Home Career Blockchain For Copyright And Intellectual Property With Roanie Levy

Blockchain For Copyright And Intellectual Property With Roanie Levy

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How will blockchain technology change the way creatives register copyright, as well as monetize their work? Roanie Levy explains how blockchain can solve the attribution problem, and how smart contracts will allow new business models with ownership of digital assets in web 3.

This podcast is sponsored by Written Word Media, which makes book marketing a breeze by offering quick, easy and effective ways for authors to promote their books. You can also subscribe to the Written Word Media email newsletter for book marketing tips.

This podcast is also sponsored by my wonderful patrons, www.Patreon.com/thecreativepenn

Roanie Levy is the CEO of Access Copyright, a collective that distributes licensing royalties to creator and publishing affiliates. She also leads Prescient, Access Copyright’s creative-focused innovation lab dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through blockchain and other technologies.

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below. 

Show Notes

  • What is blockchain technology and how will it change business models for creatives?
  • Smart contracts related to book sales
  • Solving the attribution problem for copyright
  • The differences between Web 1, 2 and 3
  • How long will it take for the publishing industry to adopt these new technologies — or will new companies start new businesses first?

You can find Roanie Levy at Imprimo.ca and on Twitter @RoanieLevy

Transcript of Interview with Roanie Levy

Joanna: Roanie Levy is the CEO of Access Copyright, a collective that distributes licensing royalties to creator and publishing affiliates. She also leads Prescient, Access Copyright’s creative-focused innovation lab dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through blockchain and other technologies. Welcome, Roanie.

Roanie: Thank you very much for inviting me.

Joanna: I’m excited to talk to you today. So, first up, tell us a bit more about your career.

How did you become interested in aspects of IP (intellectual property) and copyright?

Roanie: Well, actually, one of my first jobs, when I became a lawyer, was to work for the Canadian federal government on copyright policy, way back, I guess, the early days of web 1 when we were talking about the internet as the ‘information superhighway.’

So, that’s when I started to get interested about copyright, the impact that it has on the creative sector, and how technology interacts with those copyright concepts.

Joanna: So, you’re actually a copyright lawyer?

Roanie: I am a copyright lawyer.

Joanna: That’s such a good basis of what we’re going to get into. So, let’s get into blockchain then.

What is blockchain technology?

Because, I mean, a lot of creatives find the technical stuff difficult. How do you explain what blockchain is?

Roanie: I think many people refer to blockchain technology as ‘a distributed open public database,’ and I find that that’s too amorphous and it’s hard for people to wrap their head around.

Blockchain technology and blockchain network is, essentially, kind of that new infrastructure that is being built for web 3. What it does is that it tracks all transactional data.

Data is everything. Whether I’m buying something, whether I’m liking something, whether I’m creating something, whether I’m owning something, all of that is data.

And this massive database of transactional data, so not just the data up here but what happens to the data and how people are interacting with the data, is stored in a network that is protected by cryptography and incentive in order to ensure that nobody tampers with that data.

That data is, depending on the blockchain, but what’s really interesting is the public blockchain, that data is public for everyone to see and build upon.

Joanna: You said ‘infrastructure for web 3,’ and this is what I say to people is ‘You don’t need to know how the internet works, you don’t need to know http protocol, whatever, in order to publish a book on Amazon or use PayPal to get money,’ right? And, obviously, we know a bit more about the technology. Creative people don’t need to know how blockchain works in order to make use of it.

Roanie: You’re right, they don’t need to know how blockchain works. But what they do need to appreciate is how the concepts that blockchain allow are different from what we’re used to under web 2.

The concept of ownership, the concept of programmability.

Just the idea of tokens, what are they and what can we do with them? That’s something that’s worth spending time understanding because that’s what opens the imagination to all that might be possible in terms of new ways of interacting with your audience, with your fans, and of monetizing your works.

Joanna: Absolutely, right, we’ll get a touch on all those things.

