Sep 21, 2023

LimeWire is making a splash into artificial intelligence, after acquiring AI generation platform BlueWillow.

Video transcript

Let's turn now to Limewire. I bet you weren't expecting me to say that 23 years after its launch as a music file showing service, it's ready to dive into A I now. Although the name sounds familiar, the company is brand new Lime Wire's name was purchased two years ago after being stagnant for more than a decade by a startup that was looking to move into NFTS. Joining us now is Lime Wire's Chief Operating Officer Marcus Feist. Welcome to the show. Marcus. Hi, good morning to you guys. Thanks for having me today. Good morning. All right, let's talk about about the revival of Limewire. Limewire. The name has been purchased. So this company has nothing to do with the, the company we know from back in the two thousands when we were all getting our music maybe illegally um from the internet. You pivoted to well, not pivoted. You got into NFTS. And now A I tell us is the NFT place still happening? Yes, 100%. So NFT is, is, is really a core technology we are using um mainly to give all the fans all the collectors on the platform, digital copies of the content that they really love the content they want to follow from the that they, that they follow online wire as well. So it's a really core part of our, of our platform, a technology we use to um pretty much cater our web free audience, but it's not the only thing we're doing. I think you just briefly mentioned it also um in your recap that the NFT hype we saw last year is a bit over in terms of the market. But we still believe in the technology. Um what we've built now is a really very, very creator centric uh platform with a lot of different forms of uh content monetization for creators and also ways to create content with our newly built uh line via A I studio. Well, let's talk about the A I component here because it's become a little bit of a punch line, right? Like all the crypto pivoting to A I like the new hot thing. So, you know, can you explain simply like why A IW what, what does A I do and why is it really necessary because there clearly are, you know, a lot of Blockchain crypto projects that are just kind of like ride the A I hype. And I'm not saying you're doing that, but can you explain, you know what exactly is the use case for A I here? Yeah, 100%. I mean, obviously there has been a lot of hype especially this year around the A I topic. Uh For us, it's really a great tool to, to enable anybody to become a creator on the line wire platform. So Liwa back in the day with about 50 million active users from the file sharing days that you know, from the early two thousands has been a platform that is really catered around content for anybody who wanted to join the platform. And we want to do exactly the same now and enable anybody to become a creator. That's really our goal. And our A I studio is really the means for any type of creator, even if you're not experienced yet to pretty much start their entrepreneurial and their creative journey. So for us, it's a nice way to onboard. Anyone who wants to become a creator, start creating their contents and then publish it and monetize it on the same platform. So II I don't need to tell you about Lime Wire's history uh with, with issues about copyright and how does it affect in this situation? Uh You know, we're talking about using A I. Uh people in Hollywood are very nervous. Of course, we, we, we saw a giant strike in Hollywood over A I um I, is this something I, what kind of protections are you putting in place for the artists uh that are uh you know, maybe might have their content in some way repurposed by A I and somebody putting it up and saying no, this is mine. It's original, it's, it's derivative, but it's original. I like watching these A I uh videos where people change some of the content. But nonetheless, you would expect some money goes back to the uh originator. That doesn't seem to be the case. What is limewire doing now uh to protect those, the those artists. Uh that's a very, very good point and especially where at the NFT pod and only we free technology that we've filled out last year already comes in extremely handy. Um So what we will launch very soon is a function on the platform where you can click a remix button on one of these images you currently can see there so you can use the original content that somebody has uploaded and re remix it and create something new within the studio. Um And the beauty now is that with all the web free capabilities we have on the platform, we can clearly see who was the original creator of the first piece and then split the, the royalties between the two creators on chain on the platform right away that already. And I mean, do you have licensing agreements in place with, with uh as a and, and in terms of, of how you pay off the, the the originators, what what exactly do you have in place that would ensure that originators do get paid when their, when their work is repurposed? Yeah. So in the initial place if you upload content as a new creator, which is not A I generated content, we ensure that it's really original content that you're on the right tool. That's a really big step. We, we already took last year. We've been doing this from the very beginning with image. It's a, it's a bit easier with um images because there's a lot of A I tools which, which can dedicate um that, which we dedicate already to the, to the functions of that uh detecting that type of content. We are also building a music function in the A I studio which is going to launch in the next month. Um And that music studio, we are working uh with partners for that content specifically. Now, music is where it gets a little bit more complicated than images, right? There have all for as long as music has uh existed, there have been these discussions about who owns what intellectual property, who gets what royalty? How are you thinking about that? From a limewire perspective? Um I think about that Drake and the weekend song that was created by A I. There are a bunch of writers behind them. There are a bunch of people who are supposed to get royalties when their songs are used. How does limewire um Think about this. How are you making that simpler if, if you are? Yeah, definitely. I mean, especially the drag song is a very good example. Um I think we are still quite, quite a bit away from, from solutions like this, especially in this example, from a tech perspective that creator really took a lot of time in different A I models to create that song. Um What we will start with is a functionality where with a simple prompt, you can already generate a track. Um So that's a full, full track um music composition. Um And all the music that is being used to generate that track is licensed music of a library um that we are using and that we own the rights to together with our partners. Uh So we really ensure that also the creators, the artists that are behind the original content uh get, get uh compensated fairly on the platform. And Marcus, if you had to give us a ballpark number, how many creators are using the platform? Oh, that's a really good question. So it's in the tens of thousands. We have a couple of really big ones. I would say around 100 headline artists, including creators like artists like that mouse who's very into the web free space as well or black uh hip hop artists from the US. Uh But tens of thousands really, I would say upcoming artists, medium sized artists and creators um and thousands joining really every day, every month uh now using the A I studio. So it's, it's quite all right. It's very, very exciting to see so much engagement on the platform. Yeah. All right, Marcus. Thank you very much for joining the show this morning and we look forward to seeing how the project develops. Thanks for having me. Thank you guys. That was Li Wire's Chief Operating Officer Marcus Heist.

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