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Ex-Pirate Bay Admin Launches Micropayment Service

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the a-bit-cheeky-don'tcha-think dept.

Media 197

spyrochaete writes "Peter Sunde, formerly 'brokep' of The Pirate Bay, recently launched a beta version of Flattr — a micropayment service enabling internet users to tender cash payments to any participating content publisher. Its model enables users to divvy monthly subscription fees as donations awarded to the musicians, bloggers, photographers, or other publisher of their choice. Sunde tells the BBC, 'We want to encourage people to share money as well as content,' and asserts, 'people love things and they want to pay.'"

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Good idea (3, Insightful)

^_^x (178540) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125516)

Sounds pretty nice as long as it doesn't commercialize things that are already free. I like it because you wouldn't think about each individual transaction since you pay a flat rate.

Re:Good idea (1)

Hermel (958089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125604)

I signed up for it. I'd love to see this succeed. A flat rate to pay for things that can be copied without cost makes economical sense.

Richard Marx Stallman is a pedophile communist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125626)

"I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren’t voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing."

--Richard Stallman

Re:Richard Marx Stallman is a pedophile communist (-1, Offtopic)

SigILL (6475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125662)

"I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing."

--Richard Stallman

That's pretty insightful of him!

Yes, and no (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126268)

> That's pretty insightful of him!

But what I find most interesting is that most people learn, after a certain age, that it doesn't pay to say everything you think, no matter how insightful it actually is.

Re:Yes, and no (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126432)

Richard Stallman says so many outrageous things that it has become socially acceptable for him to say outrageous things.

Re:Good idea (1)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125776)

No it doesn't.

In economic terms if something can be copied without cost, then it must be ``sold'' to everyone for nothing.

Flat rate to consume for flat rate to produce makes very good common sense though. Which is better than economical sense any day; there is a very good reason economics is called the dismal science.

Fine, another target for exploits (3, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126306)

As soon as it's up and running, you can bet that there will be trojans, worms, evil javascript, and so forth all vying to exploit it. Setting up artificial flattr clicks to a scammer's site will probably be possible in many ways, even if you never consciously visit that site. Collecting flattr cash from a handful of victims is hardly worth the effort, but if you can infect enough unwitting donors, then it should be worth a bit.

Before long, infected PCs will just be sending floods of flattr clicks to a swarm of scammer sites, and the few clicks sent to intended sites will be effectively worthless. I expect flattr will fall by the wayside, unless security measures are added for each flattr click (password or other interactive authentication). It will certainly collapse after it adopts sufficient security to properly inhibit exploits.

I'm with stupid (-1, Offtopic)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125518)

Yes, I will voluntarily give my money to pirates.

Re:I'm with stupid (4, Insightful)

xous (1009057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125586)

Hi,

As far as I know Sunde has never been accused of pirating anything. ThePiratebay was and still is legal in Sweden.

Just because you can use their service to illegal distribute content does not make the creator a pirate. This would be the equivalent of calling the city a 'drunk driver' because it builds the streets that can be used to facilitate drunk driving.

Re:I'm with stupid (0)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125688)

But they were the ones who put the word pirate in the name of their site. In your example, the city would be called Boozer City.

Which I think does exist somewhere in Australia. I might be wrong, because I have been alternating between rum and beer, so I have no idea what is going on here. Hmm, and I am currently downloading some TV episodes at the moment. Oh crap! I am that pirate in Boozer City!

Re:I'm with stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125780)

Hence the suburb of Upper Hutt is guilty as charged, because it has a Moonshine Road [google.com.au] .

Re:I'm with stupid (5, Funny)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126084)

Wrong. Wrong, And Wrong!

But they were the ones who put the word pirate in the name of their site.

Originally PirateBay published economic trends. They used the price of Four'n'Twenties as a cost of living indicator.

Hence the name - "Pi Rate" which translates into English as "cost of a meat pie".

the city would be called Boozer City.

Which I think does exist somewhere in Australia

There is no city in this fine and fair land called "Boozer City". You fool! (perhaps you've just come back from BongBong - hopefully Mount Camel was not on the way)

All the towns are called "Boozer Town". The cities, going clockwise from the bottom-south, are Shooter City, Underbelly City, City of Colour and Movement, PartyCrash City, Big Stubby City, Bundaberg City, Ice City, and (my city) Tired And Emotional Politician City.