Tell us a bit more about how you got into blockchain. Because you’ve actually been doing this a long time, and I saw you speak at Frankfurt Book Fair, I want to say four or five years ago now, and I think I was like one of three people in the audience because the publishing industry was just not interested.

Tell us how did you get into blockchain and what have you been doing in this space?

Roanie: First, I’m happy to report that, when I do talks today, I could easily get hundreds of people on my webinar. So, I think there’s been an evolution in the interest of publishers, of authors, of visual artists, of the whole creative sector.

As you mentioned in the introduction to who I am, I run a copyright-management organization. We operate in the traditionally printed world, so, textbook, trade books, newspapers, journals.

We represent the creators, the writers, the visual artists, and the publishers of those works. And the who we are, kind of the why we exist, what’s in our DNA is ensuring that creators get paid when their works are used.

Obviously, as we’ve gone through the ages with the changes in digitization, it’s becoming more and more and more difficult for creators to get paid. Piracy is rampant, monetization happens by people other than the rightful owner, platforms are extracting the value.

All of these things have been present and at the forefront of our consideration as we look to the future of rights management.

About 10 years ago now, no, maybe 8 years ago, we started asking ourselves, ‘Where are these new technologies going to take us? What are the future of rights management per se?’ Because that’s what we are experts in, as a copyright-management organization, managing transactions around creative content.

Blockchain kept coming up as this technology that was going to change the way we interact with content.

It was finally going to be able to give creators the ability to control their works and to monetize their work in a way that was not possible or that was broken, if you’d like, through web 2.

At the time when we started working on this, we weren’t talking about web 1, web 2, web 3, that’s kind of lingo that, although not completely new, it’s more talked about today than it was when we started looking at this. So, having been, as I mentioned, around when we were talking about the internet, what is web 1 today, as the information super highway and looked and examined the promises that the internet was making about how creators even back then were going to be able to monetize their work better with the internet.

Also realizing that that didn’t actually materialize that way, I kept asking myself and my team kept asking ourselves, ‘Is it really going to play out that way or are we going to see more of the same as what we saw with web 2 in terms of the harm that it could potentially cause to creators?’

I attended conferences, I learned a lot about the technology, looked at projects in the creative space, and that was really not enough to help us answer that question.

So we decided to just do a proof of concept. Let’s just come up with an idea that today’s tech is not able to do but the promises of blockchain seem to make possible.

Let’s see if we could, like, do a proof of concept, build it very quickly, and just learn from it. It was really just a learning exercise. This is back in 2016.

The idea that we came up with was the fan-to-fan sale of an ebook.

So, P2P sharing, which was happening in web 2, P2P sharing almost took down the music industry. And let’s flip that on its head now. Now, with blockchain, can we do P2P selling, fan-to-fan selling?

In our use case, the way it worked is that I’m reading a book…and, Joanna, I’ve known you for a long time and I know what you like and, so, I know that my recommendation of this book to you is going to generate a sale. So, I recommend this book to you, I, in fact, send you the ebook and you start reading the ebook.

The creator or the publisher has predetermined how much of the ebook you could read without having to trigger a payment. Let’s say it’s two chapters.

So, you read the first two chapters, you’re hooked, it was a great recommendation, and now you want to continue reading. To unlock the rest of the work, you have to pay. The payment triggers a smart contract, which we could talk about, in terms of what that is, and that smart contract automatically redistributes the payment, or the royalties, X amount to the creator, Y to the publishers, Z to the jacket-cover artist.

In the use case that we were building a proof of concept was a percentage of the sale was also going to go back to me because I influenced the sale, kind of like a reward to the fan that stimulated the sale.

So, we decided to build it up. We started working with some Solidity developers, and that’s the language that is used on the Ethereum blockchain, and we built the smart contract. We went through the whole workflow, how a service like this was going to work.

It was a proof of concept, so, it didn’t have a very pretty interface, it was held together by the software equivalent of duct tape, but you could see the triggering of the smart contract, you could see the asset, the digital asset being opened up and the movement of the payment into the different wallets.

