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Sora Is Going to Change Hollywood, but Hollywood Needs Final Cut

There’s no denying that the announcement of Sora, OpenAI’s new text to video technology, has elicited a mixture of excitement and anxiety in Hollywood. Although a common reaction is that Hollywood is doomed, the truth is there should be optimism that the production process just got a whole lot easier. Creative people will have more tools to collaborate, communicate their visions, and more seamlessly engage with their fans.

For executives and studios, it presents opportunities to quickly produce high quality content that users actually want in a variety of formats at lower costs. For writers, it offers the chance to take control of bringing their words to life. And for visual artists, it will put them at the center of the puzzle. Like Unreal Engine from Epic Games, which requires a level of coding to get the best outputs, many visual artists will become prompt experts as they craft increasingly ambitious visions. Those that figure out how to put in the best text inputs will get the best content outputs.

But let’s not forget the fan in all of this – the people who spend the money that powers Hollywood’s economic engine. Sora-type technology can allow for distribution platforms and creatives to foster more direct fan engagement by letting fans co-create with their IP. For example, they can let a fan extend a story, explore a character even further, or possibly create a unique, personalized short. It will also allow for talent, writers, and graphic artists to have more direct relationships with their fans and create new distribution outlets, leading to higher economic value for many.

Imagine an interactive experience where fans can interact with their favorite characters in real time – trained on the data from their favorite franchise. Fans could have personalized interactions with their heroes. And consider the many talented comic book artists of the 20th century who, after creating novel universes, earned large followings but not much money for themselves.

So, what happens next? Hollywood needs to play offense and defense. This is done by protecting data and managing AI rights. Period.

Data in this case refers to all IP and original content. More specifically, protect the data of one’s content so that you can train your own Generative AI engine or license the data to others – like an actor sending bespoke messages via synthetic voice or licensing their synthetic voice for a commercial. For studios, which already have lawyers protecting the content itself, this means protecting the training data used in the AI systems and the metadata associated with their content.

For talent, writers, visual artists, and others, this means protecting both the data of their content, including their likeness, and adding a data license to work for hire contracts. Google paying $60 million to license Reddit data for AI training purposes reflects the immense value of this data both now and in the future. Perhaps one day the biggest assets of the largest IP holders will be their training data, not just the IP itself, and one of the largest costs on the income statement of tech companies are going to be data licensing costs. While in the land grab of social media and streaming platforms, whoever had the most users was the winner, there will be plenty of opportunities to level the playing field for IP holders when training data rules.

More than a simple legal contract, technology is needed to connect all the outputs, maintain the rights, and ensure that the owners of IP are being properly compensated. With the multilayer needs of AI rights management, determining who gets paid what is the perfect task for technology, specifically smart contracts and blockchain technology. For artists, creators, actors, musicians, and more, this technology can help protect their work, generate revenue opportunities, and deepen connections with fans.

Dan Neely is Co-Founder & CEO of Vermillio, the first AI platform that empowers creators and IP holders to unlock their potential and protect their work with Authenticated AI.

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