Elacity DRM FAQs: Revolutionizing the Access Economy in Web3

Elacity FAQ

As we eagerly anticipate the release of Elacity DRM next week, it’s an opportune moment to address some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this groundbreaking monetisation framework. Elacity delivers a protocol that helps people who create digital content – like videos, music, or software – to manage and make money from their creations in a new and modern way. It uses a special digital rights management system with blockchain technology that lets creators control who can access their work and ensures they get paid fairly and quickly when others use it. This system is designed to work globally, giving creators more freedom and flexibility in how they share and sell their digital products, a stark contrast to popular platforms today which take up to 50% in fees, control narratives and payout every few months. What to learn more about Elacity? Let’s jump into some FAQs!


What is Elacity and how will it revolutionize the Access Economy?

Elacity is a pioneering platform delivering the Access Economy to the Web3 space. It revolutionizes how digital assets are accessed and traded by introducing ‘Digital Capsules’—encrypted digital content stored on decentralized networks. These capsules come with scarce, tradable access rights, enforced through blockchain technology, allowing creators and organizations to directly monetize their digital assets in a global decentralized marketplace. This approach overcomes the limitations of traditional Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems, offering a more secure, transparent, and equitable model for managing digital assets.

These developments will enable creators to market, promote and monetize their content directly to their audiences, completely eliminating any reliance on intermediaries; in effect, bringing artists much closer to their audiences and finally removing third-party terms, conditions and ‘retentions’ which have traditionally limited creators’ ability to control and earn from their work.


Can you elaborate on the concept of Digital Capsules?

Digital Capsules are the core of Elacity’s offering. They are digital assets, ranging from videos, music, and documents, to software, that are encrypted and packaged for secure distribution. These capsules are stored on decentralized networks like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and are accessed using unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent various rights – access, distribution, and royalties. This ensures that the assets are protected against unauthorized use while facilitating a fair and transparent marketplace for creators and consumers.


How does Elacity’s Access Economy Protocol (AEP) work?

The Access Economy Protocol (AEP) is a decentralized user-owned DRM system, integral to Elacity. It automates license issuance and facilitates immediate royalty payments. AEP operates by encrypting digital content into Digital Capsules, distributing these on decentralized networks, and utilizing smart contracts to manage and trade access, ownership, and distribution rights. This enables real-time payment, licensing efficiency, and direct creator-consumer connections, fundamentally transforming the way digital assets are managed and monetized.


What are the benefits of Elacity’s model for content creators?

Content creators benefit significantly from Elacity’s model. It provides creator autonomy, allowing them to have global control and monetization opportunities through decentralized IDs. Creators can choose their own business models, from one-time sales to subscriptions, and receive instant payments directly to their decentralized finance wallets. Additionally, the tokenization aspect of Elacity turns access and ownership rights into scarce, tradable units, opening new avenues for revenue generation. Additionally, distribution rights allow for re-sale percentages to be assigned to access rights holders, providing transparent secondary markets where everyone is immediately paid.


The announcement refers to ‘future developments’ to integrate this mechanism with Elastos’ BeL2 Bitcoin Layer 2? What are these developments, what are the timelines and at what point will creators be able to transact directly in Bitcoin? 

BeL2 is a Layer 2 protocol that connects Bitcoin with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) technology. It integrates with Elastos SmartWeb technology to enhance Bitcoin’s scalability, programmability, and privacy. This integration is achieved through the use of zero-knowledge proofs and smart contracts. Elacity is contractually leading this innovation with 10 separate engineers. The plan includes incorporating the Access Economy Protocol into this environment, aiming to unlock over $850 billion in dormant value through a Bitcoin Layer 2-powered access economy. We anticipate BeL2’s connection, with creators starting to transact and use Bitcoin on Elacity, in Q3 2024.


How will subscribers (or purchasers/resellers) be verified on the DRM system? How does Elacity ensure compliance and ethical considerations in its marketplace?