Don't listen to the talking Polar Bear on the bottle - he studied at the school of Tallho Rolling paper trivia.

Hmm, and I am currently downloading some TV episodes at the moment

Wrong again! You are watching the dishwasher (and that is a mouse in your hand).

Re:I'm with stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125708)

newsflash: they were found guilty and sentenced to jail time IN SWEDEN. maybe you tried to avoid hearing it, but it happened.
The guys a fucking criminal. lets not pretend he is some kind of fucking hero. All Sunde cares about is Sunde and Sundes bank balance.

Re:I'm with stupid (2, Insightful)

Jalfro (1025153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125734)

Some other criminals of note: Sparticus; Jesus of Nazareth; Nelson Mandela.

Re:I'm with stupid (0, Troll)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125888)

If you're genuinely comparing someone who offered free movies and music via his website and was smacked down for it to NELSON FUCKING MANDELA and you're not high, you need to sort your fucking priorities out.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

chilvence (1210312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126098)

He didn't imply a comparison, if he had he would have said so. Try reaching for the names of three historical or modern figures convicted of slightly dubious crimes to the mild consternation of a significant minority. You can't can you. He was pointing out how ridiculous it is to take the authoritarian definition of criminal at face value, because they can be a bunch of criminals themselves :)

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125740)

Sentenced, and currently going through a multitude of appeals. They're not in jail yet, and it's likely they'll never land in jail at all. I don't think this has anything to do with heroism or anything of the sort. He has started a business, and it will mutually benefit him and the 'sellers' of the 'commodity'.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125860)

But like you said too, they were sentenced. As it is currently, they have been found to be violating law. You can normally appeal, but as of now the court decision has been done.

Besides, this service charges 10% for "administration fees". Even PayPal doesn't charge that much and some take just 0.30%. Not in it to make profit, yeah sure.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126078)

Well, the way the swedish legal system works you aren't "really" guilty until the appeals process has been completed.

Besides, it's pretty much standard fare for decisions in tingsrätten to be overturned by hovrätten or högsta domstolen since in tingsrätten there is normally only one actual judge and four laymen (most often politicians), and interestingly enough these laymen have a tendency to occasionally focus more on their emotional assertion of a case, how much money someone slipped them under the table or just plain political ideology ("Drugs are bad because they're illegal and they're illegal because they're bad, also by law any use of illegal drugs is always abuse, here's a SEK 20,000 fine for abusing drugs (but oh, don't forget that drugs are only illegal so we can help abusers stop abusing)").

/Mikael

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126346)

Either i have had too much vodka or some of those words are not English.

Re:I'm with stupid (2, Funny)

srw (38421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126506)

Why would heavy metal bands [wikipedia.org] be making legal judgements?!?

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126480)

No it's not "done".

There are different legal systems in the world.

Micropayments are different from regular payments. 10% of a small amount is less than 0.30% of a large amount... More SHOCKING mathematical facts soon ;)

Re:I'm with stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126426)

I don't beleive they have made any serious money out of it and I don't think their motivation is money.

They have taken money from advertising to run the site, but made any money, I don't think so.

Especially compared to what they could have spent their time on.

So, I think there is a fair amount of "heroism", or whatever you want to call trying to make the world a better place involved.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125754)

newsflash: They were found guilty under a law that DID NOT exist, simply on the basis of the affiliations of the judge. What they did was, and still is LEGAL in Sweden, as no law yet exists regarding the copying of information. Unfortunately, instead of applying the law as it stood, the judge chose to create a new law akin to "aiding and abetting" especially for this case.

You have to realise that the Swedish adjudication system was originally based on throwing axes at people bound to spinning wheels to determine guilt, (or something like that), where the actual decision regarding guilt or innocence had probably already been made by the Chief Viking and his advisors, and the rest of the proceeding was just for show and keeping the lower ranks happy.

Surprisingly, 1500 hundred years after the Vikings, not a lot has changed, except the advisors are a bunch of corrupt RIAA employees :-(

Re:I'm with stupid (1, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125918)

"Copying of information", yeah right. At least take the stand and speak about things on their correct terms. It's file sharing. It's copyright infringement. On TPB's part, it was massive aiding of copyright infringement.

You see, our legal system actually looks at ones purpose on things, instead of going on merely technical terms. This means the stupid "but .torrent file itself isn't illegal!" doesn't hold much water and you can't just mess around going against laws with such stupid technical excuses. If you look at the legal letters and responses to them, or 99.9% of the content of the side, or the freaking The Pirate Bay name, I think it's pretty clear TPB knew what they were doing.

