back to article Good lord, Kodak's stock is up 120 per cent. How? New film? Oh. It launched a crypto-coin

Camera film relic Kodak is trying to reinvent itself in the most 2018 way possible: by launching its own cryptocurrency. The imaging company says its new make-believe money, named KODAKCoin, will be pitched as a way for photographers to issue and collect royalty payments. The idea is that shutterbugs will use the KodakOne …

Silver badge
Pirate

Professor of Cunning

I actualy think there is the germ of a good idea here. One of the earliest and unremarked casualties of the Internet was photographic copyright becoming very difficult to enforce and fairly monetise, with even big media organisations like the Beeb using them without permission and compensation.

They could get that woman who took the Xmas HarRy and Meghan photo to promote it as an early adopter, alternatively the PETA monkey photographer might work too.

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning

"photographic copyright becoming very difficult to enforce"

and how is some cryptocurrency bollocks going to make the slightest difference to that?

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning

It isn't, but at least it gives them a good story for why they are introducing a cryptocurrency instead of just "we are trying to benefit from the hype". So better than what NETJ.COM did back in the day, at least.

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning

Doesn't the blockchain that accompanies the photo need to have verifiable antecedents? Meaning that every transaction recorded on the chain can be pointed back to a source.

Could the blockchain (I hate there KodaKKrypto - KKK?) be encoded within the .jpg? That would serve a couple of important aspects of identification.

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning, and useful for audio?

Just like pixels, voxels need their fair representation.

We could call it The Professors Cunning-Voxels.

However it seems like we should make this much more I18N and replace Voxel with something that implies that it works in many languages. Any thoughts?

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning

Could the blockchain (I hate there KodaKKrypto - KKK?) be encoded within the .jpg? That would serve a couple of important aspects of identification.

No more than encoding a standard copyright notification.

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning

The cryptocurrency just amps up the hypometer and makes the s̶u̶c̶k̶e̶r̶s̶

investors happy. It would have been better for photographers if they were just paid in real currency.

I've use TinEye to find some of my photos that have been used without permission. Though that's a manual process as I couldn't be bothered to write something to use their API to automate things. For some I got paid, and for others I had them take them down. And a few I gave them permission since they were not for profit.

Silver badge

EktaChrome Blockchain

I've got this idea of using individual EktaChrome slides as proof-of-work. All that is required to run in steady-state is for my Mum to draw the curtains, my Dad to get the projector down from the loft and one of us to load up the carousel with the blockchain of images. To "mine" a new coin it will, of course, be necessary to take a picture of something notable (family member in shot optional), send the film off for processing (1 - 2 week) and then carefully insert the new slide into the carousel trying not to burn your fingers and also making sure not to put it in upside-down or back-to-front.

Silver badge

Re: Professor of Cunning

"Could the blockchain (I hate there KodaKKrypto - KKK?) be encoded within the .jpg? That would serve a couple of important aspects of identification."

Would that work any better than a pgp signature?

Photographers generally use digimarc, which has been around for about 20 years now.

Silver badge

Um... Thanks. Now can you take a picture with my phone?

Is Kodak trying to make amusement park photography a big thing again? That's what this sounds like to me. Wow.

Silver badge

Zombie brand

Don't forget Kodak is a zombie brand, with the name sold to a shell company and having nothing to do with the former business that sold cameras & film & stuff and which now no longer exists.

Silver badge

Re: Zombie brand

I think you might be thinking of "Polaroid" - which is now just a name for cheap tat to stick on earbuds etc.

Kodak do still make film, especially for movie and industrial applications - they just don't do much domestic photo stuff

Re: Zombie brand

I don't care what Kodak still makes film for. All I know is that they took MY Kodachrome away

Silver badge
Joke

Re: Zombie brand

I don't care what Kodak still makes film for. All I know is that they took MY Kodachrome away

Isn't there an Instagram filter for that?

Re: Zombie brand

I thought that is the name of their new browser.

LDS
Silver badge

Re: Zombie brand

There are two "Kodak" now, Eastman Kodak, and Kodak Alaris (based in England).

