Kodak made waves earlier this year when they announced the creation of a unique digital media rights platform using blockchain, in conjunction with WENN Digital Inc. The service, called KODAKOne, would be backed by their own cryptocurrency called KODAKCoin. Skeptics were quick to denounce the photo giant’s efforts, claiming the company dabbling in cryptocurrency was nothing more than evidence of the blockchain bubble in action.
But Kodak, who has struggled in recent years to adapt to the demise of film photography, has seen positive early returns from the service and recently achieved a major coup – Formula One champion F1 driver Fernando Alonso is becoming one of the first major sports figures to move his complete digital library to their KODAKOne Image Rights Management Platform.
The agreement will see Alonso adopt KODAKOne to protect both personal and professional images and videos. Alonso’s fans will have access to that material via the KODAKOne platform and will also be able to upload, register, and protect their personal photos and videos of the racing champion – with the potential for rewards. WENN Digital’s CCO, Benedikt Dohnanyi, described the process further: “Let’s say someone snaps a photo of Alonso from the stands at a race. Once the KODAKOne platform is publicly available, he or she will be able to instantly copyright that photo by putting it on the platform. Furthermore, we’re collaborating with Alonso to build an ecosystem on the KODAKOne platform that will ultimately allow the fans to then use these rewards on various services, fan engagement initiatives and products within this ecosystem.”
KODAKOne aims to solve longstanding issues of rights ownership within the content distribution ecosystem of the internet. Dohnanyi hailed Alonso’s move to the platform as a major victory on that front. “In the past, there has really been no way for him to keep track of where all those photos and videos ended up. But with access to KODAKOne, he’ll now have peace-of-mind knowing that all his images and videos are protected in one place.”
Alonso may be the first famous figure to adopt the platform, but almost certainly won’t be the last. Dohnanyi confirmed that multiple parties are interested in joining the service in a similar capacity and promised new announcements soon. WENN Digital is planning to launch the service to the public via a beta program by late 2018 or early 2019. Widespread public adoption of KODAKOne remains in question, but commitments from internationally renowned figures like Alonso bode well for its future in the face of early skepticism.
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