DRM-less storage for the Day Against DRM!

Today is the Day Against DRM and there are 10 things you can do to oppose DRM. The DefectiveByDesign.org group has been steadily opposing DRM, teaching people what DRM is and why it matters in their daily life, and linking us to anti-DRM projects around the world.

In my post opposing Wil Wheaton’s unquestioning support of DRM and his take on iTunes (going “beyond the call of duty” to restore the tracks he lost on his iPod), I raised the idea that what Apple did for him then is the least they can do for any of their customers at any time (not just once). Now we’re closer to doing this for ourselves.

Dreamhost is a large webhoster based in California. If you need to run a website, Dreamhost is one corporation which will sell you space to store your stuff on and bandwidth to use. Dreamhost opposes DRM. Hence, Dreamhost has set up Files Forever.

All cards on the table: Digital Citizen is hosted on Dreamhost. But I don’t make any money with your hits. My relationship with Dreamhost is that I am a Dreamhost customer.

So what does Files Forever do?

Using Files Forever, you can sell your own digital files, like the iTunes music store, except that:

  • No DRM is allowed.
  • Once you upload your file to sell, you pay a tiny one-time storage fee, and they will serve it to your visitors at a permanent URL. This means you can upload it there once, link to it, and the link ought to stay good for as long as Dreamhost continues the service.
  • Buying files via Files Forever includes an online backup. Just download again if you lose the file.
  • Any file you can buy from Files Forever can be loaned to your friends.
  • Files Forever takes 5% of the cost of the sale + 50 cents for credit card fees.
  • You can make some money through an affiliate program—get others to use Files Forever and mention you in the right way, and you make some money.

I have nothing on Files Forever as of now (the service just started and it’s in beta), but I’ll look more deeply into this as the beta progresses. If this adequately addresses the issues I raised against Wheaton, I’ll use it and recommend it to my family and friends.

# Any file you buy from Files Forever you can also “loan” to your friends via the service! They are then allowed to download the file as much as they want until you ask for it “back.” (This is awesome, trust me.)
# We handle all the payment processing / shopping cart stuff, and take just 5% + 50c for credit card fees. (We combine purchases to minimize these costs too.)
# You can even offer an “affiliate cut” for people who re-sell your files!