoded business model that relies on a few mega-selling artists and copyright protection.
In almost every global market record sales are plummetting as people turn to the Internet for music, increasingly downloading it for free.
A recent survey by MTV of consumers in 12 Asian countries found that 77 percent of people aged between 15 and 24 had illegally downloaded music in the past month, while 59 percent had also made legitimate purchases.
The rampant piracy -- particularly serious in China where the rate of illegal downloading was put at more than 80 percent, which some see as conservative -- has led to aggressive legal action.