disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate, comical transcription errors amongst others)
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Kristina: I got on stage and I was like, Hey, so, you know, I'm an IP attorney. I'm just curious to know, do you have all your paperwork for the artists because you can't just simply just send someone's picture without their permission.
And I can not tell you the vitriol that I immediately got. From the group saying, Hey, only good vibes here. You know, let's not rain on anyone's parade, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I'm trying to say, I'm, I'm not trying to, they're not like I want, actually want to help I'm coming on here. And I actually generally want to help you to make sure that you're protecting what you just made because people forget.
Or sometimes I feel like, honestly, forget that just because the medium has changed, the law doesn't apply.
Laide: That was Kristina Liburd. Kristina is the founder and CEO of Viageur, a travel company that aims to take the stress out of planning trips. With it's AI driven digital concierge service, Viageur not only provides travelers with safety information on their travels, but also saves travelers, valuable time on destination research and planning, bringing them closer to hidden gems events, and many other great activities while they travel.
Kristina is also an IP rights attorney. She has worked in different legal and executive capacities for various companies like Sony music, entertainment and Combs enterprises. In this episode, we discuss IP rights and what many creators overlook as they aim to capitalize on the offerings of web three and blockchain technology.
Kristina also shares her insights on what needs to change legally to ensure that artists and collectors are protected. I'm not an artist in the traditional sense, but I found Kristina's insights quite valuable. I'm sure you will too. Without further ado. Here's Kristina. Hi, Kristina, welcome to the Onchain Medley Podcast.
How are you doing today?
Kristina: I am doing pretty fantastic. I am smuggled underneath a blanket right now. Sipping some tea, trying to just stay.
Laide: I love it and enjoy. Thank you. Let's just start off with your background and what you've been up
Kristina: to and how you found your way into web three and what that journey has been like for my background first and foremost, I'm actually an IP attorney.
So I've been an attorney for the last 10 going on 11 years and my life essentially been copyrights and trademarks. So I've always had a pulse on what is new and upcoming. In technology. I have many clients that I've had in the past. Mostly of them have been on the creative side. So I used to work for sort of music.
I used to work for bad boy. I worked with different artists and then that moved into startups to the point where I decided that I want to be a startup founder as well. So I started my own travel tech startup called Viageur which is a mobile application that helps you apply your tropes and keep you safe using AI technology, and also seemed to be blockchain as well.
My foray into web3, it was gradual, I think from an IP perspective, you know, you're, you're really interested in what the new technology is because normally the law doesn't really catch up. So it just rinsing. What new innovative things are happening. And so my first real taste of it was crypto. I had a couple of friends who I call the crypto grows.
The crypto bros were very much into it and they were trying to tell me about it. And I honestly, it was probably years ago. Then if I really think about the first time I was really truly introduced, which was Bitcoin. And I regret now not getting into it. Then at the time, I would have been probably a billionaire, but, but yeah, so I think my down the rabbit hole moment was about.
A year ago. And I started to just look around and see the things that people were do within this space. Since a lot of it started to promulgate, I think much more with in particular circles this past six months, it just blew up for me. I was going to end up teamwork and places. I bought my first NFT this past summer.
And then I started thinking about. How could this technology be used and what I'm doing. And that's how we began to realize. Dive into the technology that we're doing with AI and seeing how we can lead this into a decentralized identity form on, on our platform. But overall, it's been a really interesting ride.
My goal now is to onboard as many different people as possible, particularly for creators as well. So my clients are travel influencers. And so it is Michael. Year or so to onboard at least a hundred different travel influencers onto web three, and allow them to begin to explore about how they can now use this new sense of internet.
Whereas I call web2 the sharing internet, whereas the web three is the ownership internet, and empowering them to understand the value that. They have, rather than sharing it on user generated platforms like IgG and Facebook. So
Laide: thank you for sure. And that's definitely a very interesting background. And so since you've been doing the deep dive now for the last year, granted, you knew about it for years beforehand.
What was it about the technology that made you see something in it for you to now apply it to you and startup? Like what's the opportunity you see there? What does it unlock? Previously not possible with the web to world. Just say more about that for
Kristina: us. Yeah, sure. So one key aspect that we're looking at for our platform is the AI portion of it and actually molding it together with blockchain.
