Has Kodak roared back to relevance? On January 9, 2018 Kodak, in partnership with Wenn Digital, announced its ICO for a blockchain-based digital rights management offering for photographers.
Following the announcement, Kodak’s stock rose 119%. Perhaps, as the late, singer Peter Allen wrote, “Everything old is new again.”
Kodak plans to offer its own crypto-currency, KodakCoin, as a digital rights management platform that can also provide payment for photographers whose works are licensed through its KodakOne blockchain platform. According to the company, the images would be registered with KodakOne and licenses confirm the copyright and conditions for use on the blockchain via smart contract. Royalty payments would be made by issuance of KodakCoin.
The blockchain, according to Kodak, would be a public but secure record of these transactions. With the use of a blockchain in this way, Kodak may seek to become to photographic images what BMI is to music: a centralized platform for registration of the works, licenses and payment when the work is used.
The ICO (initial coin offering) is being offered under SEC Rule 506(c) or Regulation D. Kodak has a number of hurdles to clear, including the significant concerns about ICOs voiced by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and, if the offering is successful, compliance with New York’s Crypto-Currency regulations; assuring investors and participating photographers that the platform is secure, in the wake of a number of significant cyber attacks on crypto-currency platforms in the past few months; and compliance with data protection regulations such as Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), scheduled to go into full effect in May, that comprises strict digital information safeguards).
If you have questions regarding regulatory compliance for blockchain and other digital rights platforms, including data protection compliance, please contact Kenneth N. Rashbaum.