Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pirate Bay boss to make the web pay

One of the founders of the Pirate Bay is kicking off a venture that aims to help websites generate cash. Called Flattr, the micropayments system revolves around members paying a fixed monthly fee. At the end of each month that cash will be divided among participating sites a Flattr member wants to reward. Members might want to reward a band that made a track they liked, the author of a story they enjoyed or a site that gave useful advice. Participating sites will sport a Flattr button in the same way that many have clickable icons that let visitors send information to friends or refer something they find interesting to sites such as Digg and Redditt.

"The money you pay each month will be spread evenly among the buttons you click in a month," said Mr Sunde.

"We want to encourage people to share money as well as content," Mr Sunde told the BBC. "It's a test to see if this might be a working method for real micropayments."

The minimum Flattr wants people to pay each month is 2 euros (£1.73) but members can pay more if they want to.

"That way you have control over your monthly spending on content, and you can rather help many people than just a few," he said.

Many micropayment systems had not proved popular, he said, because they were too cumbersome to use regularly.

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