FrostWire has introduced the possibility for of adding Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin wallet address into metadata of the torrent file format in order to enable optional donations. By eliminating middlemen and transaction costs, microtipping is now fully possible and the recipients can collect 100% of their contributions.
Mainstream centralized digital distribution platforms have been relatively successful at providing big content creators with means of monetization and discovery of their works. In spite of their success however, many self-publishing artists are still struggling with having have to share a significant portion of their revenues with the stores and middlemen, just for being able to bring their works to their fans. The centralized systems also often impose censorship and are ridden with bureaucratic structures that inevitably increase costs, making it impossible for a digital media micro-tipping economy to be born.
The FrostWire team believes that by integrating a free, peer-to-peer payment method, Bitcoin, into the free, peer-to-peer file distribution network, BitTorrent, our community can help bootstrap the largest micro-tipping economy of the Internet.
By enabling over a quarter of a billion BitTorrent users worldwide to support their favorite content creators with tips of any amount, from a fan directly to the artist, for the first time ever we would enable content creators to collect 100% of their revenues, easily and instantly.
This would be the first step towards not only creating an alternative massive monetizable distribution channel, but a decentralized digital media catalog that would make it easier for fans to discover new artists and more beneficial for any content creator to use the power of BitTorrent for a free, uncensored, and direct worldwide distribution.
We also believe that the world cannot experience an evolutionary step in digital media distribution if existing copyright licensing is antiquated and not fit for global reach. We want to help speed up the adoption of alternative licensing models by building the tools that make it convenient for content creators to embrace licensing solutions like Creative Commons.
As a first step in making this vision a reality, the FrostWire team has developed a way for the payment & licensing information to be included into the .torrent file. Now all BitTorrent Clients and search engines can read that information and present it to their users.
The newest version of FrostWire (5.7.1 beta) can already process the payment information.
After FrostWire starts downloading a torrent file containing metadata related to a Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin wallet or PayPal donation url it will show “Tipping” buttons anyone can use to voluntarily support their favorite content creators. This version of FrostWire already allows for creation of the enhanced torrent, giving the creators an ability to add their Creative Commons License information into the torrent itself.
Just imagine a BitTorrent bundle in which Bono from U2 shares free songs or a free video documentary to raise awareness and collects Bitcoin donations for the (Red) foundation to further the fight against HIV worldwide. We can’t wait to see all the imaginative use cases this integration can inspire!
If you are or know an artists how would like to create their own Bitcoin empowered torrent, please have them contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before we roll out this particular feature to the general audience, we would like to test to make sure it’s absolutely perfect and bug free.
We encourage to try it out yourself and tell us what you think. We have created beta installers for different operating systems so that you can test the tipping/payment process yourselves.
Here is the Source Code.
Download Test Installers
Try the first Bitcoin-tippable .torrents in history:
Sample .torrent frostwire-5.7.1.dmg.torrent (includes all payment options and CC license)
Sample .torrent bitcoin_revolution_by_FriCtrl_CC-BY-SA.mp3.torrent (includes just Bitcoin payment option and CC license)
Try the Payment pages
If you want to spread the word about this integration, feel free to use the text and all images in your articles. Everything in this blog is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. FrostWire logos are here.