Paris Hilton, a16z back IP ownership network Story Protocol

    07 Sep 2023

    Andreessen Horowitz, Paris Hilton and Samsung have invested in the new blockchain-based open IP collaboration network Story Protocol.

    The new blockchain-based IP ownership network Story Protocol closed a $54-million funding round on Sept. 7, which included investments from big names, such as Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media and Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z.

    The platform uses blockchain technology to help content creators oversee and monetize their content in the face of fakes generated by artificial intelligence (AI). It plans to serve as a blockchain-based IP ownership repository for all types of content, including text, image and audio.

    If artists eventually register with the protocol, they can use connected services to sell the licensing rights for various other uses.

    The other co-founder of the project, Seung-yoon Lee, estimated that “in a year or two the level of remixed content through GenAI is going to be so much higher.”

    “In a world of total abundance catalyzed by generative AI, blockchain technology presents the perfect solution for transparent provenance tracking and fair attribution.”

    The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, which also received equity in the company and the right to buy digital tokens if issued by Story Protocol, according to a spokesperson from the company.

    Story Protocol also received backing from Hashed, Endeavor, Samsung Next and David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital.

    The company’s co-founder, Jashon Zhao, said the funds will go toward the launch in the first half of 2024.

    The battle against deep fakes and copyright-infringing content at the hands of generative AI has been a major concern for the entertainment industry.

    Universal Music Group (UMG) has been campaigning for streaming platforms, such as Spotify, to be vigilant about removing content that misuses copyrighted work.

    Shortly after UMG’s email was disseminated, Spotify announced it would be increasing its policing across the platform and actively began to remove content in violation of copyright rules.

    Most recently, it was revealed that UMG and Google were in negotiations over how to manage deep fakes and how to best license melodies and vocal tracks that can be used in AI-generated songs.


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