Copyright & Law

Baidu Launches Totem, a Blockchain-Based Photo Licensing Service

April 16, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

Chinese search giant Baidu is jumping into the stock photography licensing market with a new blockchain-based photo service called Totem.

According to the Totem website, the service will function a bit like U.S.-based service ImageRights and KodakOne. Photographers who own exclusive rights to images can submit them to Totem, have them inscribed in a blockchain and have Baidu’s artificial intelligence technologies scour the web for duplicates. If infringements are discovered, Totem will “initiate online rights lawyers” to resolve the issue.

Unlike rival services, Totem appears confined only to China–they have a residence application for new users and have signed up several Chinese-based stock agencies and photographers. The service will also leverage other Baidu products, enabling blockchain-protected images to surface in Baidu Photos and Baidu Search.

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