There’s a new program out called ShareMonkey that helps users turn their “tainted” music and movie files illegally downloaded from P2P and file-sharing networks into legal ones by showing users where they can be purchased and replaced online.
Now I don’t know that it will find widespread popularity or instill some sort of groundbreaking catharsis in the hearts and minds of file-sharers but, I’m sure some of you out there will find it useful.
ShareMonkey is intended to be a way for people to support artists and content producers after acquiring their work for free on a P2P or file-sharing network where no “financial contribution” was made.
The creators of ShareMonkey make three interesting propositions:
What about the millions of people who want to pay for their downloaded music, movies and software?
What’s the route to market for the guy who downloaded a cinema cam of what becomes his favourite movie?
What about the graduate who now has money to pay for the music that helped her through university?
To me it seems like one would be better off avoiding P2P and file-sharing networks in the first place if one is so encumbered by its moral failings but, nonetheless Sharemonkey’s creators do make a few good points.
For instance, I know many have grabbed a CAM or DVDScreener of a new flic only to discover after watching it that it wasn’t even worth the cost of bandwidth to do so. Yet, what if the movie was good and therefore did deserve some kind of “contribution” to those who created it? Well, using ShareMonkey you could find who’s selling a LEGAL COPY of it (obviously once it’s released on DVD or a legal online video service) and thereby “make amends.” That way it hopefully means that the right people are receiving the correct amount of support and reward for their efforts, and it helps to ensure that quality content will continue to be produced.
Music is a much simpler example, and perhaps even an easier sell. Due to the cutthroat nature of the music biz, I’m sure we all can agree that it’s far more important for music artists to be properly compensated. More succinctly, ShareMonkey can allow you to pay for the track or two you actually like on the album rather than having to be saddled with the cost of the whole thing. Think of it as a “free preview” in which you got to check the whole thing out before making your decision.
ShareMonkey knows the album origin of 500,000 of the most shared MP3′s, and also has matched more than 200,000 movies; cams, rips, trailers and extras, to the DVDs they originally came from, and they’re “…matching more every day.”
It can also tell you what game, application or book your download came from. All you do is right click on a file in Windows and choose “Where is this file from?.”
So how does it work?
Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s pretty easy, just download and install to begin.
Then all you have to do is “right-click” a selected file and choose “Where is this file from?” in the explorer menu.
Here I chose a track by “Hot Club de Paris” from the SXSW 2007 Music Showcase BitTorrent download I talked about a while back.
The results for your ShareMonkey search then appear in your internet browser. In this case it looks like the album costs about $32 bucks (I think I’ll be sticking with my FREE single track)
Not all searches are as easy and successful however, some take a bit more work. When no direct matches occur it will display a search option with more listings for you to look through as shown below.
I mentioned before how it offers a Shareaza download when installing ShareMonkey, well it also offers a Shareaza plugin as shown below which also allows you to look through the results inside the Shareaza program itself. Pretty cool if Shareaza’s your thing.
All in all, I think there’s much easier ways to find legit copies of downloaded content but, I must admit that a simple “right-click” does have a certain amount of appeal.
Looking for more stuff to watch or download?
FREE BITTORENT DOWNLOAD of the DAY – SSXW’s Austin, TX Local Music Artists Roundup
TVU, Free P2P Cable TV
3 Quick Ways to Watch Movies for FREE!
3 quick ways to watch TV shows for FREE
BitTorrent torrent sites & search engines
Azureus – A Beginner’s Guide to BitTorrent Downloading
uTorrent – A Beginner’s guide to BitTorrent downloading