For me, that was the moment where I was sold on the technology. I was like, ‘Totally get it. This is now I understand why people are so excited about blockchain.

This is going to revolutionize how we interact online, how we transact online, and it’s going to have a really dramatic impact on the creative sector in particular.’

What also gave me a lot of concern was that, as we were working through this use case for the fan-to-fan sale of ebooks, so, essentially, an ebook being attached to a smart contract and then being monetized in a distributed ecosystem, kept asking ourselves, ‘Who’s going to make sure that the person who’s attaching that ebook to that smart contract and has connected this wallet where all the money is going to go is in fact entitled, has the rights to do so, and is the right person to receive the royalty payments? Who’s going to make sure of that out of the gate?’

Because if we are not sure that it is the right person that is entitled, that has the right to attach this creative work to the smart contract, that is now going to get monetized in this distributed ecosystem, in this web 3 world, then we’re just going to make what happened with web 2 even worse with web3.

We looked around the creative projects that were taking place back then, in 2017, and we saw the same thing over and over again. And that is what we see in web 2, which is that the service just assumes, blindly trusts, that the person who’s uploading a work to the smart contract, connecting the work to the smart contract, and ticks the ‘I own,’ the copyright box, is in fact the rightful owner. We know that that’s not enough.

Surely, that was not going to be enough. It is not going to be enough in web 3. And, in fact, it’s even worse in web 3 than in web 2 because of two things. Web 3 is all about ownership, right? Whereas web 2, one of the biggest challenges of web 2 is how to monetize interactions online in web 2. The solution that was found was advertisement.

So, that is, if you’d like, the primary monetization model for web 2. Now, web3, it’s not about advertisement.

Web 3 is about exchanging value, actual payment, because now we could track interactions and we could incentivize interactions with tokens that can now be exchanged for real-world value.

In that context, the sense that we were having at Access Copyright and Prescient was that this is going to increase the incentives for bad actors. And not only that, we’re in a distributed environment.

So, how do you find that neck to choke that you’re now going to sue to take this down? How do you stop that smart contract from continuing to circulate once it’s been out there? How difficult is it going to be for creators and for rights holders to now deal with bad actors and piracy?

That’s where we decided that, as an organization that is focused on ensuring that creators get paid when their works are used, that that’s what we needed to solve for and that we should look to blockchain technology in order to help solve the attribution problem, this is what we called it, ‘the attribution problem,’ out of the gate.

This is probably when you saw me in Frankfurt, we started going out there and talking to creators and publishers in all different areas of creative endeavors, ‘Hey, guys, there’s this thing called ‘blockchain’ coming down that is going to redefine our interactions.

As a creative sector, we better be architects of this new infrastructure or we may be harmed by it instead of enabled by it.

Joanna: I love that, ‘We better be architects.’ I’m always saying we have to be involved in these discussions, otherwise the tech bros are going to design it all for us.

And so, I love that you’re involved, and that’s why I wanted to make it clear that you understand copyright, you understand the law, and you’re coming at it this way.

So, we’re going to come back on a number of different things. I know it’s really interesting about this attribution problem. And, of course, anyone can upload a book to Amazon as well and they do some checks against whatever they check and they ask us for proof of copyright.

How are you going about solving that attribution problem? What are the things in process?

Roanie: In order to solve the attribution problem, we believe that three things need to be immutably connected. And the connection between these three things needs to be open and transparent for everybody to see, because this is the only way that we can actually fix the stuff that is not connected properly.

Those three things is a digital representation of the creative work. It’s digital representation, so, if you’d like, a fingerprint of the creative work. It needs to be connected with metadata about the work and the rightful owner, the person who’s able to say yes or no to a use so that we know what the work is.

As computers talk to other computers, they are able to exchange digital files and say, ‘Okay, I know what the work is and I know this file, this digital asset, is the same as this digital asset. And I know what it is because I’ve got metadata and I know who to contact in order to verify whether this use has been authorized or not.’

