Poll: Should MaidSafe implement PtP (Pay the Producer)?


@JimCollinson Thank you for the informative post and great details.

I might make one comment and that is the PtP is more like helping to assist in the materials required for the artist, the uploader, the whoever. I don’t think (now/ever?) that PtP would be a replacement for paying an artist their worth and effort.

The reason for PtP might be seen as an incentive to use SAFE as the network to store and deliver the works with PtP helping/assisting in the costs to deliver the art.

There will be or should be APPs that can provide much of what should delivered to do as you point out. I really don’t think that PtP was ever going to be a replacement for paying for quality works. But be at least some assistance for choosing SAFE for delivery.

Remember that a lot of PtP is to assist those who don’t wish to earn from their works but would appreciate some assistance in the costs to make the works available and that is one area PtP would greatly assist. Oh also in a selfish way for the network itself to gain more use by attracting them, which is of upmost importance since the network needs content to survive…

N99 is one project that is being created. Maybe you might like to search for it on the forum and see what you think.


I completely utterly disagree-
If you had to pay to rewatch a youtube video would you even use the service ???

PRE - Ok What you on about

Fantastic first post! I tend to agree with your conclusions too.


I agree with @traktion Jim, a really good well explained post, and that it’s great to have your experience and thinking on the issue. But not because I agree with you, at least not yet :wink:

I’m yet to be convinced and am still of the opinion that we should test out PtP before dismissing it. I’ll present two reasons for this, other than we won’t know until we try which I think is reason enough tbh.

The first in relation to your argument is that I don’t see your approach and PtP as either/or. If a PtP like system is created, I think it will have little impact on artists who reach the point of being able to market and set the price their works. I see it as serving a different and very important need that is not currently met, and I don’t see how it interferes with those building platforms such as you describe, and which indeed network99 and I hope others are already building.

Which leads me to the second point. I’m only a consumer here, but I don’t like the centralisation and control that is currently evident in the domination of the film, TV, music and encroaches on other areas where ‘star’ quality and control of distribution can be exploited to make money, and where this is often not done on ways that benefit individual artists (stifling their creativity for example, taking excess rewards etc), or in the interests of the many others who together - artists and workers - who together enable the industry. Not to mention the up and coming artists who end up in a lottery, many of who will never get their work to an audience of any size because the distribution is so controlled and organised by those with money and position.

So this is where I see PtP as offering some potential. Not to rival big money artists and the industry that already serves a relatively tiny proportion of the total talent well, but to give others at least an alternative and maybe create a new means for those without power, a famous name, good connections, or just blind good luck, to get exposure - and a way to capitalise on their popularity without giving up creative our economic control of they prefer not to.

The beauty of PtP is not that it will make anyone rich or even provide a living for people, but that it is so easy to understand and enable that pretty much anybody with content that is deemed useful and interesting (anything from music to a blog comment), can be rewarded with no effort on the part of its author. They can just have one setting in their account checked and that’s it.

I won’t get into detailed arguments about authorship, piracy and so on because we’ve had those already, which is why I’m now focused on let’s try it and see rather than speculate and argue.

I see PtP as more like a safety net that raises the bare minimum available to everyone, rather than a new model that replaces the status quo, but I’m also hopeful that systems such as network99 built on SAFEnetwork will improve on those systems too. I look forward to many new models in fact, and I don’t see PtP as undermining that at all.

But as I say, my interest is in seeing what we can make and to test it out before dismissing it. I’m disheartened that in the past some argue against even trying it, which seems both daft to me, and not in the spirit of SAFEnetwork or the creativity we want to see fostered by it. As with anything about SAFEnetwork, what doesn’t work can be changed and removed, so what’s the issue with trying it? :slight_smile:


Just thinking… maybe PtP would be a way to do analytics on usage. I am not sure if there are other mechanisms or statistics planned, but tiny payments could be a way to track popularity if nothing else.


That’s a very interesting and useful side effect @traktion.

I don’t think it will be easy to do in other ways without compromising privacy, at least not without something at the network level which I’ve heard no talk of. So this is something to bear in mind.

In fact it see worthwhile for this alone!

Turned on its head, the network could ask for micropayments in exchange for providing a measure of popularity for tagged content. How about that anyone? @dirvine

OK, what you on about?

If your goal is to reward artists, don’t.

It simultaneously incentivises authorship fraud and creates a culture where people take it for granted that creators get paid automatically. You’ll end up with a lot of scammers and a culture of complacent consumers.

By comparison, look at what’s happening on sites like Patreon and Band Camp. Instead of creating a world where artists have to fight their own popularity and a complacent consumer culture, they create tools that encourage artists and fans to have a pro-active, mutually supportive relationship. There is little incentive for fraud, artists are succeeding in ever-increasing numbers, and fans have a much better relationship with the creators they love. Take a look at folks like Amanda Palmer and I think you’ll appreciate that artists need us to cultivate a culture of gratitude, not complacency.