So I think if you really think about AI in that idea of the modules, being taught to understand what a person wants and needs and then anticipation of it, like. Big overlying idea that any particular AI engineer is trying to get to that point of anticipation and knowing what someone wants to do. And of course there'd been various versions of that through recommendation algorithms, definitely trying to keep a pulse in of how to keep people engaged in platforms like Google, like Facebook, but the idea that we were grappling with, I think a lot of people now, as the begin to understand.
Yeah, it does that. It needs a lot of data and we. As people have been treated as a data mine, all of our information is being taken without any compensation to us about how it's going to be used. There are. Huge owners, essentially with, we have no say in what that information is done. When now we're seeing even more and more things are coming out through blowers and things of that nature about how much evasive these types of apps are being used to get information from us to ensure that we don't really move anywhere.
And just so. A privacy perspective. Like it really rang true to me because I think I started to become desensitized very early on. So I was actually one of the very first users of Facebook I'm originally from Boston. So the Boston schools were in the very first. To really get integrated into Facebook. So I became desensitized to sharing pretty much everything that I was doing, including even some valuable content.
And we've become conditioned to just simply trust, except once we sign onto a web platform and then sign off all of our rights to whatever we create, again, from a parent's perspective, it really started to Ark me the more that I really thought about it, it was almost like a deconditioning had to happen.
Being careful about where I put my information, even though it may be free, it's not free. There's nothing in this book. That's free. There's always a cost. And as I began working with more influencers and creators, I began to really pick up on the fact that so many talented creators are out there pushing content to these platforms with no compensation whatsoever.
Other than the fact that they get some sort of cloud, depending on whether an algorithm gives them that cloud. And then it then becomes what else do I need to do to get people's attention? And there's no two way of users getting really direct contact with the people who are consuming their content without Facebook or Instagram or whatever, being in the middle of that.
And so. The woes and the cries of these particular creators, particularly for black and brown creators is just a very soft spot in my heart because I know the hard work that they do. And I already see it from a travel perspective about the deals that they don't. Versus their white counterparts. So I think at that point once I really put those things together about the, the sense of loss that they have from creating the, not getting the value for their, for their content, the three information that these platforms are getting and making billions of dollars every single day, it clicked for me how much more powerful web.
Could really be, and as we continue to build it out and we put together and I think it really integrate the ethos of we're all going to make it and that people should have ownership of what they create. I became, and I said for us at , we want to empower our travelers to understand. One, the way that our models are going to work is simply if you plug it in, we will work for you.
But once you plug out, that's it, there's no mining of information beyond that. And even before, when I really was creating the business model for Avaya, I already knew prior to knowing anything about web three, that I was never going to sell our information. There was never going to be any. On our platform.
I made that pledge from the very beginning. Even I had money. Embarrassing. Well, are you sure? I'm like, no, like that is the antithesis of what I'm cleaning this for and green this for people to feel comfortable and to know that their information is safe. So now with blockchain now we're looking at a decentralized identity.
Where once you connect your wallet, your information stays within your wallet and then once you plug up, that's it. And so we really want to make sure that as our users are putting in their particular likes and dislikes, what they like to do, where they're going, they can feel. Knowing that their information is not going to get out anywhere else.
And that the blockchain in of itself provides that additional level of security. And so additionally from that as well too, is the way that we see trouble in and of itself is that sometimes it can be a barrier for people when we're talking about currency. And so what we're doing is. We want to ensure that defy is definitely incorporated into our application to provide people the opportunity.
If they have done fairly well for themselves to use crypto or to invest into our tokens called VIP, which then provides them with the exact same level of value that they would get from using any kind of fee. So it's supposed to be a really community based. Token where not only do you have access to.
Our services, but you also have access to other travel related products and services out there. So it's really going to be more of like a loyalty program. And the more that you are able to use it, the more that you actually get back in return to you. So that way it will be a way to be anyone's wishes to travel in the future.
