Firstly I do not normally pirate anything. I'll download backup files of games I own, occasionally if I lose a movie I'll grab it also, and as for music I regularly buy the album and only download the rarer stuff I can't find. eBooks are legaly aquired, be it through iTunes or the Gutenburg Project.
Secondly, I hate current copyright laws with a passion and believe that nearly every artist/producer/writer gets ripped off like crazy considering how many sales their are of their creations most of the time. This idea is my solution to creating a free way to download stuff, that also pays the creator for their work.
The Basic Outline
My idea relies on current copyright laws being gotten rid off for all music, movies and eBooks. It would require a major overhaul to the system, including putting all old and new materials under the Creative Commons licence and the creation of a international organization which would freely distribute the files online, while using the ad revenue to pay the creators per download of their files.
First of all, every willing artist would need to be signed up as fast as possible and any major ones should be approached about this. Then, a draft in the US, Australian and European Parliaments (I'm guessing that others would follow, or that all major acts are covered by this) would abolish the aforementioned copyright laws and replace them all with the CC licence.
I understand this would be incredibly difficult, most likely taking a decade (minimum) and a lot of legal struggles with companies, but once this is done and a fairly large number of acts are signed up and the files are collected, the next phase shall begin.
Now then, this is perhaps the most delicate part of the operation and if this part fails, I'm guessing a lot of stuff is going to happen and the music/movie industries will take years to recover.
An agency run by, let's say, the U.N will be set up and it shall create a single website for the hosting of the files.
It will have a simple main page with links to various sections of what is available, most likely divided into movies, music and eBooks.
Each major band/studio/author would have a page of their own, with various links to torrent files of things they have created. The torrent files would hopefully reduce bandwidth and server space needed, while also meaning that after a set group of seeders of a to-be-determined size consistently upload, the computers run by the U.N seeding the files can be focused on other things. If someone is willing to seed a large number of files, they could receive a small monetary incentive to encourage their help. However, for torrents with larger amounts of seeds the incentive would be smaller, and for less popular ones it would be larger.
Anyone could upload a file, however Indie groups that are not official companies would be required to pay a decent sized sum of money to cover server costs if they do not get a sufficient number of downloads. If someone spams the site, they would have all their files removed and would be required to wait a minimum of three moths before being considered for un-banning.
Funding, Paying The Artists And Uploading
The site would be funded by advertisements and contributions made by the general public.
There would be a group of three randomly selected ads on each page which change each time you refresh it, chosen from any ads submitted. Due to the fact this website would receive a very large number of hits-per-day, I'm guessing this would eventually cover the costs of maintaining it and payment of the artists. The contribution button would be at the top of every page and contributions could be done through PayPal and all major banks.
artists would be payed about one cent a download of each file, max. They would also be able to have "Donate To The Creator" button on their main page.
To upload, one must either be approached by the company or pay a small fee (50$ or so) to the agency to be able to upload anything. the people who uploaded through the first method could upload an infinite number of files, while those who get in through the latter would have to earn the right to upload more files by having a certain number of downloads for them to be able to upload infinitely.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTONS
Stage by stage;
Implementation - It would take a lot of legal trouble, negotiation and hard work to make this real. there would be murder about it, and I'm guessing quite a few people would end up un-employed.
Website - This site would have larger bandwidth needs than YouTube and FaceBook combined for the first few months of it's existence. After this rush, the bandwidth requirement would simmer down as people stopped downloading as much and the server strain would increase as more files were added. I will not lie, this site will require a lot of cash to keep going.
Funding, Paying The Artists And Uploading - The biggest problem would be setting a fair wage to the artists, as those with smaller download numbers would be piss poor and those with larger numbers would be rolling in swiming pools of fifty dollar bills. The funding would hopefully go well, however donations would be very important early on.
Stage by stage
Implementation - nothing you can do really but brow-beat the companies in court with the best lawyers available.
Website - I'm guessing that the U.N or someone eccentric and rich would give a starting fund to help cover the maintenance costs, while the server strain would just have to be dealt with. Really though, the small size of torrents should mean that no huge problems come in there. It would also need a lot of seeders to combat the rush, but hopefully this wouldn't last long as I'm counting on the pirating community and various people to lend a hand.
Funding, Paying The Artists And Uploading - I'm guessing even the tight fisted person would donate to keep getting stuff like this for free, so paying the artist would be easy. Also, as for the amount of cash for each download, I'm thinking files with larger download numbers would pay less than those that have smaller ones, thus helping new people to support themselves when they start out.
So, thoughts and ideas anyone?
(I'm not even sure if this would work, it is just an idea and I realise there is a ton more stuff that could go wrong.)