Apologize if this has bee discussed before, but if so I missed it. With the recent uptick in discussion on namecoins, I began to wonder if a similar system couldn't be used for software licensing (especially PC games and shareware programs.)
For want of a better name, I'll refer to these as gamecoins, but keep in mind they could be used for any licensed software.
Similar to namecoins, gamecoins would share much of the architecture design of bitcoins, would be purchased only for bitcoins, and mine-able as well.
A software developer who desires to offer his software for gamecoins would set a price for a) new licenses, and b) license transfers. They may set a 0 price for transfers, in which case they make income only off the initial purchase. Or, they may set a transfer price (fixed or percentage of sale) for transfers, in which case they make a continuing trickle as their game spreads, rather than filling the coffers of Gamestop.
As the software runs, it can verify current ownership from the block chain against the users' private keys. Sharing of private keys would of course be possible but would result in anyone you shared them with having the ability to transfer all your licenses away from you.
This kind of system would be beneficial to end users:
- DRM restrictions would be essentially gone - install on as many PCs as you like and share your gamecoin wallet between them.
- Easily sell games you no longer use, with no risk of fraud/chargebacks
- Buy used games with confidence - download from the software developer for free and activate via purchase of license
For the publisher:
- Eliminate the Gamestop leech, and instead make some profit from transfers (using some of this to pay for continuing software download availability)
Anyways, just musing out loud. Feel free to tear it apart.