These three things need to be connected. And there’s different technologies in order to connect these three things.

A few years ago, as I was out there trying to get people interested, wanting to work with us to solve this attribution problem, we also realized that we probably needed to start building this, start trying to solve for this and maybe even services that use this connection, this, what we were calling at the time, the attribution ledger.

Now, I’m calling it more ‘an attribution protocol,’ so, a service that uses this attribution protocol in order to generate value for the creators of the works.

In fact, just at the end of March of this year, we launched the first service that uses the attribution protocol under the hood. And it’s called inprimo. And if anybody wants to check it out, it’s imprimo.ca.

And what it is is that it looks like a web-2 service, and in many many ways it’s a web-2 service, but it’s got web-3 technologies under the hood. And that was really key to us when we built it out because we wanted it to be accessible to everybody.

Right now, if you’re trying to use pure web-3 services it’s complicated. If you try to buy an NFT and you need to get cryptocurrency and you need a certain crypto wallet, etc., there’s hours of learning that you need to do before you could interact with the service.

We wanted people to be able to interact immediately with the service. So, it looks like a web-2 service but it’s got web 3 under the hood.

It is a LinkedIn for visual artists. This is a service that we decided we were going to build with visual artists. We collaborated, we partnered with visual artists’ associations in Canada. And we did hundreds of design interviews to find out what is the challenge that visual artists are having? How can we offer a service that solves some of their challenges and also gets them ready for web 3?

It was about building an audience, presenting their journey as an artist and their portfolio of works. This was a perfect problem to solve because in presenting their artwork then we can also start connecting the claims that the artists have to a given artwork, the metadata about the artwork, and the fingerprint of the artwork, and connecting those together and registering them on the blockchain. While also providing them with this ability to present their journey in a very exciting very aesthetically-pleasing digital destination for visual art.

Joanna: I love that you said it’s web 3 under the hood.

Going back to this idea of infrastructure, some people are calling this ‘web 2.5,’ which is it looks like a smartphone app, it looks like a website, but it uses blockchain and you wouldn’t even know.

I feel like that’s probably what’s going to happen. It’s not like we’re going to go from one day we all use web 2 and the next day we use web 3, it’s going to be these applications that bridge the gap, and you don’t even need to know.

My husband recently did a course at LSE in London, the University, and his certificate for his course was an NFT. He didn’t even really know about it, it just got assigned to him. And then, like you mentioned, LinkedIn, it’s actually on his LinkedIn profile. The little thing says ‘access to digital record,’ and it’s on chain. So, this is a really brilliant thing.

For people listening, for authors, the idea in the future is that we will register ourselves as a creator, on whatever chain, and we will register our book on chain and we will be connected to that.

That’s basically what you’re saying, isn’t it? For authors.

Roanie: That’s right. I love the example of the LSE. First of all, I did my master’s degree at the LSE, so that’s really nice.

Joanna: Ah, there you go.

Roanie: Great to see that they are at the forefront of using new technologies. And I think that what your husband probably got is a verified credential.

Joanna: Yes. Exactly.

Roanie: They said there’s lots of different technologies that come into play, verified credentials sometimes use blockchain, sometimes they don’t, but this whole concept of verified credentials and self-sovereign identity, which is hard, it’s another one that’s hard to wrap your head around, but I think that is another element that is going to be transformative.

When we see the verified credentials and SSI, self-sovereign identity, really taking hold, that’s when we’re going to see that mass adoption into web 3.

I think that’s going to be the on-ramp for a lot of people onto web 3 is going to be these verified credentials and self-sovereign identity.

It’s already happening. A lot of people are saying, ‘Web 3, well, that’s the future,’ it’s actually here already and it’s being used.

And what’s great is that you’ve got these established players now playing around with these new technologies and thinking differently about how they’re going to share the information about who got degrees from their institutions in a way that everybody can trust and know.

