Kodak is creating a photography economy
The 130 year-old brand is developing an image rights blockchain platform and photographer cryptocurrency.
Tech giant Kodak and blockchain development company WENN Digital have signed a licensing partnership to launch an image rights management platform and new virtual currency to support digital photographers.
Kodak will hold an initial coin offering (ICO) for KODAKCoin on January 31, 2018. KODAKCoin will become the cryptocurrency traded via KODAKOne, an encrypted digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers.
This will allow rights holders to register new and archived work that they can then license within the platform.
The KODAKOne platform will maintain continual web crawling duties in order to monitor and protect the intellectual property of the images registered in its system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform will oversee the entire post-licensing process in order to compensate photographers.
“With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform,” Kodak said in a statement.
KodakCoin’s ICO has been issued as complying with US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines. This event is open to accredited investors from the US, UK, Canada and other select countries. However, in the US accredited investors must have an individual income in excess of $200,000 or a net worth of $1 million.
This means that the average American won’t be able to invest in KodakCoin. Neither will most photographers, given that their median salary in the US is just $34,070, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Shares in the image technology company more than doubled (119%) following the announcement. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 and switched its focus to the corporate digital imaging market.
Several big businesses have debated the use of cryptocurrencies as a result of their price volatility.
American online retailer Overstock recently suffered a cryptocurrency payments bug that severely impacted the cost of purchases and allowed some customers to claim refunds at a significantly higher rate of return.
Microsoft briefly ceased accepting bitcoin as a payment method earlier this week but has since restored this option. Entertainment and gaming platform Steam announced in December last year that it would no longer support bitcoin payments, given the cryptocurrency’s unreliable value and inherently high processing fees.
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