If they would had just played it cool, responded and acted to copyright infringement notices and, for fucks sake, chosen a little bit more neutral name they could had have a better change. But not like this.

Re:I'm with stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125770)

But, what prison are they in?

newsflash: they were found guilty and sentenced to jail time in sweden by TINGSRÄTTEN. The case was then appealed, and that was just the first instance. There is an second and a third.

Re:I'm with stupid (4, Informative)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125796)

Under Swedish law, the verdict means absolutely nothing while they're going through the appeals process. In other words, they're still "innocent until proven guilty". Judging by the obvious bias of the judge in the initial case, I'd say they have a pretty good chance to get a better verdict the second time around.

Re:I'm with stupid (-1, Troll)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125962)

Yes, but under "common sense law" it does.

Imagine somebody turned up at your front door and say, hey, why don't you give me some money? I'll make it easier for you to donate to charity! And you say, wait, didn't I read about you being found guilty of something, and he says "yes but don't worry, I'm appealing!" - is that going to reassure you? It sure as hell wouldn't make me feel better.

But it gets worse for Mr "brokep". The Pirate Bay deliberately antagonized the people he is now trying to help. He ignored DMCA takedowns and told anyone who would listen why he was right and the rest of the world was wrong. During the trial where he was found guilty, he believed it was going "quite well". And his business partners have a history of harassment, like the "ddo$" scheme against the opposition law firm.

Like all the of the guys who ran the pirate bay, they have spent the last few years proving the world that they're stupid and untrustworthy. I can't think of a worse person to run something like Flattr.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126064)

Of course he will ignore DMCA takedowns, they are not within US jurisdiction.

Besides, in Scandinavia we don't follow "common sense law". We are quite unreasonable people.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125966)

It's an interesting system, in that you don't have to appeal from a disadvantage, but it also means that more rash decisions are common at the first court as the accused can always appeal.

Re:I'm with stupid (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126000)

They can't always appeal. The appeal process has to be requested and it's possible it's denied if the defendants can't create valid reasons for it. But since this was a large case and they could provide valid enough reasons for it, they were allowed to appeal.

They are in no way "innocent until proven guilty" now as the parent put it. They are guilty already, but they still have a possibility to turn that around.

Re:I'm with stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125816)

Sticking with the drunk driving analogy I think that the Pirate Bay's activity is more akin to putting up advertising billboards, some of which give directions to the nearest discount liquor barn. Still not "lock em up and throw away the key" stuff but hardly building streets.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125824)

Except, he has been convicted in court.
It has of course gone to the higher level in court, but he is currently under a court order to pay a lot of money for his crimes.

The court room was kinda farcical though.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125850)

Just because you can use their service to illegal distribute content does not make the creator a pirate. This would be the equivalent of calling the city a 'drunk driver' because it builds the streets that can be used to facilitate drunk driving.

Not quite, what the state does is build streets, pass laws against drunk driving and maintain a police force to make sure people don't drive drunk. What the Pirate-Bay did was more like build streets, facilitate the free distribution of booze then make fun of people who complained about drunk drivers.

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126328)

If the cars being driven while drunk were incapable of causing harm when they collided, they would be right to make fun of those who complained. Imagine the oil companies complaining because people were able to fuel their safe cars with some of the booze available for drinking, thus depriving the oil companies of their rightful income.

Re:I'm with stupid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125856)

I didn't kill you, you just accidentally tripped and hit my knife 15 times! WHAT A FRIGGIN COINCIDENCE.

Re:I'm with stupid (3, Funny)

Alef (605149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125906)

Just because you can use their service to illegal distribute content does not make the creator a pirate.

What people must go through these days to earn the title of pirate...

Re:I'm with stupid (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125954)

ThePiratebay was and still is legal in Sweden.

I guess you can keep on arguing that. But they where sentenced and I don't think it's even hosted in Sweden longer so well. Make what you want out of that.

Re:I'm with stupid (2, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126092)

More to the point, the "piracy" term refers to the commercial distribution of copyrighted works without the copyright owner's explicit authorization. If you download an album for your personal use or even if you upload it without getting any currency out of it you are not "pirating" anything. But the media companies sure want to tack that nasty term to everything they don't approve. After all, "unauthorized distribution for personal use" doesn't quite have that negative image associated with it. You need an image of some bearded, blood thirsty thief and murderer with a parrot on his shoulder to make believe that copying a file is somehow a terribly wrong thing to do.