So we really want this to be the way that it really eases. Anyone's kind of. About working with people, making sure that you feel comfortable with people, making sure that you have a community that you can connect with.
Laide: Okay. Gotcha. I see. I just had a few questions that came up as you were speaking. The first one was when you mentioned ads you still a lot of travel companies serving ads.
And I just think of it as the cost of doing business. And then when you say talking to my tokens, I was curious, I was like, what's their business model. If you're not serving ads, then what's that business model like for you and as the token component that you're adding to. Help with that or how should I understand how it all works together?
Kristina: a great question. So let me actually come explain how the app works. So when you sign in and you create an account with the application, we essentially take in immediately what, the kind of things you like to do favorite locations. And so at that point, then we start making determination. What kinds of things you would like to do and start making recommendations from there.
Then we provide you with a list of activities and these activities are ranging, or like we, we have we're launching next week. And so we have about over 13,000 activities that you can pick from across the globe. And so. If you're, let's say a music person, then we'll pick out the most interesting or, or w we will find most likely that you like, you know, particular festivals, performances, et cetera.
And so now you're able to actually create a plan from that. And so we are. Connecting you with that vendor. And so you pay through us, we pay the vendor and then we take care of everything else for you. And then the next iteration of that will be an actual schedule as well, too. So we will schedule everything for you and create a whole entire plan for whatever length of time that you're looking at.
We optimize it for you. So we'll look at your day and we'll say, okay, you're you don't want too many things off the day. So we'll put four things for you. We'll plan out lunch we'll plan on possibly dinner for you, and we'll make sure that you're going to. The best activities at the best time. So we're not going to send you to, let's say like, if you're going to purse, we're not going to say you to move the museum on a Saturday morning at 10:00 AM, because it's just gonna be packed when it likely will look at your schedule and say, well, the best time for you to go since you do have an interest in going to museums on a Tuesday, At 11.
And so that way you'll have the best. You'll have the time to actually appreciate what you have in front of you, but still making sure that we can fit everything as much as we possibly can. So we charge you for those options. That we book for you. And then if you want the additional services of the actual schedule that we, that that's an additional charge.
And so the token and of itself is our way really to fundraise and also to cover some of the social good projects that we want to do. Like I said, creators and those within business have suffered quite a bit during the pandemic. The token is also going to be access to a Dow that we're creating. And the social good projects will be to help out black and brown travel influencers and black and brown travel business owners to get access into it into the system and to have others frequent their business, to ensure that we have an equality portion of what we're doing.
And so that. Part of the things that we fundraise for, it will feed into and to be able to, to help out. That's neat. Thank you for
Laide: sharing that definitely agree with all the things you mentioned and especially diversity and really showcase in black and brown and other underrepresented businesses question then on what you mentioned earlier about, you know, keeping your identity and using a decentralized identity is expectation then that as a traveler or a consumer here, all my information is going to be only.
Accessible when I have like a wallet connected or is that identity piece mainly for like the travel influencers. I'm just trying to understand this. Everybody who uses your platform need to sort of have a wallet or is that sort of segmented based on the group of
Kristina: people? One key thing that we're, we're noticing as we're starting to speak to people in travel is that the idea of blockchain is still very new, right?
So there are a lot of people that we have to onboard and educate about what we're doing. So initially it's really going to be private gated. You'll have the option of using the regular, you know, web 2.0, I'm using a username and password and things of that nature. And then, you know, your identity will be protected the same way that we wouldn't share your information.
So it remains the same. Whereas if you want to go further and connecting a wallet, that information stays within your wallet. And so the only time you would access it is when you plug in, it's going to be for everyone. It's really done a big way for everyone. The influencers aspect of that is really outside of the application.
Laide: Okay. Gotcha. That makes sense. Thank you for sharing. That's awesome. No, that's exciting. And all the things you're doing, can't wait to see how things unfold over time. And hopefully, you know, we get out of COVID soon that way, you know, people can experience travel again because I definitely
Kristina: miss it. Oh, usually I like to leave the states at least like once a year, at least at minimum.