Regarding the photo film business, the latter took the still film business, while the former still runs the movie film business - it looks some directors still prefer film - even "Star Wars - The Last Jedi" was shot on film.

Both have other product lines outside film.

Silver badge

Re: Zombie brand

I would assume also, Film is harder to pirate than an SSD of content on the film lot (time to pirate SSD, half an hour out of sight... time to pirate film... hours, in an actual development room?).

Silver badge

Re: Zombie brand

I would assume also, Film is harder to pirate than an SSD of content on the film lot

Whilst true, it's only the shooting that's done on film - it's scanned almost immediately for editing digitally.

Re: Zombie brand

"Yet Another Anonymous Coward" and "LDS" cover this fine. Yes, today's Eastman Kodak is still legally the same company as the one which went bankrupt in 2012 (#), since the bankruptcy proceedings didn't result in it being liquidated. On the other hand, they did- as mentioned- have to sell off their still film division and some patents as part of the process, and IIRC they'd already been selling off stuff before bankruptcy.

And as Brian Miller noted, they'd sold off everything that wasn't film for short-termist reasons (quite a while ago if I remember correctly- it's been argued that Kodak's sell-off-related decline started in the early 90s *before* digital exacerbated the problem). And they didn't move away from their once-lucrative film business until it was too late.

You don't see Fujifilm having to waste time with publicity stunt nonsense like this because they were better managed, moved on successfully, and don't have to pander to name recognition nostalgia to get a licensing fee from someone's random moneymaking scheme.

So, yeah, Kodak's still legally the same company, but ultimately, if they're reduced to little more than a nostalgia-exploiting, brand-whoring shadow of their former self it makes little difference anyway.

(#) Unlike- as noted- Polaroid, where the assets (including name and IP) were sold to form what was legally a new company.

Re: Zombie brand

@Dave Bell; If everyone who referenced that bloody song back when they discontinued Kodachrome had actually bought a roll in the previous year or two, I've no doubt they'd still be making it!

Silver badge
Pint

Re: Zombie brand

Kodak are also getting into software.

They're coming out with a new Browser to compete with Google's Chrome.

It’ll also include some new streaming TV features including Kodi compatibility.

It’s going to be called… [wait for it, wait...]

...

KodiChrome.

Silver badge

Re: Zombie brand

they took MY Kodachrome away

Haven't they promised to relaunch it this very month? And if they do, you'll be able to complain that its not as good as it used to be.

Re: Zombie brand

@Ledswinger; Kodak announced a year ago that they were "looking at what it would take to bring that back" while they also noted that "Ektachrome is a lot easier and faster to bring back to market".

Regardless, I can say with 99% certainty that Kodachrome will not be back in anything but name. Compared to almost all other slide films (which are E6 compatible), the development was completely nonstandard, complicated (numerous steps and temperature sensitive), used toxic chemicals and was unsuited for home processing.

The only people who *did* process it were Kodak and a handful of other companies, and the number of labs were reduced to *one* by the time it was discontinued!

They wouldn't have discontinued it if that burden was worth it, and now that final lab is long shut down- along with the machines required- it will be much harder to get it going again. It will not happen, regardless of how much noise a few enthusiasts make.

I could see them trying to launch a "reformulated" version "Kodachrome" which will be a standard E6 process film (like Ektachrome) in all but name, possibly attempting to mimic the original. But that would be Kodachrome in name only to most people.

Even though I wasn't aware they'd mentioned Ektachrome at the time, I could quite believe it was plausible they'd bring it back, and indeed, they do appear to be doing so later this year.

Kodachrome, though? Nope.

LDS
Silver badge

you might be thinking of "Polaroid"

The Polaroid brand is now in the hands of a Polish company which is also an owner of the "The Impossible Project" company - which manufacturers Polaroid films and cameras, and even refurbish original vintage Polaroid cameras. They are using the "Polaroid Original" brand now.

Lomography paved the way, now there are not so few people looking for a vintage way of making photos, there are also some crowdfunded projects to crate new film SLRs.

LDS
Silver badge

"Kodachrome will not be back in anything but name"

I don't think so - or it will be back in a form alike the old Kodachrome, or it won't be back. Many of the features of it depended exactly on the film design and development, and can't be easily replicated in an E-6 film.