I am not so sure about this. (1, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125524)

The way Flattr is set up, your monthly payment is divided up among the sites you Flattr that month... so if you Flattr 5 sites it will be divided by 5, if you Flattr 100 sites it will be divided by 100. I am not sure I like that arrangement.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125548)

Does seem a little arbitrary.. maybe there needs to be a mechanism to decide on the amount of cake. But I wonder if the Swedes are aware that the cake is a lie.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (3, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125970)

In Sweden the cake is a pie.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (2, Funny)

AniVisual (1373773) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126598)

In Sweden, your pie rates the content.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125556)

Agreed. Perhaps a set amount per Flattr would be more palatable.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (2, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125610)

The whole point of it is that it's flat rate, so it doesn't matter how many things you click you'll still pay the same, and this encourages people to spread their fixed fee around to all the places they like.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (3, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125634)

I get that, but it seems arbitrary to me. I don't want to pay X$ for the sake of it, perhaps to ease the admin/banking hassle, or because the punters see it as a donation rather than a fee. Mostly though, I value some sites more than others, and I also don't want sites to get Y$ for 1 visit this month while getting the same for 200 visits next month.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (2, Interesting)

vacarul (1624873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125728)

I think if you have 200 visits on one site you can click 200 times the button to send money to that site, so that site will get a bigger chunk from the flat rate than other sites. At least this is my understanding of it...

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

Jalfro (1025153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125746)

sounds like it should be easy enuff to set it up to flattr a site more than once?

Re:I am not so sure about this. (0)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125848)

Congratulations!!!!

You are the first person to have used the URL as a VERB, an act which ensures this Web 2.0 endeavour success and places it in the same heady verbal area as:

Google - 'Why don't you just Google it, you noob?'

Orkut - 'Yeah, that bitch was dissing me online me so I Orkut his face.'

Zune (archaic) - 'Why don't you just go Zune yourself?'

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125930)

Actually, the original parent of this thread used it first...

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125948)

Seeing you're quite new here, you probably haven't heard the term "slashdotting a site" either.

I hope your last nerve didn't explode now and you're able to continue to write us your quite pretty insightful opinions.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125818)

Its an abstraction of money, a flattr is not an amount of money until the end of the month. Its so you can just spam flattrs to many places without care and hopefully that there are enough flattr users for the amount to become substantial. Also if something takes a lot of time to do and deserves more money for that reason then well you can just flattr them every month.
Brokep was joking about paying the money they were sued for as a ddos of pennies... i guess he decided that such methods would actually be a nice way to pay for things and shouldn't actually end up in a ddos.

Its pretty hard to decide how much to donate to each website as there are far too many great services on the web that deserve it which diminishes anything you'd donate to nothing. Deciding on X money per month for N amount of sites seems like a nice way to distribute.

Also an interesting mechanism is that if only few people adopt flattr buttons they will get full cakes to themselves.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (4, Insightful)

snaggen (36005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125582)

The good thing about this arrangement is that it will make it easier to donate money. It doesn't matter how many Flattr I click I still have the same cost, I do not have to keep track just to know I have the money on my account. I also don't have to take so many decisions, like how much to I think this song/game/application/book is worth or do I really going to enjoy it so it is worth anything at all, I just click.
So there are clear advantages of this arrangement. And I do not see it as a way to charge for a product, but as an alternative to the PayPal donate button.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (3, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125584)

The intro video doesn't say if it is possible to click multiple times on a Flattr button or pay larger chunks of "money", which would be needed if the scheme should be fair (blog post typed in a few minutes has a different value then a game that might have taken month or years to create).

Other then that, the scheme sounds quite good, as it is based around a flat fee, so you don't risk going bankrupt by clicking a few to many buttons and it also reduces the mental overhead that a normal payment would create.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126250)

The intro video doesn't say if it is possible to click multiple times on a Flattr button or pay larger chunks of "money", which would be needed if the scheme should be fair (blog post typed in a few minutes has a different value then a game that might have taken month or years to create).

