Legally Secure Crowd Content Acquisition

by Titusz Pan

News publishers increasingly have to compete with and rely on various kinds of crowdsourced or user generated contents. To obtain licenses for some lucky snapshot taken by a private person is a time-consuming and often impossible endeavour. The publisher needs to find the original content creator or copyright holder, check the integrity of the content itself and negotiate a license while having to rush to report first. In this scenario we describe a mobile application that enables private individuals to offer their lucky snapshots to news publishers and agencies with a simple process:

Alice has just taken a great snapshot of a celebrity participating in the “March for Science” in New York. She wants to offer the photo to news companies for commercial use and installs our imaginary “OnSight” mobile app. To give more credibility to her photo, she can optionally authenticate herself to “OnSight” via SMS verification. She completes a simple form to specify her license conditions and pricing information, selects her photo and clicks “publish”. In the background, the app generates a content identifier and a smart license and publishes both to the Content Blockchain including a link to the “OnSight” app providers web service. The photo itself is uploaded to the content storage service of “OnSight”.

Bob is a journalist and browses the “OnSight” repository to find a photo for his next article. He finds Alice’s photo and sees that Alice has SMS-verified herself. He licenses the photo with a click of a button and completes the transaction. The smart license chosen for the content by Alice requires a split payment of native blockchain currency to Alice and the “OnSight” service. The payment itself is transparent on the blockchain and publicly seals the licence deal. Bob can now use the photo legally in his article and prove that he has acquired a license. Bob also could have found Alice´s photo in a twitter post without any reference to the source. Bob could use an app that generates the content identifier from the image’s data and see if he finds some license information registered on the Content Blockchain. This would have lead him to the “OnSight” web service that has the image in stock.

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