The world is on the precipice. The knowledge economy is leaking funds meant for owners of intellectual property.
We see it every day through the theft of incentives meant for content creators and other intellectual property owners.
The great thing though is distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and their allied systems can change this.
The existence of non-fungible tokens has created a situation where digital rights can be enforced within certain frameworks.
One of these frameworks is RAIR.
RAIR is a digital rights management ecosystem that focuses on the proper incentivization of authors and owners of intellectual property.
They recently launched their digital rights management platform, which allows such services to occur within the decentralized space seamlessly.
E-Crypto news caught up with Garrett Minks, who is the Chief Technology Officer of RAIR to talk about this and other issues. Here is what he had to say.
Garrett Minks, CTO of RAIR
- Congratulations on the launch of your decentralized rights management platform! What can content creators expect from the use of your platform?
The first content users can expect is very high-end, exclusive streaming video content only for a small number of NFT owners. The provenance of the streaming video is designed to prove and enhance the value of the underlying NFT.
This is custom content made by the original artist only viewable by the NFT owners.
- As an example, this Boombox owned by Tyler Winklevoss could play a song written by the artist only he can listen to.
This can also be screen recordings of their photoshop workflows, CAD workflows, etc., along with supporting documentation such as geotagged image data, etc.
- What can content creators expect to gain from the usage of decentralized platforms for content distribution?
They will gain complete control and ownership over not just their IP and distribution channels, but a longtail revenue stream from programmatic royalties.
As an example.
An artist mints 100 NFTs for sale. The contract states they will receive 25% of all resales.
Artist keeps 90 NFTs.
RAIR places 10 NFTs as payment for using the RAIR services into a long term NFT fund.
Original 90 NFTs are sold for 1 ETH each. The artist is directly paid in ETH.
NFT #47/100 sells for 2 ETH on the secondary market.
Artist receives .5 ETH in royalties on the second sale.
- What strategies are you employing to address the knowledge deficit that exists for content creators who have little or no knowledge of cryptocurrencies, their underlying technologies or Non-Fungible tokens?
Our initial focus is the existing high-value NFT market to demonstrate the various use cases; however we plan to expand the service when more scalable alternative blockchains become more mature.
When we expand the service with a higher throughput more scalable blockchain in the future, we will add custody functionality so normal users can interact with the blockchain from a regular username/password/forgot password functionality.
- Can you say that decentralized content distribution using cryptographic technologies is still a niche market? How can other people be brought into the fold?
Yes it is very niche at the moment, but multi-million dollar Pokemon card sales by Logan Paul are changing the face of the NFT landscape daily with new users onboarding.
People currently onboard via crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini to buy their first ETH, but then have to transfer some to their own Metamask wallets which can be daunting. Then after that they have to go a step further and actually buy something via smart contract on web3 enabled websites like Opensea.
Metamask is a true crypto wallet in that you have your own private keys. This added risk and complexity keeps the mainstream audience from being able to participate.
Are there any strategies you can employ to bypass FAANG control?
Yes! Only use them for distribution and drive your followers on FAANG into a monetization funnel you completely control. NFTs are the monetization funnel of the future.
How exactly does your platform work?
RAIR is a distributed hosting service with streaming content unlocked with NFTs (non-fungible token)
This means we host the files (starting with streaming video) as well as run a web server users can access via a website URL.
Users would go to www.myawesomeNFT.com which is actually a RAIR node that serves them streaming video if they have the correct token in their Metamask wallet.
Does your platform have a global reach? If it does, what can be done to help content creators in the developing world?
Our servers will be accessible from anywhere in the world by anyone with an Ethereum wallet, and eventually just a normal username/password. Because we process everything server side, there are no onerous hardware requirements for the end user.
Our team is global with developers in Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Australia, and Venezuela. We will integrate multi language support as part of our roadmap release schedule. Anyone in the world in any language should be able to be their own Netflix/Kindle/Thingiverse etc using our platform.
Are we seeing a shift from centralized control of intellectual property to decentralized control using the crypto space? How can we ensure content creators ensure control of their work?
One of the best features of NFTs is that royalty logic and IP ownership rights can be programmatically written in the smart contract (code running on the blockchain) Just like Bitcoin, anyone that possesses the ownership keys has full control over the token.
With RAIR we add an additional layer of security by streaming rich media content in an encrypted way.
How can content creators take advantage of the services your platform has to offer?
Reach out! We are currently sourcing our very first RAIR releases. As it is a hosted service all the artist needs to do is prove they own the full licensing to their work and supply us with their files. We handle the rest by creating the NFTs, and setting them up with their own Ethereum wallet so they can directly receive sales and resales revenue.
What are your plans for generation Z as regards content creation?
Younger people (gen z especially) crave authenticity and have almost no mooring left in the physical world when it comes to collectibles. They didn’t have action figures and CDs in the way previous generations did. Entrepreneurs in the crypto space see the decades plus history of video game skins and mods selling for big money inside of centralized gaming ecosystems, and want to bring the same ethos into the blockchain for all types of new use cases.
How will non-fungible tokens (NFTs)change the world?
Nobody seems to know what a Non-fungible token is. All “non-fungible” means is each token is a unique serial number. This differs from Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc where every bitcoin or ether is the same (fungible). The confusing part is you pay for minting (creating) and transferring NFTs using Ethereum fungible tokens to pay network fees (called gas)
Even a concept like that requires you to start learning about deeper financial topics to even understand what’s going on. This democratization of financial literacy is the real winner of the NFT revolution.
With NFTs, are we looking at a novel way of expressing uniqueness, albeit digitally?
Any amount of programming complexity can be put into the smart contracts (code running on a blockchain). This means the sky’s the limit for amazing new arts and culture.
A few examples
- If you own the 1 of 1 original Micah Johnson NFT you alone can access a gallery space in Los Angeles containing the source Sculpture. https://niftygateway.com/collections/aku
- Eulerbeats created NFTs based on Eulerian mathematics https://eulerbeats.com/
- Of course with streaming DRM you can expand these further, creating unique experiences and provenance only accessible to the owner of the NFT.
- Which direction do you think the content creation industry is going in? How will content creators be able to get incentivized for their work?
With a direct royalty/DRM model made possible with NFTs, the data becomes the value. As only the owner of the token can access the data, creative works inherently have value.
This coupled with an infinite number of automatic royalty splits makes the NFT a one two punch to automate the entire content middleman value chain.
- What copy protections do you have in place for content stored within the nexus of your network?
So we encrypt and only stream media, thus there is no way to download the files to your local device. On top of that, we will embed an invisible QR code and hash into the metadata of the content so if it is leaked, the fingerprint of the Ethereum address will be searchable for all time to tie the leaker back to the leak.
- Where do you see RAIR in the next ten years?
We hope to wrap every piece of digital value on earth into an NFT unlocked DRM container. This is not just for streaming media, but also for really huge industries like source code.
- What does RAIR stand for?
Real Asset Implementation and Registry. We want to turn anything digital into a Real Asset, give people the tools to implement their own hosting, and share across nodes to create a new globally registry of value.
- If you had three wishes and a genie that could make those wishes come true, what would your wishes be for RAIR?
That people would wake up to how valuable they really are and stop giving everything away for free.
That people would understand that their digital representations of themselves and their real selves are becoming one in the same. Yet you own your own body but not your own data.
That FAANG companies would drastically lose market share, replaced with a bottom up user centric data stack that still scales.