"Fair" is in the eye of the customer. Sure, I agree that the customer should have the ability to control how much money goes where. I'm just disagreeing with your example and the assumption behind it that more effort going into the creation necessarily makes the creation more valuable. A 10 second twit that tells me what the powerball lotto numbers are going to be 1 hour beforehand is worth a lot more to me than all of the video games ever created combined.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126334)

> blog post typed in a few minutes has a different value then a game that
> might have taken month or years to create

I don't know about games specifically but I have seen many works that took months or years to create that were of negative values. One pays for results, not effort.

Re:I am so sure about this. (3, Insightful)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125612)

I think it's a great idea, it allows you to control how much you give. Sure, there may be cases where your donation may be 1cent, but it's a MICROpayment system. And if you run a decent site with a dedicated following, it'd be easy for people to click on your "Flattr" button to say "Thanks", which in turn creates a much bigger revenue stream than single donations would.

For example: If you have 5000 people a month visiting you and you get Flattr revenues from 1/4 of them between the amounts of $0.01 and $2, with the average being $0,25 you would net $312,5 each month. That's a decent help with the server & hosting bills. How many sites with Paypal donate buttons can claim similar figures? (I agree, my figures are just random figures, but not entirely unrealistic, given the proposed system)

Another counter argument I guess is "Will people use it?" .. that is anyone's guess, but I would totally put some money into the account and whenever I saw something interesting or worth supporting, I could put my money where my mouth is. This instead of saying "If only paypal wasn't so much of a hassle and require so big an investment to donate, I would help these guys". Imagine what this'll do to small pieces of free software, many of which die of neglect because of lack of incentive.

Lots of popular sites right now run on good will of the owner, some individual donations and ads. And in many cases ads that are not very benign in nature. This Flattr system seems to offer a way out of this. Hell, it could probably be expanded to be a payment system for fixed-size payments.. like "Click here to pay $1.99" -> Goto Flattr site to confirm -> Get authenticated as paid customer.

I guess it remains to be seen if this system is any good. But I don't expect it to fail on the willingness of people to pay.. if it fails it probably fails on lack of participating sites or problems on making a deposit. I will sure as hell give it a whirl.

Re:I am so sure about this. (1)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125838)

Its a nice idea, making it easy to support stuff like FOSS-sites and other things that you like with just a click. Sure, Paypal exists but its not as easy to use and ill equipped for small donations.

Re:I am so sure about this. (2, Informative)

laederkeps (976361) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126218)

Also, You should consider who you trust more with your money/transactions. Paypal or Pirates? I know [slashdot.org] who [slashdot.org] I [slashdot.org] prefer [slashdot.org]

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125832)

Well, you always have the possibility to pay more per month. I really believe this is the missing piece of the culture in the online world.

Re:I am not so sure about this. (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126112)

Seems fair to me. If you just like one site, odds are you like it a lot more strongly than one who uses 100.

Peter will be able to pay off Paul after all, then (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125552)

It's a good thing if Sunde gets this off the ground and profitable, because he's gotta having something to pay off that judgement to Big Media....

I'd like to see this connected to ThePirateBay (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125562)

Connect the micro payment system to the torrents and any registered individual human parties that can prove identity and/or copyright ownership and is not big media.

This could give opportunity to actually pay the actual artists who want to get paid for the sharing that is going on. This should really serve to piss off the big media publishers who are essentially pimping the work of others for huge personal gain.

Re:I'd like to see this connected to ThePirateBay (4, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125600)

This.

If an actual media producer decided to distribute via BT, they could even get paid for it. Combine it with a market system where the punters decide what to (micro)pay for their torrent, and some extensions to BT software (perhaps similar to the rate selector, you have a $ selector), and you've got a brilliant means of distributed media distribution that can completely bypass big media.

Re:I'd like to see this connected to ThePirateBay (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125820)

From the article:

Initially, Flattr plans to take a 10% cut of any cash paid as an administration fee. But, said Mr Sunde, it hopes to push that percentage lower as people sign up.

Nice try, Mr.Sunde. 10% is a lot of cash!

Re:I'd like to see this connected to ThePirateBay (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125958)

I can sort of understand it now. Just imagine the Slashdot bandwidth cost for him now, and the maintained costs to run that service with the media attention, with a minimal number of actual users. I think he's thinking of this when making that statement, and that's why he's saying the costs may be lowered in the future. He quite obviously realizes it is a high percentage, but how is he otherwise going to get it on its feet?