Automation and passive accessibility are excellent features when you’re talking about data storage and machine tools; however, creative people don’t thrive under the same circumstances. If you want to support artists, find tools that strengthen the relationship and connection between them and the communities that support them rather than trying to automate that connection out of existence.


Patreon has fallen to the siren song of censorship.

Any centralized site will eventually be pressured by political correctness or by advertisers or by governments to reward or punish content producers based on how the organization doing the pressuring feels about that content. That’s the system we have now, and it’s a problem.


You are changing the subject - I didn’t suggest centralizing SafeNet, nor would I. I would like to encourage you to re-read what I said about the importance of artists and their fans having a proactively supportive relationship, regardless of your feelings about a specific payment processor.


yeah I’ve come full-circle on this PtP thing actually, as of a while ago.

I totally believe that a donation / tipping economy (if we have a truly highly divisible cryptocurrency without transaction fees) will be 100% the way into the future, so PtP isn’t needed.

People just make great works, get a following if they deserve it, and their supporters take care of / literally “support” them.

There can be apps that take this to fun new heights with bonuses, flashy things etc,

but at the core, I believe that people tipping each other if they like what someone is doing will be 100% the way into the next level / evolution of capitalism.


A very interesting topic indeed.I’d like to share something that I came across the other day that essentially tackles this area. Note that I haven’t looked into any of the technical details, so any techies please chime in.

Check out the video of WildSpark which is a project by Synereo. Essentially, from what I can tell is that their aim is to reward content producers and curators with their own cryptocurrency. The end game is that all content is decentralized and walled gardens such as Fb and gatekeepers like big studios and the rest no longer rake in revenues just for being a platform. The artists and creators of content should be rewarded for their hard work.

It seems to me that this can be implemented on top of the SAFE network. The SAFE network provides the infrastructure and the currency unit (i.e. safe coins) and an application layer sitting on top of this would handle the tipping and transaction details. Note from the video that consumers are the ones that willingly pay for the content. That is, there is no pre-defined value built in. These donations are then split between the creator and the curator.

As to @JimCollinson’s excellent post about sharing royalties, this can also be built within the application layer. Actually I’ve seen something like this working at the recently-suspended watchmybit where creators of content decide how to divide the proceeds of donations to their videos. Note, you may need to Google around to find a demo as sadly, the site is in hibernation.

At this point, I’m not entirely sure if baking in this type of ‘attention economy’ and donation for content creation is necessary for an MVP as part of SAFE or if this should be abstracted up to the application layer and perhaps have competing apps handle this.


PtP isn’t planned for the beta. As the community could not agree it was decided to put PtP off with the idea of trialling it at a later date rather than discarding it altogether.


This seems to be the way that things are heading. I think that it would be a specific ‘artist coin’ though, not SAFEcoin itself that would be used.
This morning I listened to two podcasts that both talked about tokenization. Quoting from Olaf Carlson-Wee regarding tokens: "you create a real narrow incentive around that application or around that token…Tokens in this sense are really more of an incentive structuring or like a kind of game theory hack to get really powerful network effects around a specific application. So this is kind of a rough metaphor, but ostensibly, in the United States, we all benefit from the strength of the US dollar, but when I create a new company, I create shares specific to that company, because although even though I might help the US economy and thus help the US dollar, or the underlying network as you might think about that, I want narrow network effects around what I’m building."


I hear you on this. But in my rebuttal I’d contest that, on one hand, the size of the reward is immaterial. The important thing is who is being rewarded.

On the other hand, in terms of personal gain, the size of the PtP reward does tend to favour content aggregators: i.e. uploaders with significant catalogues. So that’s either established music services, or file-sharers. Not individual artists.

It’s simultaneously to small, and lacking in control, to be significant enough to act as an incentive for individual artists, yet enough of a carrot for the dumping of large catalogues.

I’d wager PtP is likely to provide similar levels of royalty, to a service like Spotify. Somewhere around $0.0005 per stream for an small indy artist. It’s difficult to tell though, as Spotify is suitably opaque about all this: another issue with a centralised corporation dominated music industry.

Spotify, quite rightly, gets a lot of flack for this, but they stay in place because they are propped up by the existing industry structures, and behind the scenes sweetheart deals with large catalogue holders like the majors. That, and the notion that it’s better to get paid something, rather than nothing, and that at least services like Spotify have infrastructure in place to get the money to the right people. Or what’s left of it.

It’s not a situation that’s very good for the vast majority of individual artists.

Now, just imagine for a minute that Spotify had a similar set-up, except all royalties were paid not to the artist, but to the original uploader, in-perpetuity. It looks even worse doesn’t it?

I’d say that if an artist doesn’t want to earn, that should be their decision. And they should probably be free to change their mind at some point too.