BTW, the development (the K- processes) were standard, and there were other films with other different processes, i.e. Anscochrome, which was one of the first to be inverted chemically (in the beginning Ektachrome required re-exposure).

The K- processes were just far more complex than E- processes. The last version of K-14 AFAIK replaced the toxic chemicals with others.

E-4, later replaced by E-6, used toxic chemicals as well.

Many of older development processes used toxic and even deadly chemicals - some used cyanide as well.

Anyway, it is Kodak Alaris, not Eastman Kodak, planning to reintroduce the reversal films - let's see if the actually bring back Ektachrome, and how well it goes.

Silver badge

A Christmas

Starbucks card from a nostalgic user of Kodachrome would have increased the value of Kodak stock at least as much.

FAIL

First do your watermarking

"The KODAKOne image rights management 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. ... KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system"

But the only useful way to track the IP of images is to watermark them in a way that is both unobtrusive and robust against all kind of image processing including rescaling, cropping, distortions and compression. And we know that is feasible.

Silver badge

KODAKCoi-oi-oin -- It's made with a nice, bright blockchain,

And its usefulness escapes my brain.

But mama, don't take my KODAKCoin away-ay-ay-ay!

If I look back on all the crap I saw on the Internet.

It's a wonder I can even think at all.

Silver badge

Desperation

Also, KODK.

Anonymous Coward

"Storing the information in a blockchain doesn't protect your copyright any more than copyright law already does," commented David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50ft Blockchain.

"Notice how they're marketing it: they state a problem, then say the blockchain can solve it. But there's no mechanism by which the blockchain could do that.

"This doesn't do anything that signing up for Shutterstock or Getty Images wouldn't."

FAIL

> "This doesn't do anything that signing up for Shutterstock or Getty Images wouldn't."

It does (too many negatives in that line) - it ensures you'll sell even less of your content as the effort required to obtain some Koin will send people running back to Shutterstock for a painless Visa or PayPal transaction.

Silver badge

Good book, that

Silver badge

Small bumps make big news

Oh, come on, the stock was nearly at the penny level. Now it's jumped up, but it's still not significant.

No, Kodak sold off everything that made money because it wasn't film. Fujitsu realized that they had all sorts of neat IP and technology, and capitalized on that. Bad management vs good management.

A new cryptocurrency isn't turning anything around.

Silver badge

What's the point?

So I go to all the trouble of registering a bunch of other peoples' pictures with Kodak and what do I get:

The exchange of money will get the added step of converting dollars, which can be spent anywhere, into "KODAKCoin", which can be spent nowhere outside of the KodakOne service.

The opportunity to give photographers and scammers KODAKCoin for images on my website so that they can give photographers and scammers KODAKCoin for images on their websites.

Re: What's the point?

The point is that- through their own short-sighted mismanagement- Kodak left it too late to move their film-based company into the digital age (when they could have been leaders- or at least contenders- if they'd played their cards right) and are now has-beens reduced to exploiting their own name recognition on "me too" bandwagon-jumping nonsense like this.

Oh... you meant what's in it for *you*? Not much, I'd guess, but please think of poor Kodak.

Anonymous Coward

I'm trying to understand how this is going to make them money but I just can't picture it.

Silver badge

You need to be patient and wait to capture the moment.

Anonymous Coward

"You press the button, we blockchain the rest!"

Silver badge

It just needs further developing.

Silver badge
Boffin

and inevitably

people focus on the "currency" aspect, ignoring the meat.

I did a lot of research into blockchain in 2016, and it was clear that nobody got it, and a lot of people couldn't see the point.

As long as KODAKCoin ha addressed the inflationary aspects of using a digital token, then this could be an interesting development.

What would be unique about it, is that anybody can download and verify the blockchain themselves. Furthermore, the blockchain could be programmed to only allow access to work once proof of payment is recorded.

Blockchain ? Programmed ?

Yes, that's the bit 80% of people miss.

Silver badge

Re: and inevitably

Fine, but the question remains: how is using a blockchain to do this better than the other methods of doing the same thing?

