How are AI, blockchain, and machine learning changing the face of the image economy?
Written by Philipp Köhn, Co-Founder and CPO of RYDE.
Co-Written and Edited by Sheena Rajgarhia
We all know already that the growth of digitalization enabled an endless creation of data, since it offers all the tools, an unlimited storage space (as far as we know, at least) and the most convenient platform for people to generate, share and demand content; and that includes, of course, a ceaseless demand of images. This leads to a never-ending sharing of pictures on the web, with or without the credits or licenses. This circle of digitalization generates, then, confusion between accessibility and availability.
In the previous articles of the series, we covered: a background history of how people used to deal with copyright and post-licensing, the definition of the problem faced by the image industry and the solutions found so far, including how we at RYDE are trying to tackle the issue. Now, I want to address the future of the image economy, predicting how the advancement of technology is going to change its face.
First things first: We haven’t given you a perfect solution. YET.
“It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock’n’roll”, as said by AC/DC some time ago and, well — it ends up being right for us either. There still is a long way to the top when it comes to achieving, creating, and implementing the perfect and complete answer for the photo creators and photo users. Currently, our main aim is to create a fully functioning economy for image creators. One that helps to develop and to establish a community where every party involved is integrated tightly together in all steps.
What about the future?
Putting our ideas, planning, and the predictions together, that is how we picture the (exciting) future for post-licensing:
- Tech, tech, tech: The availability of new services like fingerprint scanning, software integration, and metadata detection will give the post-licensing world a 360-degree turn. The tendency is for the process to become more seamless, comfortable, faster, and smoother, leading to a generation where IP-right documentation is fully integrated into our everyday private and business lives.
- Automation = Unit costs down: Today, it is not economical to try to solve illegal image usages in the low or mid-price sector. The costs are too high. Automation will get better and more efficient — as it does in every other market. A higher degree of automation in case production means lower cost. Plus, this will open up a vast additional market.
- Rights-Management Platforms: We can tell from our experience with the community in the industry that the photo agencies that are responsible for managing and giving photographers professional opportunities end up wasting a lot of their time and costs in handling their clients´ copyrights and taking care of their archive usage. I personally believe that both agencies and creatives must be given the freedom back to focus their energies on their creative work and therefore pushing better distribution and talent sales. With the use of the blockchain networks, licenses will be installed in a pre-generated system that will sort and structure histories of permits for each image, requiring almost nil manual involvement for the rechecking process. With this, in combination with a post-licensing service, we will reach full control and protection of creative works in the digital world.
How we plan to do this?
Here again, the first step is to achieve the right mindset tackling the
In the search for the ideal solution, these are the next steps for RYDE:
- Tackling the royalty-free sector– one of the untouched, unexposed, most prominent markets in the image economy.
- Planning, creating, and launching tools for metadata integration.
- Providing post-licensing services for ALL images, even from a value of 15$ to 1500$.
- Inculcate more automation — from beginning to end of the whole process. Starting with licensing the images through automation, continuing to web crawling, comparing the found images with the existing database, and further with emailing and settlement process. Everything should be fast and automated.
- Adding services of value to the photographers, such as supporting them in the form of accounting platform, as well as keeping the goal of turning infringers to clients, using the platform to promote sales as well.
Apart from waiting for the day that a friend will come about illegal usage of your image or searching for it by yourself online, it is time to go for a less exhausting and more sustainable solution. A part of this solution is already available — our post-licensing platform is up and running. The ball is in your court; you must dribble it your favor now.
After all, are you really sure where all your images are hanging around?