Miro, the open/free Internet TV service, is raising funds for its next version by asking people to "adopt" a line of source-code: $4 a month gets you "a customized page and widgets that display your line of code. Even a little photo of your new buddy, and its personalized name!"
Miro combines VLC — a free video player that supports virtually every format extant — with BitTorrent and RSS, creating a simple means for publishing and receiving Internet video without bankrupting independent producers with bandwidth bills. The producer serves up an RSS feed of torrent files; viewers download these in the background and receive the latest video by torrent file, sharing pieces of it among themselves. The more viewers a channel has, the faster everyone gets the file and the less the producer has to pay to serve it. Miro is free and open, and does not have any DRM.
I'm proud to have served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors for the Participatory Culture Foundation (Miro's parent organization) since its inception. In just a few short years, Miro's gone from a slightly clunky proof-of-concept to a Mac/Win/Lin cross-platform video tool that presents a credible alternative to proprietary and/or DRM-crippled systems from Hulu, Apple, Amazon and others.
We're a small non-profit in a sea of big budget, for-profit competitors, and the recent stock market crash has severely hurt the foundations that fund the bulk of our work. But we want to take this crisis and use it as an opportunity to flip our funding model on its head. If enough of our users adopt lines of Miro code, we can create an organization that is funded from the bottom-up and not dependent on the top-down.
We aren't here to make money, we're here for a mission: to distribute wonderful video around the world in a system that's more open and decentralized than ever before. To do that, we need you to help us care for a little tiny piece of Miro.
We have thousands of lines of code that are waiting for you to adopt them. Not only will you get an adorable line of code with a cute name and face, we'll also put your name in the source code and in the about box on every copy of Miro