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Data sharing - Collection methods

A collection is a way to group protected data for sharing by the Data Sharing module. The Data Sharing smart contract operates on data contained within a collection. You must group data within a collection before choosing a method of distribution. The data owner is not restricted to only a single collection. This diagram illustrates all the options for protected data within a collection:

Data Sharing collection

Distribution options

The distribution choice impacts the visibility of the protected data when a potential consumer is browsing the collection. Inside a collection, a data owner may specify one of the following states:

Not distributed

Only the collection's owner can see it. This is useful for things in development, or when the owner wishes to release things for a limited time.

For rent

The collection's owner allows a consumer to pay a set price to access the data for a predetermined period of time. The smart contract ensures the consumer maintains access. Even if the collection owner de-lists the data or changes the rental terms, the consumer maintains their access for the duration of their rental term. Once the rental term is up, the consumer loses access to the protected data. If the user wishes to re-up their rental term, they are bound to any new price or duration changes the data owner makes.


This functions the same as a rental but with no price for the transaction. The data owner may still set a duration for the free access. This supports scenarios like a free giveaway, or a timed promotion.

Included in Subscription

The collection's owner may create one or more subscription models for distribution of their data. A subscription bundle is a subset of the protected data within the collection. Subscribers pay a set fee at a set cadence to maintain access to all protected data within the subscription. The collection owner may assign protected data to more than one subscription bundles at the same time.

The collection owner may add additional protected data to the subscription at any time. They may not, however, remove protected data from the subscription bundle if there are any active subscribers. A subscriber maintains access to all protected data within the subscription as long as they continue paying the subscription fee. The collection owner may de-list a subscription bundle by setting either the price, the duration, or both, to zero.

Both For Rent and Included in Subscription

The collection owner may set any combination of rental and subscription terms for any protected data in the collection.

For sale

The collection owner may list any of their protected data for sale. This is especially useful for dealers of digital assets like NFTs.