I’m a coder, and the code is the same level of effort, which is to say not much at all. Would take me less than an hour to write the code — either way, and somebody who is actually good could probably do it in 10–15 minutes.
I’m guessing a couple reasons they went with the Big Pool: 1. It doesn’t seem that crazy at first, and it probably sounded like a fine solution. 2. It matches how radio and publishing is paid.
The problems with the Big Pool approach didn’t reveal themselves until much later. I don’t think it was intentional at all. The problem now, as I say in the article, is fear and inertia.