Since ethics (from ancient Greek ἔθος - or ήθος -, "isthos", behavior, costume, habit) is that branch of philosophy that studies the objective and rational foundations that alow to distinguish human behaviors in goods, tastes or morally lenient, compared to the behaviors considered bad or morally inappropriate, the term code of ethics defines the set of principles of conduct that reflects particular criteria of adequacy and opportunity, in reference to a particular cultural, social or professional context.
The Rights Chain Initiative was born as an idea to offer the creators of Digital Works a tool that can be considered the starting point for the identity of their works. A simplified tool that allows artists to attribute title and creation date of their Artworks globally and permanently. A way for Artists to mark these features in a way that is recognized even at a legal level, offering a simple and minimal tool that allows them to manage and attribute a licence to their Artwork (typically Creative Commons).
The Rights Chain Initiative was born from the will of its founders to give birth to an organization with strong ethical principles, which would devote its time and resources to the creation of tools for an organized and ethically correct diffusion of Digital Works.
Rights Chain is an initiative that, alongside the practical problem that it intends to solve, is driven by ethical principles and that, for the same reason, approaches the solution in an ethical way.
Given the (noble) goal of establishing tools for the defense of identity (in other words, its creation date and author) of a Work of ingenuity, Art or Fantasy, the way in which all problems are analysed, the technological solutions are realised and stored data is processed, follows the ethical principles underlying the project itself.
The Mission of the Rights Chain Initiative is to give concrete support to all artists who give inspiration to people with their creativity. Because the intellect and the abilities of individuals are something that from an ethical and moral standpoint require someone to take the initiative and decide to fight to defend it.
This Code of Ethics represents the values, as well as the moral and ethical principles with which Rights Chain has created its own project, its idea and its mission.
Where does a work begin? When was it truly realised, and by whom? And how can you prove it? In the age when the Internet, and with it all the various social networks, allows the distribution of global content almost instantly, the reversal of the notorious medal that can be acquired is the difficulty of demonstrating ownership of the original work. Artists produce digital content of all kinds: illustrations, sketchnotes, drawings, photographs, 3D models, ideas, projects. Masterpieces of intellect which in turn constitute inspiration for old and new generations, which infuse emotions to those who observe or admire them.
Artists are faced with the opportunity to produce works and spread them all over the world in a few seconds. On the other hand, they are constantly living in the condition in which their works are redistributed by individuals who arrogate ownership, or magically turn them into their own creations.
The digital market of Internet, and that of patent and copyright companies even before the digital age, still offers an extensive portfolio of services for copyright protection, intellectual property, creativity, or genius, with often inaccessible costs for who looks to the art world in any form, and is "forced" to spread their creations without protection that can be exploited in some way to their advantage, such as for professional engagement.
Rights Chain Initiative was born by observing this scenery and wants to offer artists of the digital age a simple tool that allows them to spread their creations with greater protection, and above all with the copyright that is defined by the Berne Convention. The protection is automatic, no registration or copyright notice are required.
Rights Chain Initiative was born with the idea of creating a new global collaborative paradigm in which Artists have tools that are simple and at the same time solid and avant-garde, to help support the diffusion of their creations and find tools that can support them on a professional level.
There is a whole ecosystem of services, companies, publishers gravitating around artists, and Rights Chain intends to create a Platform of Services that will allow Artists to feel reassured when interacting with this ecosystem.
In an age when Social Network and online services have completely lost the sense of "humanity" between a service provider and the final user, Rights Chain intends to overturn this paradigm with an extremely challenging initiative: to create a human relationship between the Artist and its Platform, by keeping direct contact with the Artists, such as taking part in fairs, conventions, or events.
Because the intellect and the abilities of individuals are something that from an ethical and moral standpoint require someone to take the initiative and decide to fight to defend it.
Rights Chain was born with the idea of giving artists of the digital age a suite of tools that can help them defend their inventive, creative and intellectual property.
