The seemingly eternal battle creators find themselves in with misappropriation of their images or blatant copyright infringement and theft is exacerbated by a rapidly evolving tech world, and so far, the processes there for protection have been slow to adapt. However, Blockai, a forward thinking company is pushing new boundaries to make life easier for the creative making copyright simple, and free.
Copyright, unsurprisingly, can be a heated topic among creatives. In the US, copyright is automatically granted to the author of an original work, that otherwise meets the basic copyright requirements, and registration is not necessary. However, registration cements a copyright holder’s rights, creates the possibility of enhanced “statutory damages” should that copyright be infringed upon and is often considered to be a prerequisite before a lawsuit can be filed. Registration isn’t that expensive, (around $65 for a collection of about 750 photos) but unfortunately, most photographers forget or just choose not to register their images.
Registering is relatively easy (as any government website can be) and there are services, like ImageRights, that help register your works with the Copyright Office, but if you are registering photos, say one a month, there is nothing that prevents issues in-between registering sessions. The company and service Blockai, helped cover photographers’ copyright and all the photographers have to do is inserts a simple hashtag and use the power of the bitcoin blockchain. Blockai has since evolved since we last wrote about them and they are even more determined to help creatives fight copyright issues.
Built on the platform of Blockai, Binded is a technology platform making copyright simple – digital photographers and artists use it to protect their work, for free. Since launching, Binded has collected over 10 million copyright records and has raised over $1.5 million from Mistletoe, Vectr Ventures, Asahi Shimbun, Sterling Ventures, Social Starts, M&Y Growth Partners, Tokyo Founders Fund and Scott & Cyan Banister.
Recently, they have raised $950k to democratize copyright. The new round of funding will build new integrations and add the ability to register copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. Soon they will add this ability to easily register copyrights and add Lightroom integration. Excitingly, Binded will search the web to find copyright infringements and will be launching this week.
How does it work? When you create an image you simple put it within the Binded vault (a private space to file your image copyrights) and for every image put in your vault, they create a fingerprint and write a permanent record to the bitcoin blockchain (they’re working on integration with every major platform and currently have it with Instagram and Twitter – you can also do this even if you’ve already published your image).
What does Binded actually do for you? Your image is monitored for copyright infringement, and if any if found they will give you actions to take. Binded gives you proof of creation if used when you first create an image. This can help you when sending cease and desist orders or DMCA requests. Keep in mind, as mentioned above. to win statutory damages in a lawsuit in America, you need an official U.S. copyright registration. In many other countries registration is not necessary in most cases. They plan on providing a service soon to allow you to register your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office.
It’s great to see a company that’s pushing to make life a bit easier for photographers and that may help keep our work from being stolen and thus some money in our pockets. Check it out here