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A picture's worth: Kodak and Wenn Digital launch photocentric blockchain initiative + cryptocurrency

Kodak launched KodakOne and KodakCoin, using blockchain and cryptocurrenc for better image rights management for photographers / Joao Silas via Unsplash

In a licensing agreement, Kodak and blockchain development company WENN Digital announced the launch of the KodakOne image rights management platform and KodakCoin, a currency specifically geared to give more image rights control to photographers and studios.

The KODAKOne platform utilizes blockchain technology to create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform.

KodakCoin has allowed photographers to receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale. For both professional and amateur photographers, they had the ability sell their work on KodakOne and recieve proper payment.

KODAKOne provided continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, KODAKOne has been able to efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers.

Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said of the partnership,“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 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.”

Jan Denecke, WENN Digital's CEO agreed, adding:“Engaging with a new platform, it is critical photographers know their work and their income is handled securely and with trust, which is exactly what we did with KODAKCoin. Subject to the highest standards of compliance, KODAKCoin is all about paying photographers fairly and giving them an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new economy tailored for them, with secure asset rights management built right in.”

Blockchain has been a hot-button technology with implications that brands and marketers are still working to figure out. But there's solid reason to believe that people in the industry have started to take it seriously.

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