That is also something that’s really important, privacy preserving, so that your husband probably has the choice to put it on his LinkedIn network or not, the verified credential, so that he could selectively declare to people, potential employers, or other institutions where he got his degree.

That’s going to be really really important, an important promise of web 3.

We’re going to be able to take back control of our data, of our activities online but also offline, there will be more privacy-preserving systems that are going to be used into the future.

I think that’s really important.

Joanna: Coming back to some of the principles you talked about, and also focusing down on the listeners, so, in the future, we have now registered our copyright, we know that this book belongs to us, and now we want to sell it. And you’ve mentioned ownership, you’ve mentioned digital assets, but also you’ve mentioned ebook.

I feel this is a real issue because, at the moment, people are “buying an ebook,” say, on Kindle but they’re not actually buying the ebook. They don’t own the ebook, they are, essentially, licensing some content to read on a device. But if their account gets deleted, that is deleted.

There is no ownership, at the moment, of ebooks and no resale and, as you say, no percentage that goes back to anyone else.

How is ownership and how is a digital asset different in this web-3 world?

How can we communicate that to people who think they already own digital content?

Roanie: I think this is probably the area of how blockchain technology and how people have started using blockchain technology is so exciting, particularly for the creative sector but not just for the creative sector. And this is this whole area of tokenization that people talk about when they talk about web 3, when they talk about blockchain, and when they talk about monetizing creative works.

That’s another one where it’s hard to wrap your head about what is a token, and how is it different, and why is it so special.

When people talk about the difference between web 1, web 2, web 3, what they say is that web 1 was reading. Depending on your age, you may remember web 1. I remember web 1 very very well, and we used to call it brochureware. That’s all that was online. You would see companies’ brochure that you could just read. Not that that was not amazing, it was amazing at the time, but that’s all it really was.

Web 2 is that social web, and that’s when we have more of a two-way sharing interactions where users could upload content as well. And that is the web that people refer to as ‘read and write’ right, that two-way interaction where users are also sharing in that whole social web. An explosion of innovation happened around web 2. A lot more monetization also happened around web 2.

Now, web 3, the evolution from web 2 to web 3 is read, write, own. That ownership element is where the monetization is going to take a different form. That’s where, when we talk about tokens, what’s so exciting about a token is because, when something is put in a token, we know who owns it and now we can monetize it completely differently in that ecosystem than we were able to in the web 2 ecosystem, in the ecosystem that we mostly know today.

That’s something that, when we started the conversation about not needing to understand blockchain but needing to understand the concepts which really change our world, that’s one of the important concepts, this concept of ownership and the fact that we can own a digital asset as well.

And notwithstanding that you could right-click/copy, it doesn’t really diminish from the value of owning something unique that is in digital form, even though it can get reproduced again.

And that’s another one that takes a while to kind of get used to and get excited about but, once you do, once you see the light, you can’t unsee it.

Joanna: They’re saying this is happening a lot in gaming. So, people who play a lot of games, they understand that you buy a weapon and that weapon is theirs within the game. So, they’ve bought a digital asset that can help them or they buy some clothing for an avatar.

When we think about the future of a metaverse, I guess it’s similar, like the clothing of the avatar, it’s the same if I go into a shop.

I went out today and I bought a dress. Other women will buy that dress but the dress I have is my dress. I can resell that dress and I can make some money from that resale.

In that situation, there isn’t any money going back to the original creator because there’s no smart contract.

Let’s get into that because, when I learned about programmability and smart contracts, programmable money, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is amazing.’

Tell us a bit more about smart contracts and how they fit in.

Roanie: Maybe I’ll start with one little concept/technology that is helpful in really making this explanation stick for people, and that is in the blockchain ecosystem in a blockchain network, what you’ve got is that you’ve got these tokens, which are, essentially, a digital representation of an asset, something that has value.

It could actually be just an interaction that you did online but now that interaction has value, so, we’re going to put it in this digital envelope called ‘a token.’

