Today Baidu, China’s leading search engine, launched its PIC-CHAIN blockchain for image copyright protection. The project expands on Baidu’s existing picture library where photographers can add content for licensing.
Baidu pre-announced today’s launch to encourage photographers to sign up for the new service.
The blockchain doesn’t store the images themselves, it’s just the copyright information and a link to the image. In the first phase, the blockchain is only for pictures with plans to expand to video and copyrighted text. The company intends to enable all images to be traceable and make infringement monitoring easier.
Baidu uses a separate AI system for detecting unauthorized copies as well as making image recommendations to potential buyers.
Photographers earn Totems, which Baidu refers to as reward points. However, the details about how to use the totem points are a little thin. For now, it says they can be exchanged for Baidu Equity or utilized for other Baidu services.
Various parties host the blockchain nodes including Baidu, content agencies, rights protection agencies, and validators.
Others rights related blockchain projects exist, though they’re more B2B compared to Baidu’s. EY and Microsoft recently announced a game royalties blockchain, and Koch Industries is exploring IP licensing.