The Daily Illini

YuVue app benefits social media users

By Jane Lee

A new startup company called YuVue aims to benefit society with an original application, which they describe as “Instagram with a paycheck.”

CEO William Fisher started YuVue with two University alumni, Tre Tomaszewski, chief technology officer, and Taylor Kirch, chief information officer; as well as Robin Rutledge, digital media entrepreneur. The group aims to add value to videos and photos posted on social media. 

“Social media has really transformed our behavior in a day-to-day way,” Fisher said. “The idea that everyone has their cellphone in his or her pocket and you’re able to capture these images and upload them very quickly is a remarkable thing.”

The company has been developing the interface of YuVue for over a year. They are currently holding a Kickstarter campaign, which ends on Dec. 22, to create a beta test.

Although social media plays a pivotal role, there are downsides that users may not have taken into consideration. Fisher said that when social media users post different content, the value users have created is “dissipated and diluted” by sharing the content with everyone. Further, users can lose control of their original work and their copyright. 

There are various solutions for social media users to gain control of their own work and YuVue may help users secure ownership of their content.

“We sort of collectively saw that there was a solution for this, and that really hinged on the ability to manage that content from the minute it was uploaded,” Fisher said. “When it comes to us, we secure the contributor’s copyright and then we post it on social media channels that the contributor would like and we ensure that all of the social media channels comply with that copyright.” 

With the problematic situations that can occur with copyright licensing, YuVue allows the user to tell the application what content they want uploaded and where to be upload it. Then YuVue continues to keep a secure look out for publishers who want to utilize a particular work.

Kirch said with content that contains a license agreement or copyright, there can be problematic situations when sharing photos with applications like Flickr. Even though licenses can be imposed onto the users’ work, it does not guarantee that other people won’t use the photo by simply copying and pasting or downloading the image.

“We’re developing watermarking technology that will just let us know whether or not it’s a photo that’s been taken without license consent, that piece will automatically be there,” Kirch said.

Kirch anticipates that journalists in particular may benefit from this app while reporting, as it allows for a quicker turn around in uploading photos and videos available for sale.

“Photojournalists who go on location and put themselves out there, didn’t have an option for getting monetary compensation in the same ways as they have in the past,” she said. “We see this as a game changer for professional photographers and videographers; it’s kind of like an independent marketplace.”

Maddie Galassi, freshman in Media, said that as a journalism student, she may find the app helpful while covering events.

“If you can kill two birds with one stone and make money off of it too, it would be really awesome.”

Fisher said the global commercial launch of YuVue is scheduled for April 2015. 

Jane can be reached at [email protected]

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article referred to YuVue’s chief information officer as Tracy Kirch. Her name is Taylor Kirch. Additionally, Robin Rutledge, digital media entrepreneur, was not included in the list of the founding members of YuVue. The Daily Illini regrets the errors.

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