In order to build their truly cutting-edge creations, 3D designers and artists must have a unique set of skills —from understanding color theory and the rules of light to in-depth software expertise. But once the designs are crafted and coded, how can the creators protect their authorship?
“It takes multiple disciplines to know the tools of 3D creation,” says D3CRYPT3D (now PolyPort) co-founder and COO Dosa Kim. “It delves into math and real world physics. The amount of work and knowledge that goes into one 3D file can be categorized with innovation and experience. That alone should be enough reason to protect the work that is done.”
That hard work can often fall victim to online theft, either from poor file encryption lending itself to an easy hack job or an accidental attribution fail. The startup aims to protect the designer’s hard work (and time and money). The platform immediately alerts the file creator if unauthorized parties try to access their files. On the requestor’s side, it displays a calling card with the artists’ contact information to promote legal channels of accessing the file. Essentially, the platform acts as a bouncer between you and outside parties attempting to gain access to your work.
The platform tracks who, what, when, where, and why when a file is shared. It also controls these factors in real-time, allowing the designer to gain true control over their 3D assets. “The technology works through an implementation of AES-256 RIJNDAEL encryption along with proprietary technology which controls granular permissions,” says co-founder and CTO Partha Ray. “Unless you have been given proper authorization to use the 3D-IP, it will prove difficult if not impossible to do so.”
Though still in preliminary phases, the platform has already garnered the attention of the folks at SXSW. It has been chosen as a finalist for the 2017 Interactive Innovation Awards in the category of Privacy & Security. At the conference the team will unveil new features including brand new UI/UX, drag and drop encryption, and upcoming plugins.
The team, including CEO Chloe Kettell, talks to Hypepotamus about using technology to address a common issue for artists and provide more details about the platform.
What’s your pitch for those unfamiliar with the technology?
Digital 3D assets and 3D intellectual property (3D-IP) are just as valuable, if not more, than the physical copy. It is time to change the culture that surrounds digital artists and to recognize that these are services and products that need to be protected. The measures we provide are for both legal and practical uses.
This industry/technology is relatively new. How are you dealing with this obstacle?
We too are new at all of this, but that is the nature of technology. It’s creating for something that hasn’t existed yet — answering and addressing problems. As for the industry and funding we are doing just that, dealing with them as they come in.
Why is this technology important to a one-person design team or a mid-size studio?
Our target audience are the people who use the technology to create. Law in entertainment, such as music, takes litigation to great measures to prove ownership. Architects, designers, and artists should have the same tools of protection and liability for the work that is created.
We believe that this is something that has been long overdue. Currently with the onset of 3D printing, it is very reminiscent of the days of Napster and unregulated downloads. Printers are making objects without ever knowing the artisans or any regard for the owner or artists involved in the creation of the piece.
Features like the calling card protect 3D work from being stolen. What happens once the product leaves the startup’s environment? Can it still be stolen?
The product is still in its preliminary phases. Our first rendition was a proof-of-concept. We realized that once the 3D-IP leaves our software environment, it is not protected. We went back to the drawing board and realized that we had to keep the data encrypted at all points. Anyone who happens to stumble across an encrypted file will be presented a calling card to the original author or creator providing a channel of communication to gain proper access to the 3D-IP.
To access the file, you will have to download and install the software and a dialogue can begin on how to obtain access to the file. The encryption that is in the new updated version is quite hectic. Basically you would need a lot, and I mean a lot of computing power, perhaps 1 billion CPUs and a lot of time, like 9 years with the current technology that is out there today to crack the encryption. We really do want to protect the 3D-IP, 3D intellectual property.
What’s your revenue model? Do you hope to expand to other markets — perhaps VR/AR content?
The revenue model currently is based on a freemium pricing strategy. Much of the law that deals with ownership favors corporations in the end. Without any metrics or any proof, it is hard for individuals (creators, owners, artists, etc.) to prove when the item is conceived. We wanted to provide creators a way to prove that the 3D model was created at a certain time on a certain machine by a certain person. With the theft of 3D-IP being as easy as a copy and paste function, the least we could do is stamp the object and make it a standard so that it would protect the rights of creators, authors, and original
What’s next for the startup?
We have some big plans in the future. Ultimately what we want to do is help make the 3D industry stronger by placing in metrics that give it some structure. We feel the imbalance of all the 3D file types that confuse so many users can be brought to a standard foundation . It’s a tall order, we know, but we really do believe in the technology. 3D files are the new jpgs and with the proper groundwork, we can create an environment in which the creators are rewarded and not fall away to hackers or unscrupulous manufacturers. So that ideas are celebrated and people who took the time to learn the facets of 3D get recognition for the many useful things that they create.