Photography company Eastman Kodak has announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights platform and the KodakCoin, a cryptocurrency for photographers which aims to “empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.”
The ICO is scheduled for January 31st and available to accredited investors in the US, Canada and a few other select countries. Kodak have yet to reveal how much they hope to raise in the sale.
Kodak Shares Double
According to the firm’s CEO Jeff Clarke, photographers have “long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used.” Kodak’s response is to partner with Wenn Digital on the KODAKOne platform, a marketplace for photographers to licence their work to buyers.
The Blockchain will be used to maintain an “create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership.” Kodak claim that the platform will also protect photographers’ work from unlicensed reproduction, as there will be “continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system.”
As so often happens these days, the move to blockchain was rewarded by the markets, with Kodak shares doubling in value. However, not everyone shares in this optimism.
The details of how the platform will work are vague. Blockchain writer David Gerard told the BBC, “Storing the information in a blockchain doesn’t protect your copyright any more than copyright law already does,” adding that, “this doesn’t do anything that signing up for Shutterstock or Getty Images wouldn’t.”
The company has found it difficult to adapt to technological change and had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012. Investors will be watching carefully to see if this 130 year old dog can learn some new tricks.