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BitTorrent + Donations = Viva la revolution? is an interesting question on Ask Metafilter about providing a service that makes it easy to share music and donate to the artists (which I was actually just talking to someone about the other day.) Metafilter user scarabic suggested that the Internet doesn’t need any help with the trading but to stick to the  facilitating donations aspect. Which made my wheels turn and I posted this:

The idea is decent but I think scarabic might be right. Why not find a way to hook donations into all the trading activity that’s going on right now?

It would be interesting if someone would build a verified directory of where to donate money to artists. Have an open API so torrent trackers and other music trading sites could implement it as a feel-good gesture.

That way if someone’s on some torrent tracker and is grabbing my album they could have a little link that says “Hey, like the album? Click here to donate to the artist.”

I think that’d be neat and have the potential to catch on and also potentially put a nice spin on all the trading that’s going on if it were to actually work in artists’ benefit.

Not sure if it’s actually doable though. If a big paypal directory’s not possible, you could turn yourself into a collection agency, hold and distribute the money or something. (Then turn evil and crook all the musicians out of their cash of course.)

I haven’t thought much about the technical aspects of it but I think it’s an interesting idea.

Posted on - March 31, 2006 [at] 10:58 pm by Brad
Tagged in - ,

4 Comments on this post

Scott Reynen on Viva la revolution?
April 1, 2006 at 12:48 am

I think FreeDB or MusicBrainz would be the logical place to put that information, as they already have large databases of music metadata. Aside from convincing everyone involved to participate, I think the main problem would be verifying artist identity. I could easily get a PayPal address under the name Brad Sucks and claim that I am you accepting donations.

Brad on Viva la revolution?
April 1, 2006 at 1:10 pm

There’s also the issue of fraud on the part of torrent trackers. Not sure if you could trust whatever music piracy site to not fake the donation links and just pocket the money.

Nash on Viva la revolution?
April 1, 2006 at 5:24 pm

What would be ideal would be a Paypal link or whatever DIRECTLY to the artist, without the involvement of the record label – it would help stop artists under the thumb of their labels getting screwed. Unfortunately, I highly doubt that even if a record label were getting some of the cut, they would sanction the use of voluntary payment for a BitTorrent download. After all, let’s be realistic, the only involvement and concern for the vast, VAST majority of labels is the income – optional payment just won’t cut it. So if a few artists on more lenient labels, or unsigned artists such as yourself, Brad, started operating in this way, and made it more popular, I’d imagine that labels would force their artists to sign contracts saying that they wouldn’t profit from or allow this sort of thing at all.

It’s a nice idea though.

my name is brad on Viva la revolution?
April 3, 2006 at 6:58 am

I was in a band in England called brad is sex. I was the singer and got a review comparing me to a broom in a closet. Pretty good. It wasn’t about being sexy needless to say. I like the artist wishlist, thanks

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