Re:I'd like to see this connected to ThePirateBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126020)

True, but while the user base remains small, the cost to administer remains high per user. This is why micropayments have been so difficult to achieve in the past - the high cost per transaction makes payments under a few bucks unprofitable to the recipient (who is usually on the hook for the transaction fee). The only way to do micropayments profitably is to have a large user base so that at the end of the month (or week, whatever your payment cycle), each recipient is receiving the sum of the micropayments from hundreds or thousands of customers, totaling up to a payment that is economically profitable for the recipient.

For this service, Sunde is flipping it around and charging the sender rather than the recipient, and so the x%/y cents (whichever is greater) per transaction has to come from your membership. When 95% of the payments use the more reasonable x% because they are large, the administrative fee can drop, but while a significant majority of payments are charged y cents, which can be 50% or more of the total transaction, the administrative fee must be high to cover that. In the earliest stages, it is even possible that the service will need to operate at a loss as the 10% might not even be enough to cover transaction fees.

Re:I'd like to see this connected to ThePirateBay (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125982)

"I downloaded this film, I liked it, *click*"

Trust me, would this face lie? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125572)

""We're not really in this for becoming rich," he said. "We're doing it to change things and making people get money they never got before."

"I know that people are nice enough," he said. "People love things and they want to pay." "

Well three things. One the guy has trust issues. Two the history of micro payment is a troubled one. And three the shear irony of that man saying "people want to pay" considering his original customers is black hole awesome.

Re:Trust me, would this face lie? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125680)

well I am one of the ones who wants to pay, just not that much and I don't want my computer getting fucked up by some DRM crap.

Take Fallout 3 for example, one of the buggiest games I have seen in a long time. Oblivion runs stable on my system but Fallout 3 will CTD 100% of the time at random times.
I would have been pissed if I had to fight with the retailer about returning this game. But I downloaded it so it was as simple as hitting the delete button and cursing at it for a sec.

Looks like I get the equivalent of a "keep it button", I like it.

Re:Trust me, would this face lie? (2, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126130)

Well, people don't want to pay. But they want to show their approval - even on Pirate Pay you see that plainly enough. Now they can do it in a way that is easy, will be taken sincerely (since it costs the approver some money), and will benefit the recipient financially as well as emotionally.

I think this a great idea. To be honest, I didn't think I would say that about any business model proposed by a Pirate Bay person... but I want to give this a chance.

Good ol' buying vs. downloading revisited (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126192)

And three the shear irony of that man saying "people want to pay" considering his original customers is black hole awesome.

Not necessarily.

You often hear "There are no (or at most, little) losses of profit from piracy because people wouldn't have bought the music/games/software/movies/etc. anyways". That is only partially true, however: People wouldn't have bought the products for the price they would have had to pay. A college student might want to try out some nice game that people are talking about but he usually only has two options: "Pay 70 dollars (the PC games cost about 50 euros where I live) or nothing". Now, it might well be that they don't have the 70 dollars so they can pay nothing for the game. At that point the situation is "I can't pay anything, so the authors/developers/artists gain nothing and lose nothing based on what I do. The question of whether I download the product is entirely irrelevant to their profits. I have thus feel no moral obligation to not download" and then they download. It's the same thing with paying 30 dollars for a CD, especially when you know that most of the money wouldn't go to the artist you want to support even if you paid for the product.

Now, micropayments offer you the possibility to give less but still something. Perhaps you can't afford to give a few dozen dollars for a CD, but can afford to give a few. So you can act just like you did before, except now the artist gets what little you can pay instead of the "all or nothing" policy. I think it is awesome idea but like all concepts like this one, it needs a critical mass of people to succeed and I'm not sure if it can achieve that. But in theory, it's great. Now, as for your other things...

One the guy has trust issues.

That's irrelevant to everything. I don't care if he is there out of love towards creative commons or to become rich. If he offers a great service, awesome. If he earns something in the progress, I don't mind.

Two the history of micro payment is a troubled one.

True, but this might be able to circumwent that. In Flattr you (apparently, I haven't RTFA yet) pay flat rate each month and then your donations are just divided to artists in the form of micropayments. It has some problems of it's own but still, it might well be the solution for many problems concerning micropayments.

-AC

Currency (1)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125578)

They'll only be excepting pieces of eight and dubloons... aghghghrrr me hearties

Re:Currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125822)

Real pirates would also accept parrots, grog, booty, and wenches.

lol - never would I trust them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125624)

yeah, mr. criminal expects me to give him my credit card number and/or money. sure - why not!

