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Date(s) - Fri 12/01/2017
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Although much of what we create and value exists only in our digital lives, no system exists for establishing individual ownership of many digital assets. By creating a universal system for digital property rights, Bitmark envisions a system in which everyone owns a piece of the digital economy. In the physical world: property = asset + title. Bitmark extends traditional property rights to digital property by creating a system that allows property titles, “bitmarks” to be assigned to digital assets, and recording the ownership and history of these bitmarks in a blockchain.

Among the many potential applications of Bitmark is the creation of title in artistic works that exist digitally.  Bitmark would not prevent the creation of unauthorized copies of digital works, but would provide a means for determining which works are authentic (i.e., actually created by the artist).  Bitmark provides means for securing and preserving title, and making sure the title cannot be forged, which are the essential elements of an effective system of property rights.

The California Resale Royalty Act (the “RRA”) provides that artists must be paid a royalty upon the resale of their works of “fine art,” under certain circumstances.  “Fine art” includes “an original painting, sculpture, or drawing, or an original work of art in glass.”  Obviously, as enacted, the RRA does not provide for royalty payments to digital artists.  Use of Bitmark would remove many technological and practical barriers from including digital artists within the RRA – but such inclusion could raise difficult questions involving choice of law and could revive debate over whether the RRA is preempted by federal copyright law.


Sean Moss-Pultz is the co-founder and CEO of Bitmark Inc., a Taiwan-based startup that empowers universal digital ownership so we can live free online.  He is an expert in developing technology for consumer electronics and Internet services, especially blockchain-related projects.  A pioneer of open-source hardware, Sean launched and was CEO of Openmoko Inc., the first open-source phone and a precursor to iPhone and Android smartphones. He has led his dedicated team of specialists across a number of successful projects who have now joined him at Bitmark Inc. Moss-Pultz holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from UC San Diego.

Cari A. Cohorn is a San Francisco-based attorney and the founder of Cohorn Law.  Cari devotes a significant portion of her practice to protecting and enforcing the intellectual property rights of artists, musicians, and other creatives.  She graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law and was named a Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2015, 2016, and 2017.


Date:  Friday, December 1, 2017

Time:  12:00 pm-1:15 pm

Place:  Hanson Bridgett LLP , 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, SF, CA 94105

Price and Registration:

Ticket Type Price (Before Ticketing Fees)
In-Person In-House Counsel Free
In-Person SFIPLA Member (Law Firm) $35
In-Person Non-Member $40
Student $10
Live Webinar $10

Click here to register and pay on-line, or mail your RSVP, desired ticket type, and check made payable to SFIPLA to us at the address on our contact page.


Thank you to our sponsor, Hanson Bridgett LLP, for hosting this meeting.

The San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association is an approved provider of California MCLE credit, and certifies that the above activity meets the requirements for one hour of participatory credit.