The thing with this token, which lives on the blockchain, so, that’s kind of the transaction, is that this token is connected to a wallet. The person who has the key to that wallet is the owner of that token. Every time the token moves around and changes wallet it does so through smart contracts.

Through these small software programs that say, ‘If X happens then Y happens.’ So, if a token is going to change from one wallet to another wallet and there is an exchange of value, such as the cryptocurrencies being exchanged, then 10% of that exchange of value is going to go back to the first wallet that owned the token, which is the creator’s wallet.

This is why blockchain, when we talk about blockchains, ‘They’ve a distributed database,’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah. So what, who cares?’

It’s because all of these movements and transactions are recorded for everybody to see in a way that you can trust because it’s protected or it’s cryptographically protected and there are incentives as well on this blockchain network in order to make it impossible, or at least very very difficult, to tamper with that information, that data, about these transactions and these movements of assets.

Joanna: I think we need to emphasize as well how much you can do with a smart contract.

Because one of the things that stops authors collaborating is that it’s so hard to do all of these royalty payments later on in the process. If you and I write a book together, one of us will publish it or we’ll get a publisher and then the money eventually gets to us or one of us has to split it.

Whereas, with a smart contract, you did mention this earlier but just to reiterate it, there can be a percentage for the fan who’s selling it that can be a percentage goes back to the original creator or creators and a percentage could go to a charity, for example.

Or the other thing I was thinking about is, in terms of estate management, after my death or something, there’s a clause in the contract that will redirect the payments to a different wallet.

There are things we’ll be able to do with smart contracts that, at the moment, have this massive human overhead in management.

Roanie: Absolutely. Not just in management, in trusting as well, what people said would happen actually happens. Whereas in what you’ve just described, which has a lot of similarity with that proof of concept that we did back in 2017, and we did it using smart contracts, it was instantaneous.

That redistribution of the royalties was instantaneous. That’s what’s so beautiful. It happens between people that don’t know each other.

This is when people, early in 2015-2016, when I was learning about this technology, we would talk about the middle man, ‘This intermediation, the middleman, is going to disappear.’ This is what people were referring to.

In that use case that we built a proof of concept on, there was no retailer. The book circulated, the marketing of the book was being done by a fan, by the audience, the redistribution didn’t have an accounting office. All of the transactions were online. In fact, even your tax authority would be able to look in and see how much you actually have to pay in taxes. It is actually that transparent.

Joanna: I really think we’re going to get central bank digital currencies, CBDCs, as they’re called. And I think why wouldn’t they take the tax as part of that transaction? Why do they have to wait till later? If you’re the government and you have central bank digital currencies, you could just take your cut as it passes through on chain. This is why I think that this will go mainstream.

I feel like, at the moment, people think this is all to do with Bored Apes and crypto crashes and tech bros but I think that this is going mainstream because of exactly what you said about it, it will get rid of back office. The banks are implementing blockchain because it gets rid of a whole lot of back-office stuff, right?

So, on the one hand, we’ve got decentralized stuff but, on the other hand, we’ve got a whole lot of centralized blockchains being built because the technology is so powerful.

How is this all going to shape out between the ideal and what people are already doing?

Roanie: I think that referring to the banks adopting blockchain, they’re doing this in permissioned blockchain. And not to say that that’s not valuable, absolutely it’s valuable, there’s efficiencies, saving in time, the data is more accurate, etc. Lots, lots, and lots of reasons to do that.

I think the real transformation and explosion of innovation is going to be on the open, public blockchains where the data is more open and transparent.

This is something that I think you mentioned and made reference to. We talked about programmability, but another element which is super exciting and where we’re going to see so much innovation is the fact that what these tokens allow, what these smart contracts allow is composability. Things can sit on top of each other.

I was trying to think of an example that would help people see the beauty in composability. Let’s say we have a token that has, of course, embedded in it a smart contract that tracks the ownership of your creative work. Let’s say your next book you’re actually only going to issue 100 books. So, it’s going to be 1 of 100, 2 of 100, etc. So, you’re going to issue non-fungible tokens for 100 books.