Re:lol - never would I trust them (5, Funny)

Jalfro (1025153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125772)

yes, much safer to stick to a respectable banker... er wait...

Cut out the middleman (2, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125650)

The key here is to eliminate the role of the recording industry execs. In the digital age, the only real service they provide is marketing, and if you're already interested in paying money for someone's music, then those marketing services don't really add any value to the product you're paying for.

Aside from that, recording industry execs hinder creativity by stamping out cookie-cutter artists who are forced down the public's throat until they burn out in a blaze of drugs and/or stupidity. Music wants to be free (as in speech), and the recording industry is the single biggest obstacle to that.

Re:Cut out the middleman (1, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125726)

Yes. I completely agree. Except similar services through the years have not succeeded. The reality is, unfortunately, the masses want to feel part of the heard and this is managed through select media outlets and well-trodden marketting techniques. We are where we are at because it works so well. It would be fantastic if struggling/new artists could push their work onto the masses for approval and find their work is reciprocated financially. But they cannot compete with the big music lables in terms of quality and, lets face it, listeners would just be continually bombarded with thousands of spamming musicians trying to get thier song on mp3 players. Sheeple need some way of simplifying the world and the big labels do just that. Flattr is a nice idea, but like a lot of nice ideas it'll be scuppered on the rocks of herd mentality.

Re:Cut out the middleman (5, Funny)

fenix849 (1009013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125870)

*Clears throat*

http://xkcd.com/610/

That is all.

Re:Cut out the middleman (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126248)

I've looked at the "similar services" (Sprinklepenny, Kachingle, Contenture) and they suffer from a critical fault: They want to track your likes automatically rather than just explicitly. This system is simpler and better.

Re:Cut out the middleman (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126190)

The key here is to eliminate the role of the recording industry execs. In the digital age, the only real service they provide is marketing, and if you're already interested in paying money for someone's music, then those marketing services don't really add any value to the product you're paying for.

I disagree. I think that if the "recording industry" has a chance of survival, it needs to convert to pure marketing. Along the way it needs to convert to becoming a service where their customer is the artist - not the end-user. That means abandoning their weakening grip on distribution where the value they provide is solely the result of the artificial scarcity they create in controlling distribution channels.

As a music buyer, I need marketing even for bands that I know about. I need to be informed in a timely fashion when they have new music or are on tour or do things like spin-off projects and collobrations. I would really like to be able to subscribe to the equivalent of an RSS feed for each artist that I already like (and that's not limited to musicians either - it can just as easily apply to writers, directors, actors, even painters and artists that work in less digital mediums like say fireworks crews).

What I don't need is hype - which I'm sure is the last thing those marketing execs will ever be able to let go of. And to be honest - a lot of the hoi polloi DO need hype - in the same way that the majority of the population are content to be lead rather than think independently for themselves in terms of politics or even the way they live their lives (go to college, get a job, get married, raise a family, die - the great american dream).

This might explain why he was working with AES: (5, Interesting)

rigolo (416338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125678)

This might explain why he was working with AES:

http://twitter.com/brokep/status/7915813818 [twitter.com]
"@niczar I clocked 12.8Gbps using AES 128 ECB on a dual quad 2.26ghz xeon with HT (= 16 cores). Not cost efficient."

http://twitter.com/brokep/status/7905751784 [twitter.com]
Is there a fast solution with a graphics card to do #AES within #Linux? I need 10Gbps or so realtime.

Beautiful (5, Interesting)

logixoul (1046000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125774)

This is so beautiful. It might be the first web service I truly, really like. It's in the right place at the right time. People, me included, love clicking "upvote" buttons all day long, because they like to show appreciation and it gives them a feeling of power. How much more meaningful this becomes when there's money attached! It will feel great to "flatter" people with some of your money, while never bothering to keep track of "how much you spend" (stressful, anyone will tell you), as it's a constant that you've decided you want to give out to the world for a month.

I don't know about you guys, but this fits my mental model of donations better than anything before. I think it'll catch on, because both providers and consumers will love it. We will move to a web with less crap. Maybe even reverse Sturgeon's law.

Excellent idea, if.... (5, Interesting)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125786)

it gets enough uptake.

Pity that it's unlikely that anyone contracted to the major content distributors will be taking it up - I suspect the studios and publishers would bang that on the head. They (sic) like total control over the money flow.

