A new blockchain-powered marketplace aims to help journalists track their content and enforce licensing rights.
At Springwise, we have been eagerly following the increase in the uses of blockchain and cryptocurrency. These have included innovations such as a TV that mines cryptocurrency and a cryptocurrency baseball game. Now, there is a new use for cryptocurrency: promoting high-quality journalism. Civil Media Company is hoping to use blockchain-based technology to track the flow of content and enforce licensing rights. The company has recently announced a deal with the Associated Press.
The deal includes an agreement to license APs content to the newsrooms in the Civil network. This is similar to agreements that AP has with hundreds of news outlets around the world. However, the deal also gives Civil access to the AP’s experience in licensing, business practices and product design. In exchange, the AP can utilise Civil’s blockchain marketplace. Under Civil’s plan, readers will be able to buy stories directly from journalists. Either fiat or cryptocurrency are available for use via web wallets. To establish a high bar for quality content, all participants in the marketplace also agree to abide by Civil’s Constitution, which promotes high-quality journalism.
Jim Kennedy, senior VP of strategy and enterprise development at The Associated Press, pointed out to Digiday that, in addition to using material for free, some people reuse articles to promote fake news and misinformation. He added that the deal with Civil, “presents an opportunity to have a real track record of who’s allowed to publish content and how it’s being used.”
Civil points out that the only ad-driven revenue model that has traditionally funded quality journalism has not translated into the digital economy. This has left journalists struggling to produce high-quality work. Civil hopes that blockchain will decentralise the sale of news. Journalists will then be able to rely less on advertising and large publishing conglomerates.