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Announcing the 'Anime Chain Initiative' to Resolve Copyright and Ethical Issues Associated with Generative AI and Expand the Content Ecosystem

AI and blockchain experts have established a preparatory committee aiming to set up a production environment where creators and companies can use generative AI safely and securely.

January 9, 2024, 6:00 PM (JST)
“Anime Chain” Preparatory Committee

Today, AI and blockchain experts in Japan have established the “Anime Chain” Preparatory Committee, aiming to provide a generative AI including the foundation model exclusively with opt-in training data whose legitimacy is ensured through blockchain technology. This is in response to current copyright and ethical issues associated with generative AI, and to further expand the content ecosystem from the traditional focus on Europe, America, and Asia, to a more global ecosystem including regions such as the Middle East and Africa. With the realization of this initiative, we aim to set up a production environment where creators and companies can use generative AI safely and securely, free from copyright and ethical concerns. We also strive to resolve the labor shortage in anime production which is an issue for the whole industry.

We have launched an X account to share the latest information on this project.
Japanese account: https://x.com/anime_chain_jp
Global account: https://x.com/anime_chain

■What is the “Anime Chain Initiative”?
This initiative aims to expand the content ecosystem, set up an environment where creators can continually engage in production, and maximize their earnings.

1 Setting up an environment safe and secure for creators
With our goal to respect creators' rights, we will provide a generative AI rebuilt from the foundation model utilizing only opt-in material that has received the consent of the rights holders, along with related tools. Furthermore, in order to ensure the transparency and legitimacy of the generative AI, we will record the development process on the blockchain. This approach aims to address both copyright and ethical issues related to generative AI.

2 Resolving the labor shortage in the content industry
Despite the increasing global demand, the Japanese content industry, especially anime, faces a labor shortage in production. To address this urgent situation, we believe adopting generative AI with a legitimate lineage by utilizing the blockchain is essential. Our goal is to create an environment where quality content can be produced more swiftly, even with limited personnel, preventing industry stagnation due to labor shortage and striving for sustainable growth.

3 Maximizing creator earnings
We plan to return the earnings from the content produced by generative AI not only to the creators but also to the rights holders of the training data based on the history of generation recorded on the blockchain. By disclosing the production process of the key frames and images used for training data, creators can maximize their earnings, allowing them to focus more on creative production.

■ Vision
The vision of this initiative is to foster healthy growth in Japan's esteemed entertainment content, such as anime, manga, games, and VTubers, enhancing its sustainability.

In order to expand the content ecosystem even further, we will cooperate with future partners to provide products and services in areas currently not covered in the industry as a whole, such as actively advertising anime characters, matching content with advertising clients, supporting marketing for localizing, and collecting fan feedback.

We aim to expand our network of colleagues by incentivizing supporting partners and contributors through unique ecosystem tokens or similar methods and achieve our vision as soon as possible.

■ Roadmap
We aim to realize this initiative through a step-by-step approach of the following.

Step 1
- Create a cooperative framework involving the creator community and industry stakeholders
- Establish a guideline for the usage of content produced by generative AI
- Fundamental research in generative AI (images / videos / motion models)

Step 2
- Build a foundation model exclusively using opt-in material
- Begin providing a generative AI tool and managed GPU farm
- Produce our own piece of work with generative AI, provide production support, and organize hackathons
- Utilize tokens or similar methods for OSS developers and content creators to circulate, return, and visualize value, and provide financial support for development and production.

Step 3
- Build a foundation model exclusively with opt-in materials
- Construct a standalone blockchain
- Expand the content ecosystem
- Autonomous decentralization of the management organization

The “Anime Chain Initiative” promotes the use of generative AI in entertainment content and is a significant step toward resolving copyright and ethical issues. We will push forward sustainable development of the content ecosystem with this initiative.

◾️”Anime Chain” Preparatory Committee Members
The drafting members, advisory board, and supporting partners of the “Anime Chain” Preparatory Committee are currently composed of domestic experts on entertainment, content, AI, and blockchain. In the future, we intend to have participation from anime industry professionals and related companies, both domestically and internationally.

Shuhei Mise
Advisor (Former CEO) of Turingum K.K., Founder of Zeal Nova
With 10 years of experience in the financial industry, including roles at Mitsubishi UFJ Bank and BNP Paribas Bank, he entered the web3 industry in 2018. After serving as a senior consultant at bitFlyer, he assumed the position of CEO at Turingum Inc. in 2021 and currently serves as an advisor. In 2023, he co-founded blockchain game publishers, ZEAL NOVA DMCC and TOKYO BEAST FZCO. He also serves as an advisor in multiple web3 companies.

Paji / Hajime Ataka
Co-Founder / Executive Vice President (Director) of Tokyo Otaku Mode
After working as a freelance engineer, he joined the founding team of Tokyo Otaku Mode. As the COO and co-founder, acquiring 20 million anime fans on Facebook, and oversaw all aspects of business including e-commerce. Starting in 2017, he began researching and conducting demonstration experiments in blockchain. He has been involved in several blockchain projects, including producing a web3 TV anime and collaborating with NounsDAO, among many others.

Naohito Tamaya
Founder of Arriba Studio, Oasys, double jump.tokyo
After working in the IT/game industry, he fully committed to the web3 industry. He currently serves as a founder/producer/advisor for multiple web3 projects, such as My Crypto Heroes.

Hironobu Ueno
CEO of double jump.tokyo, Inc.
While at Nomura Research Institute, he focused on financial infrastructure and at Mobcast Inc., developed a game platform. In April 2018, he co-founded double jump.tokyo Inc. He collaborated with major game companies to create and manage multiple blockchain games (BCGs) featuring popular IPs. To further enhance the user experience of BCGs, he played a crucial role in establishing and developing Oasys, the blockchain tailored for gaming.

Arai Mono
CTO / AI Artist / Engineer of AIHUB, Inc.
As a PM/Pdm/Architect, he has been involved in numerous startups and projects primarily in the entertainment x tech industry. He participated in the establishment of the Japan Linux Association and the ORCA Project by the Japan Medical Association ORCA Management Association. After founding AIHUB, Inc., his efforts are centered around the research of generative AI, use case development, implementations for society, and the fusion of responsible AI and web3 technology.

■ Feedback on the “Anime Chain Initiative”
The “Anime Chain Initiative” was born in response to the specific insights gathered from active professionals in the content industry. We plan to update the initiative based on feedback not only from industry professionals and related companies but also from creators and fans. We welcome your candid opinions to help realize a better vision. Please share your thoughts with us on X (formerly Twitter) using the hashtag #AnimeChain.

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