And so I'm itching. From us
Laide: in general, switching gears now. So since you've been an IP rights attorney or you are an IP rights attorney, you know, a lot of creators are swarming into this space. Everyone's talking about ownership and everyone's excited about all that. Just any sort of things you've seen so far.
I know everything's still new, but as a new credo is coming into this space, is there anything they should be aware of IP rights wise? Like what is your own, what is it. How should they think about that? And then eventually I want to talk about authorship versus ownership and any ideas you have there, but just to start, you know, as a critic coming to this space, and it was talking about IP and that's exciting about web three, what, what are your thoughts on that?
Kristina: Yeah. You know it's, it's an exciting time, definitely for creators, because I think we're now seeing with the, with the advent of NMT marketplaces, you're really starting to see artists and photographers having a place. Rather than just them sharing their information, they actually can benefit from selling a digital asset.
Right. So I'm trying to be very careful with my words, right. Because I feel I, you know, with all the token of NFTs and then people being really. There have been a jokes about just selling a JPEG. Well, I mean, you know there are, they're a little bit more on the outskirts. Maybe that's what it seems like to you.
And maybe that's how some creators also seen as well too, but there, there has to be some better understanding of it. Right? So the idea of the NMT is that you're selling a digital asset of your ownership, right? So when you talk about ownership, Copyrights. There's a the coal being the umbrella of rights.
So there's rice to distribute right? To privilege, to display, et cetera. There are a number of them. And so what you're selling is a particular portion of it and you're not selling everything right. That is not what I think. People go into this thing that they bought it and they can do whatever they want.
no, that's not true. And what you've purchased is the display, the right to display a particular piece of work. And so in a digital sense, and unless the author who is the artist or the photographer, or whomever has provided you for your rights then that, so they said, specifically, if you buy this and Ft, then you have also bought.
To disseminate it, to do a driven work of it, derivative work, meaning that you can transform it into other things. You don't have those rights. And so I think there is still a lot of education that needs to go into that for people who are first coming into NFTs about the digital asset, that they just bought the rights to display.
And it's great. Right. Because as I on it, I'm like, okay, let's get into conversation about what you actually bought, because it's fun for me. But you know, there's, there's still a lot of work to do with, with web. As I'm speaking to travel influencers, anyone who is being onboarded, that part of that education should be.
You simply just can't say, oh, just go ahead and go do it. And you know, here's a wallet and here's, here's how you get some cash. Like they really should be a little bit more to that, that when people understand the legal aspects of what they're getting into. Yeah.
Laide: One of the things I sit in with a lot of NFT projects is to your point, right?
People think they own the rights to everything, but also documentation around the NFT and what you actually own is it's not there. And I don't know if it's because these artists and they don't really think with legal stuff or they just don't know or. Or they're intentionally trying to not be clear. I always wonder like why that is like, do you think you just need some legal guidance?
Do you think every NFT or it needs to have its own documentation? Like you have to read the terms and condition.
Kristina: It's all the above specific. Sorry. Why I was into a Twitter spaces. A couple of weeks back. And it was, it was about this particular artist who had mentioned NFT collection. It was a limited amount of 20 or so, and she was really excited because she had sold every single piece.
And one key issue that I immediately saw was that there was this. That was in every single piece. And so as I'm listening in and she vaguely mentioned that the artist was part of it and, you know, she's, she's really lovely and things of that nature. And so I got on stage and I was like, Hey, You know, I'm an IP attorney.
I'm just curious to know, do you have all your paperwork for the artists because you can't just simply just send someone's picture without their permission. And I cannot tell you the vitriol that I immediately got back from the group. One saying, Hey, only good vibes here. You know, let's not read anyone's parade, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I'm trying to say, I'm not trying to make anything I want actually want to help I'm coming on here. And I actually generally want to help you to make sure that you're protecting what you just made because people forget. Or sometimes I feel like, honestly, forget that just because the medium has changed, the law doesn't apply and it still applies at the most basic element.
If you take someone's picture, you have to pay. But you have to get at least a rights to say that you have the right to do this. And I really don't think she did because I never really got a clear answer. And she just made a lot of scoffing noises about how could I ask this question? So, yeah, there's a still, I think a lot of information that goes into, and of course the as well too, because now that particular model.
