The Eastman Kodak Company is no newcomer to the field of photography and digital imaging. Having filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and exiting the digital imaging business completely, it has made a comeback. Turning to the current trends in cryptocurrency, it has recently announced the launch of KODAKOne, an imaging-right management platform for photographers powered by the blockchain. The objective of KODAKOne is to compensate photographers fairly for the images that they create and to become the currency of choice for the image economy.
Who Did KODAK Partner With To Make This Happen?
WENN Digital has partnered with KODAK to create the KODAKOne cryptocurrency. The company originally launched its own cryptocurrency called RYDE but the ICO was abandoned. This was originally developed for a German media rights company also called Ryde. Both companies have joined forces with KODAK to pursue the development of KODAKOne.
These companies already have a worldwide network of photographers, agencies and publishers on board. For the launch of the platform in the second quarter of 2019, the developers aim to have 10 million images already on board. The companies aim to bring together their collective expertise in the fields of blockchain technology, big data and copyright management.
Also, on the list is ICOX Innovations, who will launch the KODAKOne Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
How Does KODAKOne work?
At its core, the platform will have web crawlers that search the web for images in its blockchain database. The crawlers will flag any images that are licensed and execute the existing copyright on those images. There is currently no single, global rights management platform for image licensing.
What Problems Will The KODAKOne Platform Solve For Photographers?
Most internet users are not clued up with the copyright laws concerning images on the web. They often use search for images and use them without permission even though they are under copyright. Whether this is intentional or not, photographers and creators often lose out vast amounts of income. It is not feasible for them to licence their images and to snuff out the illegal uses of their images. They often simply have no idea where and how their images are used. Existing licensing platforms often take 30 – 90 days to pay out usage royalties to photographers. This means that photographers cannot benefit from new revenue streams that will maximize their income. Another concern is the issue of trust when it comes to royalty payments.
What Is The Issue With Trust And Royalties?
Since existing image rights management platforms are centralized, photographers have to trust the company that their royalty payments are correct. There is a lack of transparency when it comes to detailed royalty statements. Since image rights are often split between multiple parties it is hard and time-consuming to attend to this admin.
How Does KODAKOne Manage Royalty Payments To Multiple parties?
The use of Ethereum smart contracts can ease this administrative burden. Multiple payments can be executed in one transaction using the Ethereum blockchain’s smart contracts. Photographers are instantly paid in KODAKCoin.
What Are The Benefits Of KODAKOne?
The platform speeds up efficiency for photographers using artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, saving them time and resources. It manages the entire workflow of the photo management process, including registration, protection and distribution bringing them additional income that might have been lost. The KODAKCoin will create a community around image-related intellectual property (IP) and create confidence around the buying and selling of images with copyright. The transparent nature of the blockchain will ensure that trust is gained and copyright information cannot be modified.
What is KODAKCoin?
The KODAKCoin is an ERC-20 token that works on the Ethereum network. It is compatible with any Ethereum wallet. They coins are functional tokens that have purchasing power on the KODAKOne platform for good or services.
Where Can You Buy KODAKCoin?
You cannot buy the coins directly yet. KODAKOne has launched a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens or SAFT to raise funding for the project. This means that investors can invest a set amount of money in KODAKOne and the company promises to give them a set amount of KODAKOne tokens in the upcoming ICO. This is however only open to “accredited investors” as it is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, commonly known as the SEC.
What Can You Buy With KODAKCoin?
The KODAKOne Platform will have a marketplace where users can buy, sell and book products and service. The scope of products include photographic equipment. Services include flights, hotels, apartments, models, venue hire and studio bookings. KODAKCoin can also be used by sellers to enhance their listings for better visibility and to promote their images and services on the marketplace.
What Can The KODAKOne Platform Do?
Photographers can register their images on the blockchain. It is immutable so their ownership of images cannot be changed to deleted. The platform also uses smart contracts to licence the images to the relevant people, be it individuals or multiple parties. The public nature of the Ethereum blockchain means that all the royalty payments are transparent. Payments are instantly made when royalties are due through smart contracts that execute automatically when certain conditions are triggered. Photographers and rights holders can track exactly where their images are used. There are also post-licensing fees that are collected. This can be seen as the image policing service. When someone has already used an image and the web crawler detects their usage, they are charged for usage or for damages arising from their usage.
How Does KODAK Make Money?
KODAKOne charges for transaction fees. This is photographers who licence their images on the platform or user who buy rights to use an image. There are also fees applicable to the US Copyright Office (USCO). WENN Digital will also sell its library of stock images on the platform. The platform will also have project-specific packages for corporate clients who need to track specific campaigns or who require customized image tracking services.
What Does The Team Look Like?
The CEO is Jan Denecke. He has more than a decade of experience in copyright law. He is also the founder of Ryde, the web crawling technology which the KODAKOne platform is built on. Matthew Walker, the CEO of WENN Media has more than 15 years of experience in content licensing.
What Does The Roadmap Look Like?
The development team aims to have the post-licensing web crawler service up and running by the end of 2018. They will also introduce a special offering to creative agencies called the MVP beta phase. The platform will officially launch in mid 2019.
The KODAKOne platform has a firm use case. The blockchain by nature is public, immutable and trustless. Image rights management services in the past have been very centralized, with only a few big media companies controlling the rights of photographers and copyright holders. The decentralized nature of the blockchain will ensure that public records of image copyright is available to anyone. This copyright information cannot be deleted or destroyed. Photographers do not need to trust any single company with their data as the information is stored in a blockchain database and it is agreed on by consensus through the network. We are eager to see what the KODAKOne coalition and KODAKCoin will deliver in future.