Tools that will enable them to prove they are the true authors of a digital work distributed through dispersive and uncontrollable channels such as the Internet and Social Networks.
Based on the fact that the tools may require continuous innovation, it is part of the Rights Chain mission to maintain a continuous research & development process in constant contact with the Artists and all the actors involved in the ecosystem that gravitates around them, with the aim of adapting existing tools and continuing to innovate its platform providing new features that can help the Artists in their work.
In order to create more and more useful and effective tools for Artists, Rights Chain intends to establish relationships and collaborations with Publishers and Academies, companies that offer services or products for Artists in order to center around each single artist the possibility of drawing on whatever may be of support, interest or assistance.
The Rights Chain Initiative is strongly motivated and driven by ethical foundations in the protection of intellectual property of Artists.
The compliance with laws, transparency, accuracy in managing the data and materials entrusted to the site, trust and cooperation with artists who in turn trust in Rights Chain, are the ethical principles by which Rights Chain itself is inspired and from which it derives its own patterns of conduct.
The following text is the integral text of the Code of Ethics (hereafter the "Code") in force within Rights Chain.
The success of our business depends exclusively on the trust and confidence we gain from the artists, collaborators, customers and partners. We gain credibility by following our commitments, demonstrating honesty and integrity and achieving the success of our Organisation solely through an honourable conduct. It is easy to say what needs to be done, but the evidence resides only in our actions. In the end, we will be judged for what we do. In considering each action, it is wise to ask oneself:
Will this action create trust and credibility for Rights Chain? Will it help create a working environment in which Rights Chain will succeed in the long run? Can I pursue the choice I'm making over time?
The only way we will be able to maximise our confidence and our credibility is answering "YES" to all these questions.
We all have the right to work in an environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. Rights Chain is committed to creating a collaborative working environment based on these principles because it is the only way to allow each individual to make the most of and to contribute constructively to the work of our Organisation.
We can not, but above all we do not want to waste any talent.
Rights Chain is an organisation committed to providing a working environment without discrimination or any form of abuse, offence or harassment.
Any co-worker or person involved in harassment or discrimination should notify the person concerned.
In view of non-invasiveness of the personal sphere of the registered users and their habits, we have decided to act against the market trend.
No collection of "habits" of our subscribers, no advertising service acquired from outside. We do not intend to collect this kind of information on behalf of third parties, so Rights Chain does not collect data for statistical purposes or to sell this type of information to third parties.
In the same way, Rights Chain does not collect data on the habits of its visitors, by abandoning the adoption of third-party statistical tools (e.g. Google Analytics) on visits to its Internet websites.
In Rights Chain anyone should feel free and confident in sharing their own opinion or idea, especially in respect of ethical issues. The board is responsible for creating a working environment that encourages collaborators and all people involved in the initiative and the Organization to ask ethical questions. Everyone takes a huge advantage when people avoid making mistakes by asking the right questions at the right time.
Rights Chain will investigate any report of violation or non-compliance with its ethical code. In any circumstance where anti-ethical behavior is to be found, the Organization will have the right to intervene in the most appropriate manner. Rights Chain will not tolerate retaliation against collaborators who raise genuine ethical concerns in good faith.
All collaborators are encouraged, in the first place, to address these questions to their own leaders or those responsible for the land area, so that they can be addressed and resolved in the shortest possible time. If, for any reason, this should not be possible or the collaboration should not feel comfortable in raising the issue with to raise the issue with their own representative, the collaborator can contact the Rights Chain CEO directly.
The main focus of Rights Chain is directed at the artists, the creators of the digital age. All Services developed and delivered through the Rights Chain Platform are intended to provide artists with tools for registering their own works through licensing forms such as Creative Commons, provide information on how to spread their works through digital channels such as the Internet, and the automatic copyright as defined by Berne Convention.
In managing relationships with Artists, Rights Chain reserves the right to verify the identity of each individual Artist through various forms, including knowledge about an event or fair through identity documents verification, or through a referral process through other Artists already accredited on the Platform, publishers or art academies. This mode is necessary to ensure the veracity of the data in the Rights Chain systems as well as to provide the artists themselves with a series of high value added services.
