Digital sales network

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  1. Set up a micro-payment system from buyer to seller, that works alongside a search-and-download P2P network.
  2. Allow commission on each sale, providing an incentive to promote files and provide bandwidth.
  3. Allow traders to set the level of commission for each file, encouraging a competitive market.
  4. Only allow use of the payment system if the seller pays royalties for each file sold: trading files outside the system (avoiding royalty payment) would prevent the seller charging commission.
  5. Only allow royalty payment if the copyright holder allows files to be sold in the system (opt-in). Files that haven't been registered by the owner can thus be traded for free, but no commission can be charged and no royalties can be paid. The copyright holder may set the royalty level (the base price) for each file.
  6. Incorporate a reputation system, providing incentive to provide full, high-quality files. Buyer loyalty will reward good traders, allowing them to make investments in bandwidth and new purchases.
  7. All file-sharing exchanges should be legal, whether within this system or not. This means no threats of illegality for any file trading, only incentives to join the system.

The most similar practical development is BDE's project on the FastTrack (Kazaa) network, where points may be given in exchange for bandwidth used by the distribution system for approved files. However, their system has no incentive for promoting the files you're pushing, or for finding new files, or for writing good reviews. There's no reason to be involved, other than being rewarded as a bandwidth provider.
The system described here is a digital equivalent of a real-world physical marketplace, with traders receiving commission per item sold, except that the producer receives payment when the consumer buys the file rather than when the producer sells the file, as illustrated below: