KodakCoin ICO Went From a Joke to a Real Blockchain Project in 2019
If you briefly examined the KodakCoin ICO in January of 2018, you’d be forgiven for expressing some scepticism. January 2018 was a time when the crypto bubble was at its bubbliest. It seemed like anyone could make a mint with even the barest concept for an ICO and Kodak seemed like the most obvious opportunist of the bunch.
But this turned out not to be the case. The KodakCoin ICO was not a cynical cash grab. The KodakOne platform, built using funds raised during the ICO, serves a vital function in the world of photography, and has already brought in more than $1,000,000 in licensing fees, even though KodakOne is still in beta!
So, what is KodakOne, and why was a blockchain platform the best solution for licensing problems endemic to the photography industry?
It all starts with permission. Professional photographers, studios, and publishing companies make money by selling the rights to their images. The problem is… people steal. Even if a publisher manages to extract rights from a single website or content platform, these images are usually stolen from that rights-holder, using any number of easily accessible tools on the internet. An estimated 80% of industry revenue is lost this way.
KodakOne uses AI to trawl the web, looking for copyrighted images. If the AI stumbles upon a KodakOne client’s image, one for which no licensing payment has been made, they instantly contact the owner of the site that hosts the image. The owner can either pay for the license (using KodakCoin, by buying Bitcoin BTC, other cryptocurrencies, or fiat) or have the image removed.
KodakOne insists that these license payment requests are as user-friendly as possible (if the infringing party can be thought of as the “user”, that is). Whatever pirates might think about this new standard, KodakOne beta has apparently been quite successful, with more than $1 million in revenue brought to institutional clients. As beta progresses over the next year and beyond, KodakOne expects to extend these services to individual professional and amateur photographers.
This AI-driven strategy has been pioneered by other industries with great success. “Digital Fingerprints” have helped the music industry monetize unlicensed reproductions of copyrighted works. Using blockchain to bring efficiency to the process improves the situation for the world of photography. By offering an instant payment solution, KodakOne is more than a “cease and desist” engine. It provides an instant, immutable resolution to a previously thorny issue, for people on both sides of the image piracy equation.
Featured image: “KodakCoin angekündigt – Aktienkurs verdoppelt” – Marco Verch via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)