KodakOne uses blockchain and web crawlers to spot stolen images

Kodak is working to help photographers fight image theft using a blockchain and cryptocurrency. After announcing KodakOne during the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, owner of the image rights management platform Wenn Digital has now achieved funding for KodakCoin. KodakCoin will launch on May 21, followed by the KodakOne platform sometime during late 2018.

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 images as well as archive images to the system. Because of the blockchain structure, the data is stored on a large network of computers that 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.

After KodakCoin’s initial offering launched on January 31 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and other select countries, KodakCoin announced on May 10 that it will price the Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFT) at $1.00 starting on May 21. The successful SAFT funding will allow KodakCoin to launch in the next few weeks. Wenn Digital says that KodakCoin is facilitated by Cointopia with management from Pickwick Capital Partners LLC and Exemplar Capital LLC. Both firms are FINRA members and the broker-dealers are registered with the SEC.

“We are excited to offer the SAFTs and the rights to the underlying KodakCoin in a manner structured to fully comply with an exemption to the SEC’s registration requirements,” Jan Denecke, CEO of Wenn Digital, said in a statement. “Our goal with this offering is utmost security and transparency, working to bring digital tokens to investors by adhering to industry best practices and in a manner that we hope instills public confidence in the crypto space.”

Photographers can learn more about the company’s plans for a blockchain-protected rights management network at the KodakOne website.

Updated on May 10 to include KodakCoin’s funding and launch date.