Purchasing a paper book provides the buyer with undisputed ownership. A new Blockchain-based platform aims to apply the same concept to electronic books, revolutionizing the way books are funded, published, marketed, discovered, purchased, and read.
The Publica platform plans to eliminate the fine print associated with ebook ownership. Instead of providing ebook buyers with a revocable license to read on a specific proprietary device or app, Publica wants to eliminate subscriptions, licenses, and terms, basing ownership entirely on a blockchain-based digital key.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Publica intends to decentralize the publishing industry by establishing a technical and legal framework that facilitates the tokenization of intellectual property rights. Instead of awarding the greater part of royalties to a single publisher, authors will be able to use the Publica platform to decentralize ownership and crowdfund new books.
Blurring the Line Between Publishers and Authors
Platforms such as Amazon and iTunes have already attacked the online retail medium of the publishing ecosystem, but have largely neglected other aspects. There are, to date, no platforms that have attempted to bring the publishing industry onto the blockchain. The creator of Publica, Josef Marc, has commented on the limited nature of platforms such as Amazon that offer self-publishing:
Amazon and many other publishers offer self-publishing and traditional books, but that doesn’t get the job done yet… The publishing ecosystem needs trustworthy and frictionless global e-commerce to make its own network effects happen and that’s why we’re launching Publica.”
The publishing industry is currently worth more than $114 billion annually and is rapidly growing. This growth is enhanced by the rising popularity of self-publishing, which increases the accessibility of publishing at the cost of overall content quality— a task that has traditionally been managed by publishers in-house.
To address this issue, Publica intends to create a novel ecosystem that allows readers and authors to efficiently manage copyright registration, translation, sales, reputation, and crowdfunding with the end goal of delivering new business opportunities for creators and greater transparency for consumers.
The Publica ICO
ICOs are the future of the blockchain revolution, but it can be challenging to identify positive opportunities amongst the noise. Assessing the strengths and risks of an ICO with a ranking framework typically begins with evaluating the leadership team of the platform. In the case of Publica, the leadership team is composed of successful businesspeople that possess extensive experience in blockchain-powered projects.
The Publica ICO, which is set to launch on October 25, 2017, benefits from a partnership between the platform and Blockvis. As an ICO auditing firm, Blockvis enhances the transparency of the Publica ICO in which 1 billion Pebbles (PBL) will be created. 510 million Pebbles will be sold in the ICO for $0.10 each, capping the sale at $510 million. Publica aims to allow Pebble holders to exchange their tokens for books, services, and derivative rights, as well as crowdfund authors. The token macroeconomics that Publica anticipates from their ICO are delineated in a comprehensive whitepaper available on the Publica website.
It remains to be seen whether the Publica platform will thrive in the competitive ICO environment. The publishing industry is a global economy, however, and the success of disruptive decentralized solutions that optimize centralized economic systems is self-evident.