Suppose you watched a movie illegally, because it was convenient to watch it at home, and you feel like a jerk for not paying the $15 for a seat in the theater.
There are lots of reasons not to go to a theater. Poor sound quality. People who bring infants to the theater, or talk about the movie loudly as if we were in their living room.
What if there was a way to pay for the movie, after-the-fact?
No movie chain is going to do this, so why not start a proxy for them?
You'd log into a central site, if you're new, enter your credit card info
Navigate to the page for the movie you just watched.
Click the box, and click OK, and you've paid the fee.
I don't think it should be a voluntary amount. It should the the price of a ticket, either the average price, or the price at a theater local to you (think about this). This isn't charity, it's about convenience. You're not trying to avoid paying for the movie-watching experience, or negotiate a better price.
This is where it gets interesting.
At first, at least, no movie company is going to want this to exist. They might try to sue it out of existence. In the meantime, the money goes into escrow accounts, earning interest, to be paid to the rights-holder, when they demand it. Who is the rights holder? That's probably a large part of what will be litigated.
It would be like the lottery, the jackpot would keep growing, and the pressure would build (think about shareholders) to just take the money. And if that were to happen, we would have a whole new way of doing content on the Internet, for pay.
It's a way to bootstrap a new economy, one that will be useful in other contexts.
For example, I was just reminded that I could pay the New Yorker $1 per month to read all their articles. I would totally do this. If I didn't have to create an account, and give them all my info, and be subject to all the marketing these guys do. The price isn't just $1 a month. That's just what you pay so they can begin to aggressively upsell you. But I'd like to give them the money.
We need a middle-man here, some entity that doesn't belong to the vendors or the users. It cares equally for both. This would ultimately be good for the vendors, because the system is very inefficient.