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Story Protocol, a network that’s billed as an open-source solution for creators and intellectual property in an increasingly digital age, announced its launch on Wednesday with over $54 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Aside from Samsung Next, Hashed, and Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media, several other investors participated in either a seed round or a follow-on round, Story Protocol told Decrypt in a written statement.
The project aims to simplify processes associated with maintaining IP, the umbrella term for intangible assets produced as part of the creative process. It’s also designed in a way to address creatives’ concerns that stem from the recent popularity of AI.
“In a world of total abundance catalyzed by generative AI, blockchain technology presents the perfect solution for transparent provenance tracking and fair attribution,” said Story Protocol Co-Founder Seung Yoon Lee in a press release.
According to Story Protocol, its network enables artists of all sorts to track how their IP is used and iterated upon by creators across different mediums, while also allowing the parties involved to share in associated revenues.
The firm hopes its network will also become used heavily by third parties, who provide creators services on everything from fostering community growth to authenticating AI content and crowdfunding.
The company notes on its website that creative works, such as the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” and music from DJs like Diplo, started out as fanfiction and remixes posted online to fanfiction.net and SoundCloud, respectively.
They are a couple of examples of IPs that warrant a new regime because, currently, “infrastructure is too unwieldy to support remixing, community lore, and co-creation as foundational pillars of creativity,” Story Protocol states.
AI’s use has been met with varying degrees of openness from artists and the companies that represent them, from the disdainful to the totally down.
Universal Music Group (UMG) demanded in April that “Heart on My Sleeve,” an AI-generated song emulating the style of Drake and The Weekend, be ejected from the likes of YouTube and Spotify. On the other hand, the pop star Grimes extended a 50% royalty split offer on successful AI-generated songs that same month.
Based on the network’s open and modular architecture, any application will be able to “plug into” Story Protocol, the firm said. And as the project’s narrative develops, it’s an example of blockchain tech being used to address issues outside of crypto.
According to Simon Kim, Hashed’s CEO and Managing Partner, Story Protocol could influence artists’ creative processes like the software platform Github changed coders’.
He said, “Just as Git revolutionized software development, Story Protocol is transforming the development of creative IP and enabling contribution at scale with clear ownership attribution.”