“He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”
- Thomas Jefferson, 1813
Muzeum is a blockchain-based open protocol for creative industries proposed by KKBOX GROUP, and co-developed by KKBOX GROUP, Bitmark and Consensus Innovation.
On January 17, 2001, Professor Lawrence Lessig founded the Creative Commons, a true breakthrough that expanded the range of which creative works could be made available for others to share legally and build upon.
Creative Commons licenses are based upon copyright but displaces individual negotiations for specific rights between a copyright holder and licensee with a "some rights reserved" policy employing standardized, front-loaded licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. This reinvention of copyright management made the Creative Commons a light-overhead, low copyright management cost regime that benefits both copyright holders and licensees.
In 2017, inspired by Creative Commons’s brilliant invention of generalizing re-use licensing cases into standardized licenses, we began to imagine if such practices could be extended further for copyright licenses use with commercial compensation while retaining the benefits of running a cost effective copyright management regime.
In other words, if what Creative Commons does for copyright holders is facilitate “share legally + attribution”, what we are aiming to accomplish and facilitate is “share legally + attribution + commercial compensation.”. We quickly realized that adding commercial compensation into the equation brings the entire copyright management scheme into a whole different level of complexity and suddenly, we had a new set of problems to solve.
Among these problems, the most critical one was how to record and track the change of copyright ownership as it is the core of how commercial activities (for e.g., licensing and copyright transfer) and compensation (copyright royalty distribution) is carried out.
We concluded that such a copyright ownership record and tracking framework should belong to a public domain database for the long-term benefit of the creative community. On top of such a public database, an open protocol should also be designed for its access and usage.
As a result of the above, we propose The Muzeum Protocol.