Right, so that money, because she never signed off on anything saying that you could use this in this particular way. So whatever thousands of dollars that, that photographer me part of that money is going to be to that model. So there's still a lot. And I think the most basic sense as well, too, that people are forgetting that just because it's an NFT.
It lost. So applies here and have your paperwork ready and have things clearly mapped out before you get into this arena. Because nine times out of 10, if you were to bring a law suit, they would rely on the law books that they have. Right.
Laide: Yeah. I definitely sense that too. It's always like a good vibe. Oh man. I'm like guys, these are questions of any fast answers everyone's protected and treated fairly here. So it's very interesting how that's not the case. So then at that point then do you think the system and the legal system needs to sort of be Clara to accommodate this new technology or applications that we're seeing now?
Or do you think that that's something that made not ever come, just given how slow things move at the system level here in this country?
Kristina: Yeah, the law's always reactionary. There's never truly proactive. So what's going to happen is that there's going to be, it's usually through lawsuits, right? That we've we see any kind of movement.
And then based on those losses that have to be a number of lawsuits throughout different states within the us to say, okay, federal government, could you please do something? Because now we're having conflicting decisions. From different states and we need an answer. Right. So it might be years before we really truly see any clear clarification from the copyright act to what does that mean for ownership, taxes, et cetera.
Like all of that, it's going to be. And don't believe the hype of people saying, oh, you know, stuff, regulations that may come down, some regulation might come in, but there's no way they're going to answer all the questions. It's going to be one particular point. And the people are like, well, what about the rest of it?
It's okay. Just it's not going to happen. So I think for now, what projects need to be aware of as they are contemplating new solutions is to remember what the system is, right. And remember what needs to be done. And so to your, to your other point, that we talked about like authorship, that is another major issue that is in the energy space because people are stealing things and they can quickly mint something before you realize it.
And before you know it, thousands of dollars, maybe even millions of dollars has already lost to you because. So it just copied and paste it and then finish with some sort of protocol that mirrors something of the library of Congress. So the library of Congress is just really quickly, is it, is that of a depository.
It is a copy that any creator can provide to this government entity to prove ownership and that copy lives there within it. So if anyone wants to ever check to see who the actual author was. Then the library of Congress would be the one place to look like. So when you need a blockchain version of that, we need a third party entity that can say, or can be used as a means to verify author.
For projects. And so there has to be some sort of level of evidence that has to be submitted alongside with that. Simply just, you know, showing the, the, the JPEG as open. He doesn't let you do whatever you want to, it's not working. There's been too many projects that have been cheated out of, or for simply that matter.
Let's say this, and this is probably going to get me some dislikes, but simply taking a board. And then changing it into something a little, slightly different doesn't mean that you're not cheating the blood apes. It just means that you have just done something, a little different, which I'm sure board Dave's never gave you the right to do so, because like I said, it's underneath that umbrella of the right to create derivative works.
I'm pretty sure they didn't allow you to create new tint apes or did I not know?
Laide: I thought if it was that they did their right, their documentation is just like very open. Nobody
Kristina: knows if they did. That's great, but I'm sure there'd been other crypto punks and other people have made different versions of crypto funds that didn't have the right to do.
Okay. So there needs to be a very clear way. And I hope so that's couple of others, lawyer has put their together and say, okay, we're going to create this entity to be maybe like the worldwide library of Congress to validate authorship and also provides also consuming. A database of information that they know that they can trust.
Right. And so it's a major issue that, again, people, I think they're creating so fast and they're not thinking of the legal modifications to handle.
Laide: I agree. Definitely sounds like a big business idea. So if anyone's listening
Kristina: to continue talking about it, because there are a number of things that needs to translate into.
Laide: For sure. For sure. Yeah. You heard, you know, if you're working on it, reach out to Kristina, she can to you about it now. That's great. Yeah. It sounds like going forward. I mean, any artist, you can't assume the system's going to eventually catch up to you.
You have to do the work upfront, get your paperwork in tact to get all the rights that you need, document that clearly. So everyone knows what they're getting when they buy it. And also. What you expect when you sell it? Exactly. Yep. Okay. That's fair. Awesome. Thank you. So then going back to advisory your company, what's next for you all?
