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Posts Tagged ‘cryptocurrency’’

Kodak didn’t get into cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining, “Kodak” did

12 Jan

Kodak’s CES announcements tell an interesting tale of the power of brands, and what happens to those brands when you start licensing them to other companies.

A lot of people still have positive associations with the Kodak brand and its iconic logos, but it’s worth clearing something up, especially in light of all the cryptocurrency madness that Kodak unleashed at CES: not everything with the Kodak name on it has much connection to a bunch of clever people in Rochester New York.

The parent company, Eastman Kodak, left the consumer photography business in 2012 following court-overseen ‘Chapter 11’ restructuring. Its remaining consumer photo businesses were sold to Kodak Alaris, which continues to sell photo film and printing kiosks.

So it’s worth keeping your fond memories of that company at arms length when you read about its apparent embrace of the blockchain.

The “Kodak” KashMiner, yours to rent for just $ 3,400 and a two year contract.

At CES this year ‘Kodak’ announced both blockchain-based IP protection and cryptocurrency projects, and a scheme that apparently lets you buy a Bitcoin-mining farm for them. However, the KodakOne project appears to be as much a rebranding of an existing project called RYDE as it does a “partnership between Kodak and [RYDE owner] Wenn Media”. Meanwhile, the Kodak KashMiner scheme, which lets you rent the hardware to mine the more famous Bitcoin cryptocurrency appears to be entirely separate: essentially an unconventional investment scheme using industry-standard hardware with the Kodak logo stuck on the side so that there’s something to show at CES.

Essentially, these look a lot like Kodak licensing its name to other companies in much the same way as the current holders of the Polaroid, Rollei and Vivitar names accept fees to let those names get emblazoned on, well, pretty much anything.

Eastman Kodak still makes film, but it appears to have only two customers: Hollywood and Kodak Alaris.

The Kodak PixPro Orbit360 4K VR camera, by JK Imaging

Then, of course, there are the cameras. You can still buy ‘Kodak’ cameras: JK Imaging, a California-based company, sells cameras under the Kodak brand. Interestingly, JK Imaging shares and address with General Imaging, which licensed the General Electric brand for its photo products.

Given the way that even the largest names in photography regularly use third-party ‘OEM’ manufacturers to produce some of their models, it’s senseless to try and draw a line between ‘real’ Kodak and licensees of the brand name. That the red and yellow logo doesn’t necessarily tie anything back to your fuzzy memories of Kodachrome, or brilliant developments such as the Bayer color filter.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Kodak launches KODAKCoin ‘photo-centric cryptocurrency’ and KODAKOne platform

10 Jan

Amidst all of the CES 2018 news big and small, Kodak managed to drop what might be the most shocking announcement of the week: together with WENN Digital, Kodak will be launching its own “photo-centric cryptocurrency” called KODAKCoin alongside a blockchain-powered image rights platform called KODAKOne.

The cryptocurrency and platform are meant to “empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.”

The KODAKOne platform does this the same way Binded (formerly Blokai) does: by using blockchain technology to create an “encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership” where photographers can simply and securely register their new and old work. The difference being, of course, that Kodak is setting up its OWN blockchain and cryptocurrency rather than piggybacking upon an existing one.

Once registered, photographers can license their work through the KODAKOne platform, and the platform will continually crawl the web and monitor for infringement of registered images.

The KODAKCoin cryptocurrency, meanwhile, is meant to create a “new economy for photography.” Images licensed through KODAKOne will be paid for in KODAKCoin, which Wenn and Kodak both promise is “subject to the highest standards of compliance.” A cryptocurrency for photographers, with digital rights management built right in.

For now, if you visit the KODAKCoin website, you’ll be greeted by the splash screen below, but that should be gone with the day:

“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,” says Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “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.”

Of course, all of this is predicated on the idea that the KODAKCoin launch actually goes well. The SEC Regulated Initial Coin Offering for KODAKCoin is scheduled for January 31st, and open to “accredited investors” from the US, UK, Canada and a few other unnamed “select countries.”

To learn more about KODAKOne and KODAKCoin, visit the main Kodak website for now, or check out the official KODAKCoin website when it launches in 24 hours’ time.

Press Release

KODAK and WENN Digital Partner to Launch Major Blockchain Initiative and Cryptocurrency

KODAKOne platform and KODAKCoin cryptocurrency give photographers a new revenue stream and a secure platform for protecting their work

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today Kodak and WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.

Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform. KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform can efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers.

“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,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “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.”

“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,” said WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke. “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.”

The initial coin offering will open on January 31, 2018 and is open to accredited investors from the U.S., UK, Canada and other select countries. For more information visit www.kodakcoin.com. This initial Coin Offering is issued under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering.

For more information and to sign up for product updates, please visit www.kodak.com/go/kodakone.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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