Whilst I do agree that charging a membership fee goes against the ethos to charge for downloads but I still feel having the “option” to donate and receive a larger download limit instead of waiting until your download limit resets is a good compromise.
At the end of the day human nature and experience tells us whilst it is great to offer things for free realistically there are expenses to be paid and I for one would rather have the option to donate and receive the “bonus” of a larger download limit than see this site shut down in 6 months because the owners are unable to keep paying the expenses out of their own pockets.
The option of donating is a purely voluntary and if you don’t want to, don’t need to, or don’t have the means to then you can stick with the original structure.
Also the donation is to help with hosting/server expenses so by doing it this way you are not going against the ethos as you are still not paying for downloads but for the service that brings the downloads to you.
The figures really speak for themselves as I’ve been a member since the 2nd August the the donations received are still sitting at 28.09% which is the same as it was after I made my donation.
Torrents and private trackers have been using the method of donate and reward for years and on the whole it works very well.
After all you could argue if this site is completely free when why do you need to register then login to download, why not have the site completely open?