Eastman Kodak Co. has inked a licensing partnership with WENN Digital, a team with expertise in proprietary blockchain development. The move also launches 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.

Using 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 sell their work on a secure blockchain platform.

Kodak’s platform provides continual web crawling to monitor and protect the intellectual property of the images registered in the KodakOne system. The platfrom can manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers if there is unlicensed usage of images.

“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.”

WENN Digital’s live operational copyright infringement management system is delivering revenues to photographers worldwide today and will form Phase 1 of the KODAKOne platform.

“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.”

WENN Digital has a strategic relationship with the Deloitte Analytics Institute in Berlin and the Deloitte Blockchain Institute in Munich. The group leverages the market position of its 30-year old subsidiary WENN Media, which works with approximately 2,500 professional photographers.

The initial coin offering will open on Jan. 31 and is open to accredited investors from the U.S., UK, Canada and other select countries.