I can see why it would be desirable for the network. It would certianly help seed it with appealing, desirable content, but it would be founding the network on the backs of creatives, without giving them any agency.

PtP could work, but it would have to have some form of smart-contracting, metadata, trust, and arbitration mechanisms (community based or otherwise) built in. I’m not sure you’d want to have this baked in at a network level.

Yeah, these are the kind of projects that should sit at, what I’m calling, the platform layer. Although it seems like N99 it might span into presentation/curation a little too. I can’t tell if it allows artist to have any control of pricing or availability though.

I’d imagine there would be numerous forms of platform available to artists:

A raw platform, which allows artists full control over pricing, but with the associated, costs, risks, fluctuations, and management. And other platforms where artists may pool resource, and have royalties paid in accordance with the communities equity terms; say on a on a logarithmic basis; or in a way which aids smaller artist; or which smooths out currency/income fluctuations.

These platforms will need quality metadata, and smart contracting suitable to the task. But the possibilities are very exciting.



Again you make interesting points, but I don’t see how we can know in advance, and I don’t understand why people, including you here, sound like they want to dismiss something before we’ve either decided on how it will work or what it needs to achieve, or tested potential implementations and played with the parameters.

Instead I think we can look to see what actually happens, having first set ourselves some goals that can include avoiding the kind of issue you talk about.

But IMO the aim is not to provide a perfect system - but to provide alternative that helps people break out of what you and I seem to agree are stale and very unsatisfactory models. I don’t see the artist as paramount in this, and there are good arguments for allowing even things we’ve come to regard as bad, such as piracy, but I think much of that is overdone in large part because of the propaganda put out by powerful vested interests, and their ability to buy legislation. Just look at the copyright lobbies, and how these perpetuate those catalogues rather than reward those who contributed their lives to them - believing their rights would expire under very different time scales etc.

I think we need new models entirely in what is a very different age to that which created them. Not just to try and shift the balance towards artists from publishers and distributors. So maybe I’m more open to offers that infringe - to some extent - on artists rights, while better serving consumers including those who don’t contribute directly, while democratising the economics to benefit most (consumers and artists). It isn’t just artists who are being controlled and exploited.

So I think any debate would be more productive if it were around what we want to achieve rather than saying how we can or can’t try at this stage.


Thanks! This is a great thread, with lots of very thoughtful contributions.

I agree, that it wouldn’t preclude any of the features of the platform layer, but it might simply be a substitute for the platform layer.

It’s also true that the PtP features could be built in at the platform layer too… thus allowing curators to choose in good conscience whether they offer content from that platform to end consumers. And likewise, an artist can choose whether that model works for them or not.

Bake it in at a network level, and you remove that choice for both.

I don’t like this either, which is why I’m here :wink:

I think you may be misunderstanding what gives artists exposure and marketing clout. It’s not network infrastructure, nor wide distribution. It’s what will happen at the curation layer that will make this difference. And of course traditional marketing, communication, and making compelling art.

Musicians already have the ability to have almost instantaneous ubiquitous global distribution of their works. That’s not, by in large, the issue. The issue is, how many middlemen take a cut along the way, and how much control do they have, and how much agency and flexibility does the musician have in access to their works, or the business model around it?

I do have a lot of sympathy for this argument. The simplicity is compelling. But for some of the reasons I’ve outlined to @neo here, I think there may be more negative unintended consequences, than positive.


To be fair, this thread is directly soliciting opinion as to whether PtP should be implemented. I’m just adding mine.

Again, I do have real sympathy with this. But it is at least good to have an understanding of the current domain, and the realities that musicians and consumers inhabit before designing an experiment.

I would also say that language appropriate to the realities might also be helpful too.

I.e. if the proposal is to be trialled as is, let’s call it ‘Pay the Uploader’, as clearly we have no way of establishing who the producer is, much as we would like to.

I agree with this. Lets set out some clear objectives and measurable goals that a proposal can be held up against.


Sorry, ive not read the last 450 posts. This may be answered.

If we did ptp.
What would stop ppl uploading data. Then requesting that data through multiple machines for free, to get paid?
I see no way to stop that.
It takes payment out of the system, provides nothing usefull and puts strain on the network.

Edit to say.

Caching would stop farming reward and therefore ptp reward. Artists may not like that.


One word “caching”. Its a case of diminishing returns.

Please do read the topic, a lot of these questions and others you haven’t even thought of yet are discussed at length. Use the search function to help find what you are looking for.


As it has been mentioned before, and as you point out, caching doesn’t stop the problem, only diminishes it. There’s simply no reason to not run a script that continuously requests all of your public data. The more people does it, the better it works as caches gets recycled faster.

I know we all have been through this debate before, but just wanted to clarify as to not gives the impression that caching somehow fixes the issue completely. The network being stuffed by GET requests is still a valid concern for many reasons.