Elacity employs a sophisticated reputation system using verifiable credentials and zero-knowledge proofs. This ensures legal compliance and consumer protection, allowing users to verify their identity and age without compromising privacy. The platform’s commitment to ethical standards is evident in its support for parental controls and compliance, making it a trusted and secure environment for digital asset transactions.

For instance, those who publish will need to perform KYC checks and get a verifiable credential which can be shared as a zero-knowledge proof to publish on Elacity’s AEP protocol – this is where partnerships are also so important.  Everyone is legally liable in their own countries, so we need to be careful not to make this a place for illegal content. It’s also important to understand Elacity can both be a monetization layer and a privacy layer. 

For instance, you might encrypt a video into a video capsule and create unique economics with access tokens around it for trading globally. Or you might create a video capsule with just 1 access token which you own, this now is a privacy layer for your data, gatekeepers like Google or even the Elacity team can’t view this data, which provides ethical considerations around decentralisation, your privacy and online rights. 


How will the availability of Elacity DRM be rolled out in the market?

Initially, only Bella holders can mint video capsules. This is free to gather feedback on our new technology and manage costs associated with our IPFS node. This framework sets the groundwork for future decentralization and scalability. Next in Feburary, Bella holders can create affiliate links for external users to mint for free, allowing them to negotiate content publishing terms and earn a commission. Bella holders will also oversee content to ensure legality, acting as a governing layer with opportunities to earn immediate income from sales.

Finally, we will integrate Elabox and third-party cloud providers for easy IPFS node deployment and management. Users can then host their own shops, upload content independently, and be legally responsible for their content, decentralising the network. Cloud providers will offer extra bandwidth and global content availability as services in Elacity. This stage will also require KYC verification using zero-knowledge proofs for compliance and age-restricted content. 

All capsules uploaded on Elacity’s IPFS node prior is interoperable, enabling users to download and host on their new personal nodes. Consumers may also host nodes to download and store purchased content. The scalability of Elacity’s DRM will be addressed progressively, moving towards a fully decentralized access economy protocol.


How does this announcement reflect Elastos’ vision for a SmartWeb?

In Elastos’ vision for Web3, Rong Chen birthed the term ‘SmartWeb’, a category which transforms the Internet into a user-driven, digital ecosystem for asset ownership. It’s about merging decentralised technology and security, transitioning from centralised control to a more democratic space where users own and control their data. 

Ultimately, with BeL2 technology, we will be able to issue and trade assets directly using BTC, with the security of these assets directly protected by BTC miners. Simultaneously, we can trade these assets on the Elastos SmartWeb and program them for new markets. This applies not only to video content, as in this example, but also extends to all forms of creative content, including books, films, music, and art.


How does Elacity integrate with current Web3 and blockchain trends, particularly NFTs?

Elacity is at the forefront of integrating Web3 and blockchain innovations, particularly NFTs. It combines a decentralised DRM system for encryption and decryption with tokenization, where Access Tokens, Royalty Tokens, and Distribution Rights Tokens, all forms of NFTs, represent different rights and values of digital assets. This aligns with the scarcity and tradability principles of digital assets in the Web3 space, allowing for their trade in a global marketplace. NFTs in Elacity not only symbolize ownership but also immediately enforce the terms set by content creators, like usage rights and resale percentages, reflecting the unique capabilities of blockchain technology in managing digital rights.


What are the future prospects and expansion plans for Elacity?

Elacity’s roadmap includes expanding its framework beyond the current focus on video capsules to encompass a wider range of digital assets, such as music, ebooks, gaming, and software. The platform plans to support diverse business models, including subscription, pay-per-view, and free access with ad support. Future developments also involve enabling the expansion of ‘runtime,’ a secure execution environment that checks the blockchain for access rights before decrypting a capsule. For video and audio markets, we built a runtime media player that executes locally on a user’s device and communicates with decentralized storage nodes. Additionally, we have developed a proof of concept runtime for a virtual computer. Elacity’s vision is to become a decentralized computing platform that is loaded on demand, utilizing decentralized identities. This platform is underpinned by our access economy model.


Will Elacity disrupt or partner with Web2 creative platforms such as YouTube and Spotify?

