Web3 Platform Ringfence Aims to Help Creators Combat Threat of AI

For all the benefits AI technology brings, it has proven to be something of a double-edged sword for creators. While user-friendly AI tools like DALL-E and Midjourney enable artists (and indeed anyone) to turn text prompts into eye-catching visuals, they also pose significant threats to the originality and ownership of the works themselves.

Little wonder the dangers of plagiarism and IP misuse have become pressing concerns in the minds of artists everywhere, particularly since the emergent nature of the tech means the legal picture is a gray area.

The Challenge for Creators

Since the dawn of the internet, artists have struggled to protect their intellectual property. But if the digital age made enforcing copyright hard, the coming AI age could turn it into a full-time job.

Through AI-generated content (AIGC), sophisticated generator tools are able to replicate the style of specific artists and writers in a matter of seconds, often without their consent or knowledge. This unauthorized use of intellectual property undermines the value of the original work and can lead to loss of income for creators, as well as reputational damage.

Unsurprisingly, some artist communities have responded to the threat by banning AI-generated images, while writers are increasingly opting out of having their words included in large language model (LLM) datasets. Preventing AI crawlers and tools from accessing and replicating one’s work, however, remains an onerous task.

Earlier this year, Tennessee-based artist Kelly McKernan became aware that her name was being fed into AI image generators at an alarming rate, with users keen to replicate her idiosyncratic style. Indeed, the AI outputs were scarily reminiscent of McKernan’s brushstrokes – so much so that she co-signed a class-action lawsuit brought by two other artists against Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and DreamUp.

More recently, OpenAI and Microsoft were slapped with a lawsuit over claims they misused the work of authors to train up the LLMs underlying services like ChatGPT. According to the class-action, OpenAI copied tens of thousands of nonfiction books without permission to train its LLMs to respond to human text prompts.

Expect more of these lawsuits to make their way into the courts if AI tools continue ignoring copyright and failing to compensate artists for providing the creative foundations for subsequent AIGC. The U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – as well as their international equivalents – are going to be swamped by a mountain of paperwork. Come to think of it, they might need AI tools to help them sift through it.

Ringfence Leads the Creator Fightback

Amidst these challenges, a new Web3 platform has touted itself as a perfect solution. Ringfence is designed to ensure that creators are fairly compensated every time their original artwork is used in the creation of AIGC. By storing their photos, images, videos, documents, and music with the platform, creators – musicians, painters, writers, filmmakers – can safeguard their hard-earned intellectual property from unwanted third-party use.

Here’s how it works: Creators set up an account on Ringfence and upload their work to the cloud, at which point the platform verifies that it is indeed their work. Once this check is complete, they are free to monetize their creations by authorizing its use in AIGC.

As well as this, creators can leverage Ringfence to commit their work to the blockchain. By tokenizing their intellectual property, artists can benefit from blockchain’s security and transparency to not only prove their ownership but enforce it. Once brought on-chain, the artist’s token can be stored in a hot wallet or cold storage – or listed for sale on an integrated NFT marketplace like OpenSea, Blur or Magic Eden.

An optimistic view of this unfolding story is that for every threatening advancement made by AI, humans will counter with their own innovative solution. Ringfence is a perfect example where the creative industries are concerned. By offering robust IP protection, convenient monetization options for digital content, and an AI Search Engine, the platform promises to combat the AI threat faced by creators, empowering them to embrace the digital future with confidence.


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