On Tuesday, Kodak announced plans to create a new blockchain-based image rights platform it is calling KodakOne, as well as a new cryptocurrency called KodakCoin. The platform will provide photographers with a secure digital record of their ownership rights. The new currency will allow photographers to participate in what the company is calling “a new economy for photography.”
In a press release published on Tuesday, Kodak explained that those participating photographers will be able to “receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform.”
KodakOne will also include features that continually monitor the usage of all images registered with the platform to detect unlicensed use and “manage the post-licensing process” to ensure that content creators receive their due reward. Those features are designed to help solve one of photography’s most persistent challenges in the digital age. As Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke noted,
“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.”
Kodak has partnered with London firm Wenn Media Group for a planned initial coin offering (ICO) that will begin January 31, 2018. According to the company’s announcement, the offering is being issued “under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering” and will be open to properly accredited investors from the United States, Canada, the UK, and several other nations.
Eastman Kodak shares rose in value by almost 120% after Tuesday’s announcement.