In their own way, such platforms disrupted and transformed not merely the distribution of content, but how and why it was created.  However, inconsistencies and incoherences remained, particularly in the case of Youtube which built a business monetizing content which was never necessarily ceded or authorized to them by the original creators

Such platforms also remain essentially centralized intermediaries with the ability to control and sanction content according to their personal terms and agenda; all the time extracting a ‘tithe’ for doing so (in terms of proportion of advertising revenue or other analytics).   

Today’s announcement will provide video artists with a mechanism to promote and monetise their content directly with their audiences, on mutually agreeable terms, eliminating the dependence on any type of intermediary (wither in terms of traditional publishing, or Web2 services such as Youtube or Spotify).  

It’s perfectly conceivable that such incumbent services will continue to promote and monetize artists’ content, but the arrival of a ‘direct’ alternative will reduce artists’ dependence on a third-party-based business model which may not be optimized for their interests, as well as bringing them in direct contact with their audiences.  It could be the start of a new, much more intimate relationship between content creators and the communities that sustain them. 


How Will Elacity impact on traditional legal rights and ownership models?

See above.  The Elastos model ensure that the last word remains with the creator and owner of the content. 


Who owns the data rights within the Elacity ecosystem?

In the Elacity ecosystem, data rights ownership is straightforward. The creators or owners of digital assets retain the rights. These assets are encapsulated into ‘Digital Capsules’, and their ownership is registered and validated on a blockchain as unique tokens. This method ensures that ownership rights are clear, transparent, and secure, adhering to the core principles of Web3 which emphasize decentralization and user control.


How do the access tokens ensure an inclusive approach to Web3?  Are they not elitist?

Access Tokens in Elacity are designed to democratize access to digital assets, akin to how physical goods are traded in the real world. For example, when you buy a book or a music CD, you can resell it; Elacity replicates this freedom for digital content. These tokens are tradable and represent specific access rights embedded within smart contracts. Unlike traditional digital platforms where purchased content often remains non-transferable and locked to the user, Elacity’s approach allows for the resale and transfer of digital assets, echoing the flexibility we have with physical goods.

While it might seem that requiring tokens for access could be elitist, in reality, this system enables a more inclusive and flexible approach. By tokenizing access, Elacity allows a wide range of economic models, from direct sales to rentals, thereby catering to different user preferences and financial capabilities. Moreover, Elacity’s system incorporates Ownership Tokens, which confer royalty rights. Owners of these tokens receive a share of the revenue generated from the asset, and these tokens can also be traded in the marketplace. This inclusive and flexible approach, facilitated by tokenization, lowers barriers to entry and opens up new economic models, ranging from direct sales to rentals, catering to diverse user preferences and financial capacities.


Does Elacity address or add to concerns about AI ownership?

Elacity contributes positively to the discourse on AI ownership by providing a transparent and decentralized framework for managing intellectual property rights in AI models. For instance, consider a scenario where users or organizations develop a bespoke AI model, which is their intellectual property. Using Elacity, they can package this AI model into an AI Capsule and sell access to it directly on a global marketplace. In this environment, distinct from current AI ecosystems, every time someone purchases access to the AI model, all contributors who hold Ownership Tokens tied to that model receive payment automatically.

This mechanism ensures that revenue is fairly distributed among all stakeholders, including those who contributed data or expertise to the AI model. The rights and usage terms are encoded into smart contracts on the blockchain, making them immutable and easily traceable. This setup not only clarifies AI ownership but also ensures that all contributing parties are equitably compensated, addressing one of the key concerns in the current AI landscape.


How is the data stored and security mechanisms created for content and payments?

In Elacity, data storage and security are handled through a combination of blockchain technology, decentralized file systems, and advanced encryption standards. Digital Capsules are stored on decentralized networks like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer storage and content delivery network, ensuring resilience and reducing risks associated with centralized storage. The use of blockchain for recording ownership and transactions adds an additional layer of security. Content and payments are secured through smart contracts on the blockchain, providing transparent, immutable, and efficient transactions. The advanced encryption standard is employed for content encryption, ensuring the secure packaging of digital assets.