Flattring to Receive

Of all things: One of the founders of the exchange-market “Pirate Bay” now wants to move Internet users to start paying.

That’s the lede of a recent entry on the jetzt.de – Technik weblog from the Munich newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which is about the latest project of Peter Sunde, one of the co-founders of the notorious Pirate Bay that functioned as a “torrent-tracker” site assisting visitors in downloading all sorts of content stored on-line – music, films – much of it of course on an unauthorized basis. The game was up last April when Sunde and his co-founders were sentenced by a Swedish court to one year in jail and a fine of 30 million Swedish kroner, for violation of intellectual property rights.

He’s still a free and solvent man, though, for now: that judgment is under appeal. And he has a new project to devote some time to while his fate is being decided. You’ll just have to judge his sincerity for yourself, but from Peter Sunde’s mouth it seems that all that the Pirate Bay ever wanted to do was provide a better distribution model for the content it offered. Of course the content owners need to be paid, somehow, he claims to believe, but they can figure out for themselves how that will happen, that is not his concern – the Pirate Bay just supplies the distribution technology. He claims his motto is “Free as in free [he must mean freely-available], but not free as in cost-free.”

Now he is whiling away the time before he probably has to go to jail by taking that philosophy a bit further. You want a payment model? he seems to be saying. OK, I’ll give you a payment model. The result is Flattr. (That link just leads you to their blog; the mechanism is not ready for public use yet.) The basic idea is that an Internet user pays a small amount each month, which during that month goes to reimburse content-purveyors to whom that user wants to convey his appreciation. But you can get more details – to help you decide whether this sort of thing can really ever work out – in the video below.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Comments are closed.