KodakOne targets sports fans, not photographers

The KodakOne blockchain image rights management platform will target US basketball and hockey fans at six stadiums, offering people the ability to upload, register, and license photos and videos during sport matches.

The text says: We believe that blockchain technology is the ideal way for photographers and agencies to store their image assets and associated metadata in a way that track ownership (sic), rights and license transactions regardless of where those images are used and by whom. By pairing this with KodakCoin tokens, our bespoke cryptocurrency, we are creating a licensing platform, which tracks usage, gives creators more control over licensing, while enforcing copyright and creating a marketplace for all of a photographers needs.

The Kodak brand is taking a peculiar journey through the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, with Wenn Digital licensing the venerable name for just US$750,000 to create the KodakOne platform and KodakCoin.

Wenn Digital has now secured a deal with sport and entertainment facility company Oak View Group (OVG), to bring KodakOne to six OVG arenas – the homes of two NHL hockey teams and four NBA basketball teams.

‘We want to introduce the KodakOne Platform to a creative audience that we believe will both benefit from its functionality and serve as early adopters,’ said WENN Digital’s CEO, Jan Denecke.

KodakOne was first introduced to another ‘creative audience’ – professional photographers.

The idea was to have photographers trade with KodakCoins, which could be exchanged for US dollars. Wenn Digital expected to raise an ambitious US$20 million from investors, and scheduled to begin trading KodakCoin on January 31.

The launch was delayed for ‘several weeks’ due to the ahem, ‘large interest’ from investors, requiring Wenn Digital to verify each investor is US ‘accredited’ – a net worth over US$1 million or annual income of US$200,000.

In May, four months behind schedule, KodakCoin announced its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) would begin, again. Right now, in July, the ICO is still open. KodakCoin is a great big mess, appearing destined for failure.

It doesn’t help that Wenn Digital’s KodakOne notion has attracted a distinct lack of interest from the photo industry.

Perhaps the industry isn’t ready for a photography-oriented cryptocurrency and blockchain image rights-managed system.

Photographers, along with their clients, may well be satisfied exchanging established mainstream currency and dealing through traditional contracts.

Perhaps it all sounds a bit, to be kind, fanciful.

It seems Wenn Digital is now looking beyond the photo industry.

So, back to this new deal.

‘The KodakOne Platform is being designed specifically to enable users to upload, register and share their work, as well as be compensated for it in certain instances. Given the millions of fantastic live event photographs generated each year at OVG’s Arena Alliance venues, this was a natural place for us to start,’ Jan said.

The plan, and biggest challenge, is to convince people to buy the KodakCoin cryptocurrency. Wenn Digital and OVG’s answer to this is to create a wide range of promotions to encourage fans to buy and spend KodakCoin tokens at arenas.

No example is provided.

OVG president of global partnership, Dan Griffis, said that mobile devices have ‘transformed fans of professional sports and live events into some of our most talented content creators’.

KodakCoin’s first ambassador isn’t a photographer, but two-time F1 racing champion Fernando Alonso. Fernando is safeguarding his personal and professional image rights through KodakOne.


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