The team behind Steal This Film and Steal This Film 2 draws our attention again. These days they are busy creating a platform whose purpose is to help filmmakers receive financial compensation for the works they release via file-sharing networks. The name of the project is VODO (meaning “voluntary donations”) and the actual inspiration for it is the experience the two filmmakers have gained from releasing their own works for free via the Internet and which has taught them about alternatives.
Basically, the concept is simple – to make VODO a feature of both P2P clients and media players and enable users to make a fair donation when they download or watch a film. Additionally, VODO is supposed to use video fingerprinting in order to unfailingly identify downloaded films so that filmmakers can receive payment. The site says:
“VODO benefits lie in distributing payments out to players and downloading software, making it as trivial as possible for donors to initiate voluntary donations when they feel most ‘connected’ to the artist: at the point of enjoyment of the media.”
Partially supported by grants offered by the British Documentary Film Foundation, the filmmakers turned to their fans for donations. According to them in the first two months since its release, about 0.1 percent of Steal This Film’s viewers compensated the work through donations. They aim at reaching a 15 percent donation rate. It remains to be seen if they are more than…great expectations.