Any information obtained from the Artists or collected through the Rights Chain Platform will be considered confidential and will not be transferred to third parties under any circumstances. Rights Chain does not intend to sell the data collected in its database either in whole or in part. Each Artist is entitled to request, at any time, a copy of all the information that is kept at a given moment within the Rights Chain Platform. Such information will be sent in a suitable technical time without tampering, alteration or variation.
The records of works are permanent and unalterable. Not any collaborator of Rights Chain, Partner, Developer, Service Provider, Third Party, or even database developers themselves can alter or modify the data saved within the Blockchain system where registrations are kept. This condition also persists in the event of termination of the service delivery relationship with the Artist.
The Artist who, regrettably, should wish to abandon the Platform and the Rights Chain Initiative will receive, without tampering or alteration, the entire content of the database, a copy of all digital registrations and keys with which digital signatures have been generated.
Through the Rights Chain Platform, the Artist can always verify the validity and veracity of the Registrations of his work even after the elimination of his data.
Rights Chain does not hold, and will not retain, any right, privilege or permission to use, unless expressly authorized by the Artist, the works that were previously retained on its Platform, nor shall it deny that it has, on behalf of the Artist, registration of the Artwork.
The Executive has the additional responsibility to demonstrate, through its actions, the importance of this Code. In any activity, ethical attitude does not "happen", but is rather the result of a clear and direct communication of behavioral expectations, shaped from the top and demonstrated by their actions as an example. Still, our actions are what counts.
For this Code to work, the board must be responsible for a quick reaction to any ethical issues or perplexities that should be manifested by the collaborators, and for an appropriate approach to the problem. The board of directors, as well as designated area members, should not consider the employees' ethical issues as a threat to their authority, but rather as an encouraged form of alternative communication. In Rights Chain we want the ethical dialogue to become a natural part of all activities.
The Rights Chain commitment to integrity begins with compliance with laws, regulations and rules where we do our business. In addition, every person involved in the Organization must have knowledge of corporate policies, laws, and rules that apply to each specific role. If we are not sure that a given action is permitted by the Law or the Rights Chain policies, we should request for advice from an expert in the specific field. We are responsible for preventing violations of the law and bringing any violations to light.
Because of the nature of the activities carried out by Rights Chain, a number of clauses are proposed below specifications.
We are destined to ethical, correct and energetic competition. As Rights Chain, we offer the market services based on merit, superior quality, functionality, response to the needs of Artists and Partners to which we are targeting, as well as competitive prices. We will make marketing and price decisions independently, without cooperating or coordinating with our competitors. We will not bid or solicit inadequate payments during the acquisition of products and/or services for Rights Chain or the promotion of its Services, as well as we will not engage or involve, directly or indirectly, in illegal activities of boycott or sabotage of customers, competitors, or anyone else.
It is our commitment to safeguard by all means necessary the Intellectual Property Rights of the Rights Chain Artists, as well as that of our Partners and all collaborators who use the Services provided through our Platform. For this reason, Rights Chain will in no way attempt to appropriate or to be considered in any way entitled to any intellectual property that is managed, stored or processed. This line of conduct is valid during the relationship period between the parties, as well as after the end of the relationship.
By virtue of the Rights Chain Mission, respect for Intellectual Property is the ultimate asset, as well as the absolute summit of our Code of Ethics. For this reason, Rights Chain will not acquire or attempt to acquire, through improper methods, the intellectual property of its competitors, collaborators or partners, as well as will not attempt to obtain possession of confidential information of the same. We will not engage or have anyone engage in unauthorized use, copy, distribution or alteration of software or other intellectual property.
In a market that does not have any mercy on its competitors, spreading information prematurely or without due care may be harmful to the entire Organization. We will therefore not spread selectively (during one-to-one meetings or small discussions, meetings, presentations, proposals or any other occasion) any material classified as reserved, confidential or non-public in the respect of Rights Chain security and confidentiality policies on market operations, projects, future developments, financial plans or operations. We will need to be particularly attentive when submitting presentations or proposals to Clients, Partners or new Collaborators to ensure they do not contain material which is unauthorized for circulation.
Rights Chain is committed to keeping the work environment, whatever it is, safe for the health of its employees and guests.
We must avoid any relationship or activity that could damage, even just apparently, our ability to make right and objective decisions when doing our job. There are moments when we might find ourselves in a situation where the decisions we make on behalf of Rights Chain may conflict with our personal or family interests. We must recognise our duty to Rights Chain to pursue the legitimate interests of the Organisation when the opportunity to do so arises. We should never use Rights Chain property, means or information for our own gain, or appropriate opportunities that can be discovered by co-operating with Rights Chain.
Here are some examples in which a conflict of interest may arise:
Determining a conflict of interest status may not always be easy. All collaborators who should be in doubt about such a circumstance, should turn to the board to deal with the problem and find a fair solution.
Rights Chain undertakes to compete exclusively on the merits of its products and Services.
It is important to avoid all those actions that create the perception that claims, received or obtained favourable treatment from outside parties to Rights Chain in return for personal preference. These conditions include gifts, meals, snacks, refreshments, entertainment or others benefits from people or companies with whom Rights Chain has or can entertain business relationships. We will not accept any form of courtesy that could constitute, or could reasonably be perceived as constituent, inventive to unfair or violating the law, the internal policies of Rights Chain or its Customers and Partners, or that would embarrass or reflect negatively on the reputation of Rights Chain.
The general line of conduct should be not to accept third-party commercial favors resulting from the position held within Rights Chain. Although it is not advisable to request favors by leveraging the position within the company, and it is never correct to do so, it is possible to accept such favors that show the success of relationships and collaboration between companies and Rights Chain.
Employees who receive prizes must pay particular attention to the fact that the situation does not give the perception that a favoritism condition has occurred or any other situation that could harm the reputation of Rights Chain. The most prudent approach is to refuse any form of favor when, in the name and on behalf of Rights Chain, an acquisition or renewal of a supply of goods or services is under way, a condition which might give the impression that by providing favors of some sort could be a way to get into business with Rights Chain.
Occasional invitations to lunch, refreshments, entertainment or similar forms proposed or offered by a third party may be accepted, provided that:
Collaborators may accept non-monetary (including the so-called "cryptocurrencies") gifts that conform to ethical market practices, including:
In general, employees can not accept any fees, or money in any portion of entities with which Rights Chain collaborates or could cooperate in the future.
Tangible value bargains (including tickets for sporting or entertainment events) should not be accepted unless the Rights Chain Board of Directors approves.
Collaborators offering business favors must ensure that it can not reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to unfairly trade favours or benefits that might otherwise reflect a negative image of Rights Chain. A collaborator can not under any circumstances use their own resources to achieve a goal that can not be pursued with Rights Chain resources. The use of commercial favours must be carried out in accordance with the procedures and policies of the Organisation.
Rights Chain can offer its customers, suppliers, Partners, or third parties non-monetary compliments (e.g. bearing the Organisation's logo).
The board may also approve other forms of courtesy, including meals, refreshments or entertainment activities of reasonable value, provided that:
We ensure that all financial information provided to the public is complete, correct, accurate, punctual and understandable. This obligation is extended to all employees including financial managers as well as the figures involved in the production, verification and publication of reports. No end can justify data misrepresentation or falsification.
Collaborators who should come to know about data anomalies, tamperings or alterations, as well as inaccurate or misleading information.
We create, retain, and have the records of our Organisation as a normal course of events in conducting our business, in compliance with all internal management policies and with regulatory requirements.
All records must reflect true, accurate and complete information, and all data must be promptly and accurately entered in the records in accordance with the policies of the Organisation and other applicable accounting standards.
