By Gertrude Chavez- Dreyfuss, Reuters May 10, 2018
Wenn Digital, the developer of an image protection blockchain platform licensed by Eastman Kodak Co, said on Thursday it intends to raise up to $50 million in a combined public and private token offering.
Wenn Digital has created the blockchain-based system, called KODAKOne, which seeks to protect the copyright of images or photographs registered on the platform. Kodak has a minority stake in Wenn Digital, according to Wenn.
Kodak shares shot up in early January to as high as $13.25 when it announced its deal with Wenn Digital, falling after the token offering was delayed. The stock closed at $5.45 on Wednesday.
A few years behind Wall Street, Hollywood is turning to the technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin to distribute movies in a development hailed as the beginning of the end for piracy.
Leading the charge is No Postage Necessary, a romantic indie comedy about a luckless hacker that is being distributed via peer-to-peer video network app Vevue, running on Qtum, the most advanced blockchain in the world.
Jeremy Culver (An Evergreen Christmas) wrote, directed and produced the release from US production house Two Roads Picture Co., shot on 35 mm film.
The movie gets its US theatrical release and worldwide blockchain debut in June and will also be available to buy online using cryptocurrency.
“We are thrilled to provide movie lovers around the world a brand new way to experience their entertainment by turning the blockchain into a feature film distribution channel,” Culver said in a statement.
“Although this is a first for the industry, we hope it will signal a shift in the way content is shared and consumed.”
An eon or two ago, Eastman Kodak was a bleeding-edge technology company. It hired the smartest engineers and put them to work racking up patents, pioneering new chemical processes and building a globe-spanning camera and film business that, at its peak, employed 145,000 people.
But the digital photo age passed Kodak by, and today, the Rochester, N.Y., company exists mostly in the past tense. Many of the patents have been sold, buildings have been rented out or demolished, and the company has continued to shrink since it filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
Now, the 130-year-old company is trying an unlikely sort of comeback — one built by betting on cryptocurrency. It’s a bold gamble that has excited some investors, perplexed others and raised questions about whether Kodak was wading into dubious business deals in search of growth.
This month, Kodak lent its name to a digital currency called KodakCoin, which is billed as “a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.” The basic idea behind KodakCoin is to use the blockchain to help photographers manage their collections by creating permanent, immutable records of ownership. The company also struck a licensing deal for a Bitcoin-mining computer called the Kodak KashMiner, which allows users to generate their own cryptocurrency.
The ever-increasing popularity of blockchain began with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but has since surpassed the worlds of finance and banking. With a slew of new businesses and applications built on the technology, these industries now represent the first wave of a mass decentralization that will soon impact the whole world. Blockchain helps distribute the cost of running a platform to its various participants, but rewards them for it in equal measure.
This decentralized model is already relevant for blockchain-based solutions such as cloud storage, payment processing, and cybersecurity. Soon, however, the technology will play a key role in the content distribution arena.
To many, this is a better deal than the old ways, which saw control and profits stay in the hands of content hosting companies rather than the content creators themselves. Blockchain can significantly disrupt this imbalanced status quo, and seeks to put the power back in the hands those who create and consume content.
Blockchain is quickly becoming a buzzword in daily conversation, largely due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but also because of the innovations being built with the technology. As entrepreneurs and developers move to adopt blockchain, its potential to disrupt businesses far and wide becomes increasingly obvious. Blockchain technology uses the power of an encrypted, organized network of computers to run all kinds of processes. Industries like data storage, banking, cybersecurity, supply chain management and crowdfunding are some of the first to be affected, but these may just be the first dominoes to wobble.
Is blockchain a threat to Netflix and other streaming competitors like Hulu? The answer first requires a look at Netflix, and then how blockchain might interrupt the company’s wildly successful model. (See also: Is a Netflix Debt Bubble Coming?)
More at: Does Blockchain Technology Pose a Threat to Netflix? – Investopedia
Custos Media Technologies, a South African company that provides a globally effective solution to piracy by outsourcing the detection of pirated content using Bitcoin and its blockchain, announced on Wednesday 13 September 2017 that the company will be participating in a new blockchain-based anti-piracy solution for ebooks, following the recent news that content protection giant Digimarc and ebook publisher Erudition are joining forces.
This new collaboration debuts the combination of Digimarc Barcode for digital documents and Custos’ infringement detection technology. This provides a more effective, reader-friendly way to combat ebook piracy.
Erudition and Custos have worked closely together over the past year. The Stellenbosch-based media protection company provides technology that adds Bitcoin deposits to ebooks. These digital bounties enable Custos to rapidly detect piracy after the first copy of a file is shared.
After having written at length over the past several years about blockchain technology, I’m delighted to observe what appears to be growing consensus that this technology could become a core tool in facilitating the creation of a music industry ecosystem in which there are more winners than losers.
Without throwing cold water on the party (I am, indeed a blockchain true believer), I do have concerns that the pace of adoption by important stakeholders will be slower than we desire unless certain things occur. Blockchain technology is currently like a great engine that does not yet fit into any car. Specifically, while an ever-increasing number of emerging or independent artists may avail themselves of this technology, there is a vast category of artists who are walled off from the potential advantages of this technology: artists whose copyrights for their sound recordings or musical works are controlled by major labels or publishers.
Absent participation from this cohort, one has to wonder about the pace of widespread adoption of this technology.