On Monday, the nearly 130-year-old brand announced it had teamed up with WENN Digital to launch KODAKCoin and KODAKOne, parts of a blockchain-based initiative that will “empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.”
“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 press release. “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.”
The new system will allow photographers to register their work and receive quicker payment after licensing. Furthermore, the platform will also scan the internet for any unauthorized use of a photographer’s work, and will manage the post-licensing process to ensure the photographer gets compensated.
“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,” WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke explained. “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.”
According to the BBC, Kodak’s shares increased 120 percent shortly after it announcement the launch of KODAKCoin and KODAKOne. Of course, this is great news for the camera company, which has seen its stock value drop more than 70 percent within the last several years.
Kodak’s initial coin offering will open on Jan. 31 to investors in select countries, including the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada.