Investigating digital licensing technologies news story

Investigating digital licensing technologies for the future of work

To explore the application of advanced digital licensing technologies in the future creative sector, the £10 million national research centre, DECaDE (Centre for the Decentralised Digital Economy) held a workshop on 22nd January, together with Digital Catapult and the University of Edinburgh. 

The workshop opened with an address from Catherine Shreeve, Innovation Delivery Manager at Digital Catapult, a DECaDE project partner and was joined by Prof. John Collomosse, Director of DECaDE at the University of Surrey and Dr. Chris Elsden, DECaDE Co-Investigator from The University of Edinburgh. 

Attendees experienced a demonstration of ORA-gen from Dr. Frances Liddell, Research Associate at The University of Edinburgh, a cutting-edge technical framework which explores how we might embed usage and attribution rights into digital content under a practice called ‘tokenised rights’ and engaged in a discussion challenging the existing narratives on ownership and digital rights management. 

Dr. Frances Liddell and Dr. Chris Elsden present at the DECaDE Creative workshop.

ORA-gen enables creators and end-users to independently prove ownership of their digital assets and any rights associated with them. It also allows users to embed metadata about creative work and output directly into the digital media, to be filed in ways that cannot be easily stripped – this includes provenance data and tracking the origin of all media involved in creating a new piece of work. This technology allows creators to design bespoke and machine-readable licenses for their digital content.  

Prof. John Collomosse, Director of DECaDE said, “DECaDE technologies will empower creatives with greater agency over where and how their content is used, and new way to generate value in the creative sector.  This is particularly important with the advent of new areas like Generative AI.” 

DECaDE, part of the Centre for Vision, speech and signal processing (CVSSP) at the University of Surrey explores how decentralised platforms enabled by emerging data-centric technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Ledgers and Blockchain may transform our future economy and the way we work, interact and create value. 

To find out more about the project please visit