Any audits should be granted without attempting to influence their outcome, alter the presented data, or interfere with the review process.
At certain times, we are faced with decisions we would rather not make and problems that it would be easier to avoid. Sometimes, we hope that by avoiding facing the problem, it will simply disappear on its own.
Rights Chain has a mission that is complex and difficult to deal with, so we must have the courage to face difficult situations by taking equally difficult decisions, confident that in the experience and knowledge of Rights Chain, those decisions are the right ones. Sometimes this means doing more than simply required by the law, because the possibility to follow a line of action does not mean that it is the one that should be followed.
Although the guiding principles of Rights Chain can not address every problem or provide an answer to every dilemma, they can define the spirit with which we intend to do business and which should guide us in our daily conduct.
Each of us is responsible for knowing and adhering to the values and principles set forth in this Code and raising reasonable questions or doubts as to whether we are uncertain of the Organisation policies. Any doubt about the lack of observation, or the violation of this Code should be communicated to the designated manager. Should this not be possible, any employee can contact the Rights Chain CEO directly.
An important part of the success of Rights Chain is the protection of confidential information concerning the Organisation, as well as private information entrusted to us by employees, customers and other partners (including vendors and consultants). Confidential and proprietary information include, but are not limited to, pricing and financial data, customer names and addresses, non-public information from other companies, including the names of potential suppliers and vendors. We will not disclose any confidential information or publish it without a valid commercial purpose and with appropriate authorisation.
Organizational resources, including time, materials, equipment, media, information, software, and space, are provided for professional use only and limited to Rights Chain activities. Nevertheless, occasional personal use is allowed as long as it does not affect work performance or cause damage to resources or work environment.
The employees and representatives of Rights Chain who are allowed to use their resources to carry out their work are also trusted with the accurate storage and use of the resources themselves. Designated managers are responsible for ensuring the proper use of such resources as well as their verification and disposition, and management of any issues that should arise from their use.
In general, the use of the Organisation resources is not allowed for outside work, religious or political activities or other external activities, except for those supporting non-profit organisations licenced by Rights Chain.
In order to defend the interests of the Rights Chain network and its employees, Rights Chain reserves the right to verify all data contained on the assets provided to its employees, including computers and mobile devices, and the use of the Internet or Rights Chain Intranet. The use of company resources for the purpose of creating, accessing, storing, printing, requesting or sending any material that is of harassment, threat, abuse, discrimination of any kind or in any case offensive or inappropriate will not be tolerated.
Rights Chain operates in areas that can put its collaborators in the condition of getting in touch with journalists or other members of the press and the media. In order to ensure adequate and consistent communication with the press and media, all interview requests or queries must be submitted to the public relations office. It is not permitted to provide press conferences or statements without proper approval from the public relations office.
There are several key questions that can help identify situations that may be immoral, inappropriate, or illegal. Ask yourself:
Before being an Organisation, Rights Chain is an Ethical Initiative: our goal is to be able to work and devote our time to a job that not only represents our own personal satisfaction, but also the ability to carry on an important initiative, like the one we set out to in our Mission, respecting all the values in our Code.
We deeply believe in the principles we have listed in this Code, which is also the first officially drafted document at the time of the initiative foundation. We believe that a collaborative environment based on solid and shared moral principles can really change things. We have an important Mission to deal with, and only through a cohesive and decisive view can we truly be a Team. An unstoppable team composed of the Rights Chain collaborators, all the Artists who trust us, our Customers, our Partners. A team that can support each other in dealing with problems and difficulties.
Because the intellect and abilities of individuals are something that from an ethical and moral standpoint requires someone to take the initiative and decide to fight to defend it. And it is the Rights Chain Team who defends it.
Sebastian Konstanty Zdrojewski
Rights Chain Initiative Founder
(C) 2019 Rights Chain Ltd., Suite 3, 4th Floor, 1 Duchess Street, London, United Kingdom, W1W 6AN, Company Number 10958576 Registered in England and Wales.