The RightsTech Project’s Paul Sweeting will be moderating a panel on Empowering Creators to Protect and Monetize Their Content at the CDX Academy Blockchain Brand Innovation Summit on May 11 at Columbia University in New York. Joining Sweeting on the panel will be singer/songwriter, RightsTech veteran and founder of CryptoMedia Hub Tatiana Moroz; founder and CEO of Po.et Jarrod Dicker; and the worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson, Lucie Greene.
When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin into the world, whoever he, she, or they were set the total number of coins that can ever be released (“mined” in Bitcoin parlance) at 21 million. While individual bitcoins can be sub-divided into an infinite number of smaller units (fractions of bitcoins), the total whole number of units is finite.
That inherent scarcity is one of the reasons for the dizzying run-up in the price of bitcoins: At any given time there is a fixed number of bitcoins in the world.
The key to establishing that scarcity is the blockchain, which leverages cryptography to ensure that individual bitcoins (and their subdivisions) are unique, identifiable, unalterable, and un-reproducible. Unlike the internet, where sending a digital file from one computer to another inescapably involves creating a new copy, bitcoins themselves are not really “sent” or transferred over a network so there is no need to create a copy. Instead, the shared ledger that records ownership of bitcoins is updated to reflect the new network address (i.e. owner) of a cryptographically unique asset on the network.
Those properties, of uniqueness and scarcity, are part of what has attracted many artists to blockchain technology. What is unique and scarce can have and hold value, and what has value can be bought and sold, traded and collected, or held as an asset in the expectation of appreciation.
Getting people not steeped in cryptography and accustomed to the infinite reproducibility of digital files on the internet to become familiar and comfortable with the concepts of digital scarcity and uniqueness, however, is a challenge. Without that buy-in from consumers, the blockchain hopes of many in the media and creative industries could be broken.
It was that challenge that Mack Flavelle and his team of developers at AxiomZen set out to tackle. Their solution? Cats.
The team came up with a collection of digital illustrations depicting goggle-eyed, cartoon cats they called CryptoKitties and created an online game allowing people to buy, sell and collect CryptoKitties using Ether. The game also leverages smart contracts to make the kitties “breedable,” based on their unique “DNA,” creating new, unique CryptoKitties.
Why cats? While there are other blockchain-based digital collectibles on the market, most are targeted at limited audiences, such as RarePepes, based on the adopted alt-right mascot Pepe the Frog. Flavelle’s goal was to appeal to a broader market and introduce ordinary consumers to digital collectibels. “Cats are part of the internet,” Flavelle tells RightsTech. “People are already familiar with the idea of trading cat videos.”
Trading in CryptoKitties has been robust. At one point, it became the dominant application on the Ethereum network, to the annoyance of others trying to use the network.
According to a third-party site that tracks sales of CryptoKitties, some virtual kittens have sold for the equivalent of more than $100,000, based on the then-current value of Ether.
Flavelle, who’s title is Fat Cat, will sit down for one-on-one fireside chat with me on February 6th, as part of the RightsTech track at the Digital Entertainment World conference in Los Angeles.
We’ll discuss the origins of CryptoKitties, what their creators have learned about the market for digital collectibles, what their popularity portends for consumer adoption of blockchain-based applications, and whether CryptoKitties are a fad or will prove to have nine lives.
Click here for information on registering for Digital Entertainment World.
We’re pleased to announce the official dates for the next RightsTech@DEW conference. The event will be held on February 5 and 6, 2018, at the Marina Del Rey Marriott in Los Angeles as part of Digital Media Wire’s Digital Entertainment World expo.
The RightsTech Project will host a dedicated track of panels, presentations, and keynotes on each day of the expo, while attendees will enjoy access to the entire two-day expo, including tracks on movies and television, games and interactive entertainment, brands and advertising, VR and AR, and more.
