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Royalty Management System for Digital Arts

Aman Ali Hacker Noon profile picture

@AmanAman Ali



Claiming ownership on digital arts can be a problem, and this is one of the reasons that’s stopping artist getting the recognition they deserve. Apart from the ownership issue, it is also very easy to access digital art (Right Click + Save) and sell it again with a little modification.

Here is an example to explain the above statement:

  1. Let us take, for example, we have an artist “EMMAY”.
  2. He has designed and painted a beautiful painting with blue color as its background.
  3. He now has the art published on the internet.
  4. Now, let us assume a hacker “H” downloads “EMMAY’s” work and changes the background from blue to orange.
  5. Without giving “EMMAY” credit, “H” tries to sell the art and make money out of it.
  6. Unfortunately, “EMMAY” won’t receive any credit or any royalty for his work.

In this article, I propose a solution for this problem that could transform the whole digital arts industry.


I created a word document and saved it on my laptop. When I opened the properties of the document I observed the following:

Observe “Authors” and “Last saved by” attributes

In the above image, observe that we have Authors and Last saved by attributes.


An asset is anything that has a value. Drawing analogous relationship, I got an idea that if we have an image format with which we have the Artist’s name and we save the author’s name to a Blockchain. Since, we have the name saved on a Blockchain the artist’s ownership on the artwork is permanent.

Now, a person “A” who is trying to modify the image will have his name under Last edited by.

All this is fine, but how can we ensure that the original artist gets his royalty for his art. Here is where smart contracts come into play.

Let us say that “A” sells the art for 10$, then we can have the smart contract( Contract code needs to be embedded in the proposed image format) that will automatically transfer 1$ ( Royalty) to the original artist’s account. This ensures the original creator gets his royalty. The information of the original artist can be retrieved from the blockchain on which the artist’s name is saved(as explained above).

By this ownership and royalty problem can be solved with the help of Blockchain.

I strongly feel that such use-cases of blockchain can solve the Matthew effect i.e “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” phenomenon.

The following quote motivated me to write this article:

“Creativity and insight almost always involve an experience of acute pattern recognition: the eureka moment in which we perceive the interconnection between disparate concepts or ideas to reveal something new.” ~ Jason Silva

Thank you for reading my article.

This article comes under research work done at Wright State University’s SMART Lab under the guidance of Dr. Yong Pei.

Wright State University: https://www.wright.edu/ 
Department of Computer Science and Engineering : https://www.wright.edu/degrees-and-programs/profile/computer-science 
Dr. Yong Pei : https://people.wright.edu/yong.pei

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email. You can also contact me via Linkedin. You can also follow me on Twitter.

In order to get started with Blockchain read my article published on Hackernoon.


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