What are you going to do?

Every time there’s a transfer of ownership of that book you’re going to get 10% but you’re also going to allow that book to be composed into a lending library.

The token is circulating and someone could sell the token to the lending library and to something else. Now, you could also limit where you want your tokens to go by code, but this is what’s so exciting. We see a lot of composability happening in distributed finance, what people call DeFi, and also in web-3 gaming where you have play-to-earn structures as well.

You see people being able to use a token that was generated on one platform for one activity to be used in another service for something completely different. And startups and businesses can do that without having to ask permission from the person that created the game, for example, to allow that token to now be used in another service as well. That’s the composability of what tokens and these open protocols allow.

Joanna: This is the thing, there’s so many exciting possibilities. And yet, you and I are in the publishing industry and, as I mentioned, I saw you speak four or five years ago. And even though you said there’s more people turning up now, and I’ve spoken on blockchain as well and, obviously, I’ve done shows on it, but my feeling is the publishing industry is mostly not interested.

How long do you think this is going to take? And how can we help things along?

Roanie: I think, as is often the case with these new technologies, it is not the incumbents that adopt them first.

We’re going to see new kinds of publishers come on scene that will use them. We’re going to see a lot more kind of independent artists, independent writers use the technology.

There’s a little bit less kind of risk and they don’t have as much of a box in terms of how they do business that they have to stay in. So, it’s going to be easier for independent artists to use them. And when they’re going to have proved the value, then I think we’re going to see the larger publishers join in.

I think people are waiting for that killer app as well. There is still a lot of friction if you’re going to do something that is a purely crypto web-3 service. Like I said, Imprimo was designed so that anybody can use it, so, the web 3 is really under the hood. Which also means that the artists on Imprimo are not the custodians of their private public keys.

Imprimo holds the custody of the private public keys because we felt that the adoption was not there yet, that the artists were not ready yet to have that responsibility of owning their private keys. But we’ll get there. And once we get there, then we’ll be able to no longer be the owners of the private public keys that the individual artists are given when they join Imprimo.

So, it’s a journey. But I believe the journey is going to happen far faster than it took for us to get from web 1 to web 2. And it’ll happen far faster than the time it took for my parents to use Uber, for example.

Joanna: Do you want to put a date on it, do you want to go ’25-’26 maybe? Or will it just be that, for example, people still read on Amazon Kindle but they’re actually reading an NFT version of an ebook?

Roanie: The end-user interface is going to have to work with the existing end-user interfaces. Whether it’s a Kindle, so, my case it’s a Kobo, or it’s your phone, you’re going to be using your smartphone.

Already we’re seeing some smartphones that are coming out that are enabled with these web-3 wallets. That’s going to start to facilitate the adoption by people.

The new business models, the really revolutionary business models are going to take a little bit more time than that.

But the fact that your husband got a verified credential from the LSE is very exciting to me.

Joanna: Us too, we were like, ‘Oh my goodness, look at this.’

Roanie: It’s happening. A colleague was telling me that a friend of theirs bought this high-end purse, I can’t remember if it was Louis Vuitton or what was the brand, but she was all excited to show my colleague that it came with a card, with a blockchain registration for the purse. So, it’s happening.

Right now, within the existing interactions the way we interact is not very very different but, eventually, the interactions themselves are going to be different.

Joanna: Exciting times ahead.

Where can people find everything you do online?

Roanie: Definitely go to imprimo.ca, that’s where I recommend everybody go check it out. First of all, it’s a beautiful website, you’re going to see some beautiful art. It’s mostly Canadian art right now but it’s amazing. Please go online, check out our artists, and check out the web-3 elements. Take 5-10 minutes and dig a little bit. Look at the blockchain ID, look at the private public key information and instructions to help people kind of understand what’s really happening under the hood.

Joanna: Brilliant. Thanks so much for your time, Roanie, that was great.

Roanie: It was lovely speaking with you. Thank you.

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