Topics in the RightsTech track will include:
- The future of machine-readable rights
- Solving music’s black-box data problem
- Hollywood and blockchain
- Alternative financing models for artists and creators
- Rights, derivative works, and user-generated content
- Artificial intelligence
- Registration and authentication
- Valuing rights and royalties
- and more
For information on how to register click here. For RightsTech speaking opportunities contact Paul Sweeting at firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship opportunities contact Andrea Elliott at email@example.com. For all other inquiries contact Tinzar Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RightsTech Project is heading to La La Land February 1 and 2. Not the movie, the Marina, as in the Marriott Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles, where we’ll be hosting a two-day conference track as part of Digital Entertainment World.
Recognized by Hollywood insiders, digital influencers and industry leaders throughout the world as a “must-attend” event, now in its 4th year Digital Entertainment World (DEW) is where you want to be if you are in the business of creating or monetizing digital entertainment content.
As with the RightsTech Summit last year, RightsTech @ DEW will feature speakers from across multiple media verticals, including music, film and television, and video games. Topics include:
- Inside the Black Box: Solving the Music Industry’s Data Problem
- Making Blockchain Pay: Remittances, Micro-payments and Cryptocurrencies
- Does Hollywood Need a Blockchain?
- Rights I/O: Mapping Rights-In to Rights-Out
- The Future of Music Royalties
- Remix This: Derivative works and User Generated Content
Bill Colitre, Music Reports
Russ Crupnick, Music Watch
Jonathan Azu, Red Light Management
George Howard, Open Music Inititative/Berklee College of Music
John Frankenheimer, Loeb & Loeb
Danny Anders, ClearTracks
Ivica Simatovic, Gamecredits
Ken Umezaki, dotBlockchain Music Project
Bryce Weiner, Tao Network
Zach LeBeau, SingularDTV
Jason Kassin, FilmTrack
Bryan Walley, Exactuals
Joel Jordan, SynchTank
Jeff Ponchik, Repost Nation
GregDi Benedetto, Music Aficionado
Fred Goldring, Music Aficionado
Lee Greer, National Performance Rights Exchange (NPREX)
Neeta Ragoowansi, NPREX
Erik Steigen, USA Media Rights
Tomas Likar, Hyperwallet Systems
Ralph Simon, Mobilium Global
Rian Bosak, Fullscreen
Joe Moschella, Jukin Media
Kuni Takahashi, Rumblefish
Stephen White, Dubset Media
Tamany Bentz, Venable LLP
The two days will also feature special presentations from technology developers and leading industry analysts.
Several rights-tech entrepreneurs are also among the finalists in the DEW Startup competition, with the winner to be awarded at the event.
PluraVida is an emerging company at the forefront of the RightsTech movement for digital content distributors, focused on the need for more accurate rights and ownership tracking and payments administration. After two decades in the industry, CEO and founder Sam Gilchrist sought to fill that need with the launch of PluraVida in 2014.
In the complex ecosystem of partners and channels that digital media companies operate in, PluraVida provides platforms that allow content creators and distributors to manage things like analytics, data, and revenue settlement. In the world of movies, video, music and video games, PluraVida plays a critical role in tracking rights and ensuring fair payment to artists and rights owners.
Prior to founding PluraVida, Gilchrist was President of Tradescape, and before that, he was Chief Information Officer at The Harry Fox Agency, and held leadership positions at SoundExchange and British Telecom. Digital Media Wire had the chance to ask Sam some questions about PluraVida and about his inspirations and goals as a company founder. Check out the interview below.
On July 26 Digital Media Wire and Concurrent Media Strategies will hold the inaugural RightsTech Summit at the Japan Society in New York City, a 1-day executive leadership conference that brings together cross-industry leaders focused on furthering technology innovation around rights management and licensing across multiple media verticals.
One of the goals of the event is the establishment of industry best practices for the rapidly evolving RightsTech ecosystem.
Issues and discussion groups at the inaugural RightsTech Summit include:
- Machine Readable Rights
- Smart Contracts
- Shared Responsibilities
- Blockchain and Big Data
- RightsTech in the Enterprise
- RightsTech and Direct-to-Consumer Distribution
- RightsTech and Piracy
- Attribution and Provenance
For registration information and complete details please visit RightsTechSummit.com.
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July 26, 2016
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