I know you've mentioned the tokens. What are the milestones? Are you working on, what should we
Kristina: expect? Yeah, so the MVP, like I said, is, is going to be dropped within the next two weeks or so. So we're looking for beta. You just come and we say break down. And find the bugs come help us rearrange what we have currently right now.
And then thereafter we have a couple of things. So from the development perspective, we are finalizing the features that I mentioned. So the first feature that we're working on next is the COVID-19 risk factor. So we're actually competing for you a particular risk for you going to a particular activity so that you just want to go to explore.
And you're like, Hey, what about this? We'll tell you based off of. This is what your particular risk is for COVID for the surgical area. So we're going to be rolling out that feature next, and then thereafter, we'll looking at the schedule optimizer as well, too. And then once we're ready to that, that will fully pull it onto the blockchain and then incorporate the wallet, do the KYC and things of that nature.
So in between all of that, we're also doing our token launch. We have a number, different things. We are planning airdrops coming in the next three weeks. If you want to get more information that when we have a white paper available, which we'll be unveiling tomorrow. So if you go to dot IO, you'll be able to get access to our.
The VIP website, along with our white paper. And then we'll be doing the number of airdrops throughout the course of the year. So definitely join our discord as well too. We're having some fun on there. We like to also provide you your travel inspiration as well to kind of give you some ideas about where you would like to go in the future that way when you do.
You will be able to move forward.
Laide: Nice, exciting. So when's the official launch for the company then when he's open to the public. So
Kristina: it will be open to the public immediately in the next two weeks. So anyone can jump in on it. You'll have over 13,000 activities throughout the course of the U S Europe, parts of Asia and Africa available to you.
I think south America and Australia. So actually really worldwide you'll be able to. You know, exploring they're already out there. You're already traveling. I hope this will definitely be
Laide: an asset. That's exciting. Thank you for sharing. Congrats again, and all the success you are having definitely rooting for you.
And can't wait to see how things take shape over time. Thank you so much. Yeah. Any recommended resources for the audience for people listening, just your favorite resources on learning more about blockchain travel, anything you want to share.
Kristina: So I actually created a oh one, three Bible for my people who are, was just beginning to onboard.
I'm very big on. Do your own research DYOR but I did. All a level on different questions, right? Like they're burning questions you might have and trying to figure out web three. So what I'll do is I'll definitely share that link with you. And so I have a bunch of my favorite Twitter threads videos. I have a dictionary of the words that you probably will hear quite often, if you don't know all the different web free lingo Also a number of assets, if you are a developer as well, to how to begin to refine your skills to become a blockchain developer.
So I'll definitely share that with you and everything. Yeah.
Laide: Awesome. Can't wait for everyone to see that. Thanks for sharing. And then just one question for you. I know things are hopefully gonna open up soon, as far as travel more globally. Just any fun places you want to go visit. When you do get the.
Kristina: So I actually have a couple plan for this year and depending on how COVID behaves, I might be able to leave the country. So Mexico, Dr. For a wedding by the
Laide: end of the year. Awesome. No, that's great. Do you like eat your own dog food? Do you actually use your advisor service? Cause you're an avid traveler.
So you, maybe you just know where to go or do you actually use it?
Kristina: Well, funny enough, I hate it. I created it because I needed help figuring out what I want to do because I just had so much FOMO helping me figure out is that as spending so much time going through too many blogs on web pages, this helps me figure out what is open, what I can do that.
Laide: Awesome solving your own problem. I love it. Yeah. And then how can people get in touch with you? What's the best way to connect with you? So
Kristina: Twitter is my go-to. So my my handle is @ktlristina
Laide: All right. I'll link all those to
the show notes. Yeah, Kristina, this is great. Thank you so much for sharing all your insights and I'm sure everybody will be better for it because I've had you on the show today. So thank
Kristina: you. Thank you for inviting me. I appreciate the time.
Laide: Thank you so much for listening.
If you enjoyed this stuff. Please subscribe wherever you listen to podcast. I'm your host Laide until next time.