Click & Rate

We are in favour of an alternative compensation system that uses an internet subscription levy to compensate authors of e-books, movies or music for people downloading their works.

In the original version of our proposal the collected funds are distributed based on number of downloads. The more a certain work is downloaded, the more money the author receives. However, is this system does have some problems.

The most important issue is that the number of downloads does not tell anything about quality. Regardless whether one writes complete rubbish or a sublime novel, for each download one receives the same.

But, you might say, good works will be downloaded in larger numbers that complete rubbish, so what? Well, with seemingly “free” downloads, people will be leaning to download first and look later.  Hence the number of downloads will be less a measure of quality or even popularity.

A simple and elegant solution for this problem would be to include ratings as well in the distribution of funds. People who have downloaded something will be able to rate their download on a predetermined scale. The more and higher ratings an author gets, the more money he will receive.

This system which includes both number of downloads (clicks) and feedback (rates), we will call “Click & Rate”.

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5 thoughts on “Click & Rate”

  1. A tour of wordpress has shown that some of the blogs that only post gibberish have thousands of followers whereas sites that post on substantive issues have very few[ I realize this is quite subjective but you get my drift] sometimes books that should otherwise be burned would be downloaded more not because of the quality of content but because the reading population is at that level.
    You proposal of rating would still disadvantage those who present quality stuff. Take the case of philosophy books and books on romance? Which gets the most readers? I don’t want to be seen to be stepping on anyone’s toes.

    1. I understand your point, and unfortunately I have to agree with you. Nevertheless, it is complex problem with no easy solution. I think that our proposal is a step in the good direction. But we are open for suggestions and the best system will be implemented.

  2. Thank you for the article which has set my mind wandering as follows.

    In my opinion the ratings are problematic, there are already cases of authors inflating ratings by spoofing supportive fans and competitors or enemies deflating ratings by spoofing angry readers.

    Suppose one can read online only if the reader wears some patch that can read appropriate body signals? I suspect science and technology will develop to the point where we can use body signals as indicators of reading quality or even whether a person is actually reading. These signals could set the cost for reading/viewing.

    Is privacy an issue? Perhaps not because the reader knows she or he will be monitored. If it is a problem, don’t read/view the item. Is it the right of people to read/view material without monitoring? Maybe yes, provided they pay extra for that luxury.

    This leads to creators knowing what the readers/viewers really think of their material.

    In general, I always wondered whether survey-based research and evaluation had much merit. And do people respond with lies or false information in surveys and reviews? It seems yes. See the following.

    http://www.transactionpub.com/title/The-Problem-with-Survey-Research-978-1-4128-4603-5.html
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257493/
    http://ask.metafilter.com/158074/How-do-we-know-survey-responses-are-honest
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2012/10/09/study-poll-respondents-more-likely-lie-about-voter-registration-r

    1. Thanks for your contribution.

      As a social scientist I am familiar with the problems of survey research. And yes, your concerns are valid ones.

      If we want to implement such system we need to take care that authors won’t inflate their own ratings.

      Your suggestions are worth further exploration.

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