Silver badge

Re: and inevitably

"Furthermore, the blockchain could be programmed to only allow access to work once proof of payment is recorded."

How is that any different to literally every online store out there that sells digital products?

Forget the Coin

Everyone is getting hung up on the cryptocurrency bit, it's probably almost a certain that Kodak only bothered with that bit to generate some headlines. They could accept $ on the KodakOne site, but none of the press would have paid any attention.

The significant part is using blockchain, which was originally intended for all sorts of digital transactions but has only really been used for "bitcoin" transactions so far. The whole point is every new block in the chain is so secure, its link to the previous block (the last step in the transaction) is almost 100% guaranteed.

I have stolen this quote, but this sums it up (from the Harvard Business Review) "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way". This is quite an exciting development in digital rights management, and if it ensures the photographer gets paid for there work then I can't see why it wouldn't take off.

Re: Forget the Coin

an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way

Yes. The important parts are "open" and "distributed".

Closed and centralised ledgers recording transactions have been around since the invention of legal systems. The whole point of blockchain is to allow these ledgers to be open and decentralised. So, not owned by a particular company, or part of a particular service.

That is what 80% of these blockchain startup scams miss. It isn't an application for blockchain if the ledger is owned, controlled or operated by a single entity -- it is just an old fashioned business that wants to pretend to be something new to fool investors.

LDS
Silver badge

"I can't see why it wouldn't take off."

Because unless image use happens only inside the "exchanges", there's no way to limit easily an image use when it's in the wild. Bitcoins & C. are useless outside their own "networks", and you store them in some kind of vault until you use them - images are useful for several uses, and are published. Once I display it on my monitor, I've a copy of it.

Sure, Kodak may also use spiders to crawl for illegal usage, but such systems already exist, well before blockchains. Just as licenses and certificates (for limited editions prints).

Or it should develop an application or plug-in to show images only under specific conditions and hinder reproduction - good luck for it, and its acceptance.

Silver badge

Re: Forget the Coin

"This is quite an exciting development in digital rights management"

What makes it an exciting development? How is it better than the existing methods of doing the same thing with regard to photos? I know little about blockchains aside from implementation details, so to me this all looks like nothing more than marketing hype. How is it not?

Silver badge
Pint

JeffyCoin™ is pleased to announce...

After the success of our original JeffyCoin™ (based on single digit integers 0-8, our miners still searching for the theorized final coin tentatively designated '9'), and the Revised Hexadecimal JeffyCoin™, JeffyCoin™ Industries is pleased to announce that we will be issuing new JeffyCoin™ series on a weekly basis.

Each new JeffyCoin™ series will be date stamped as JeffyCoin2018-01-10_12:34:15™

Any rumours that we will switch to daily or hourly releases are false, at least for the time being (although the naming scheme allows for a new series each second).

Please do not suggest that we're just making this up as we go along. Also, please do not suggest that there will be a gravitationally bound sphere of imaginary crypto coins expanding through the galaxy at the speed of light within the next couple of years.

How to become a Billionaire: Select Coin Concept, Copy, Paste, Rename, Paste, Rename, Paste, Rename, Paste, Rename...

Silver badge
Pint

JeffyCoin™ Industries is pleased to announce...

JeffyCoin™ Industries is pleased to announce that our miners have today finally found the last single digit integer. As predicted by theory, it is in fact '9'.

We would like to thank the many mathematicians and other crypto-currency SMEs that suggested searching ("Mining") Bottom Up instead of Top Down. As per their suggestions, searching up from '0' Up proved to be much faster than continuing to search from TREE(3) Down, looking for these mysterious single digit integers.

We would like to remind those interested that the New Years' 2018 amendment of the JeffyCoin™ method to hexadecimal means that there remains approximately six (perhaps five or seven) additional JeffyCoins™ yet to be mined. Good luck.

Re: JeffyCoin™ Industries is pleased to announce...

Is the rumour that you've added "G" through "M" to the range of "hexadecimal" digits in order to feather your own nest increase the number of exciting opportunities for JeffyCoin™ miners true?

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018