Earlier this year when "well known musicians" came out to damn piracy - and it was covered by bbc, abc (Oz) and others I posted the suggestion (on those sites) that artists create a blog with a paypal account, so that people who download music and movies illegally (like me) could directly send the artists money. The posts were immediately pulled.

I (for one) welcome a New World Publishing Order - where the consumer determines the rewards for the artist/author/whatever, instead of the existing model where the studios/publishers tell the artist/author and the consumer "what market wants".

Just saying...

Re:Excellent idea, if.... (3, Insightful)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125854)

F..ck major content producers, they have other revenue sources. Being able to support small FOSS projects financially in an easy way and expressing appreciation for thinghs like XKCD is whats its about.

Re:Excellent idea, if.... (2, Interesting)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126014)

F..ck major content producers,

Agreed!

they have other revenue sources.,

What? You mean like "get a real job"??

Being able to support small FOSS projects financially in an easy way and expressing appreciation for thinghs like XKCD is whats its about.

Agreed. And the critical thinkers can fund (and thus promote) good independant journalism. Developers (FOSS and other) can get an income. Call it "direct funding". Money spent on direct funding could be money not spent on corporatised crap.

It'd truly be a New World Publishing Order. Discerning consumers could fund better content - and without the robber barons acting as middle men, the producer (musician/author) could get more money, more control and satisfaction, and, the consumer gets a better and lower cost product. The uncritical can watch re-runs of Big Brother and Australia's Biggest ArseClown Videos...

Given those outcomes, I, still, think it won't happen. Too many robber barons know about tipping points... Hope I'm wrong.

Just saying....

Translation (1, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126030)

'We want to encourage people to share money as well as content'

I'm done working that side of the fence. Now I'll work this one and make a mint here too.

'people love things and they want to pay'.

I want people's money.

Why not name it "The Pirates' Gold"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126062)

Funny, I'd been toying around with a VERY SIMILAR idea - I even had the good peeps & their servers @ The Pirate Bay in mind! Telepathy? Perhaps, but it seems some packets were lost on their way... You see, I thought a major Hook (Cpt., I presume) in the concept's genius would come from the fact that the service was called "The Pirates' Gold"! And as an equivalent to a digg-like button I was thinking a classic black salty liquorice candy "pirate coin" (salmiakkimerkkari in Phinland) icon should be used as "the token of appreciation"! (I wonder if the Swedes have these too?)

OK pirates, feel free to pirate - or whatever it is that you do - these ideas and exploit them as your own!

Great idea! (1)

hatten (1640681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126122)

I think this is a great idea. If one have a system where you pay a set amount of money for each click on a website one might stop for a split second and think if it's really worth it, and if you can afford it. With this you know you are going to pay a set amount of money each month, so you don't lose anything on pressing a button somewhere.

Tax? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126238)

Governments are going to want to tax this.

Here comes McCarthy! (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126254)

A micro-payment system that prevents corporations from getting in there and taking the money they deserve?
Sounds like COMMUNISM!

Or at least that's how it's going to be played out in the media.

The cake is a lie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126316)

'nuff said.

Here's how I'd do it... (3, Interesting)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126336)

Instead of constantly creating slices and diluting the amount equally between everyone, I want to be able to edit my Flatter profile the following way:

I log in and see all the sites I've Flattr'd in the last 30 days.
The site list is accompanied by sliders that are hooked into a bar graph or pie chart.

I slide the settings around until I'm satisfied with the split based on the content that I think has the most worth.

I can edit the sliders right up to payout day. That way if someone impresses me at the beginning of the month, but then pulls a bait-and-switch with trash for the following weeks (or it turned out they plagiarized another content producer) I can put that money elsewhere.

Flat - flatter... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126350)

...FLATTR!

Of course - I'd run faster than light to give my credit-card information to the Pirate Bay Pirates, that only makes perfect sense in bizarro world!

and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126396)

tl;dr

So where are the demands... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126460)

...that Flattr be "regulated as a bank"? After all, we can't have people going around doing things without permission now can we?

Genius idea (1)

horza (87255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31126510)

This is a great idea. One thing that I would really like to see is an AJAXy tree of categories where I can give a fixed budget to site categories. Eg News->$10, Software->FOSS $40

Phillip.

Lets all Fucking worship sunde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31126560)

More interested to know as to how the fuck the video was made. Looks similar to the old "Sub prime mortgage" video. Mother fuckers, with this kind of talent I'ma worship Sunde instead of the sun god.

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