A BitTorrent client developer has integrated a donation mechanism into an experimental build that will allow users to donate bitcoin to sharer of a torrent, according to a report published by Torrent Freak.
It’s not only limited to bitcoin, either. Litecoin, dogecoin, and PayPal are other options, too. The developer, FrostWire, hopes the move will allow content creators like musical artists and small-time developers to monetize their content by allowing downloaders to tip them right from the client.
The integration could also help developers of more popular free software (see Ubuntu and other Linux distros) fund their distribution via torrents.
“We believe piracy is best fought by giving consumers the options of getting legal content, and we want to build solutions that use this technology to empower content creators no matter how big or small they are,” said Angel Leon of FrostWire. “We want them to try BitTorrent as an alternative, an additional channel. We think it will be easier to convince more and more artists to join us with the new possibilities.”
“Putting it bluntly, Bitcoin and BitTorrent integration give us the tools to create the P2P equivalents of iTunes and Netflix, which are centralized venues which work great for big content but not so much for the little guys who have to jump through many hoops to get in,” Leon said.
The donation system could very possibly create a media store of sorts, eliminating intermediaries that might take a cut — which is really one of the principals of digital currency to begin with.
On the contrary, the system could reward sharers of copyrighted content, which of course would be illegal. Leon is looking at the bright side of things, though.
The software build will also allow the sharer to select the appropriate copyright license.
Whether or not the system will work as planned is something we’ll just have to wait for. Certainly, it would be interesting if things panned out as Angel hopes.
More information on the build can be found here.