KodakOne uses a blockchain and web crawlers to spot stolen images

Kodak Ektra
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Kodak is working to help photographers fight image theft using a blockchain and cryptocurrency. On Tuesday, January 9 at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Kodak and Wenn Digital announced KodakOne, a rights management platform for photographers. Along with protecting their work using the blockchain, photographers can also sell their work and earn KodakCoin cryptocurrency.

KodakOne uses the idea of a blockchain — protecting data through a large network of computers — and applies the concept to managing photo rights. The company calls it an “encrypted digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers.” Photographers can add new as well as archive images to the system. Because of the blockchain structure, the data is stored on a large network of computers that both helps create a public ledger, adds a layer of protection and prevents data loss.

While the blockchain keeps the record of photographs, crawler bots will search the web for those photos, Kodak said. Licensed images will be linked to an IP address, so bots won’t incorrectly flag purchased images. If that crawler detects an image that wasn’t properly licensed, Kodak says the platform assists photographers in getting those sites to license the image.

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem,” Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a statement. “Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

Along with serving as a platform for photographers to help find and recover stolen images, KodakOne will also function as a licensing platform where photographers can sell their work. Kodak said the platform pays in KodakCoin immediately after the sale and is ideal for both professional and amateur photographers.

For KodakCoin, the initial offering launches on January 31 in the U.S., U.K., Canada and other select countries, issued under SEC guidelines with Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering. Photographers can sign up on Kodak’s website to receive notifications once the licensing platform is live.