A shield in the battle against theft: Blockai hopes to protect photographers against copyright infringement


posted Monday, August 1, 2016 at 1:36 PM EDT


As photographers, many of us care about copyrights. We want to protect our work and be financially compensated if someone were to misuse our creations. However, as easy as it seems that should be, registering and protecting copyrights is far from simple. Large organizations can abuse photographers -- and other artists -- oftentimes without the victim having any reasonable legal recourse. After all, taking someone to court is pricey.

It's also not cheap to register a lot of images with the US Copyright Office. Not only is there a monetary cost, it also takes considerable time. With that said, you don't need to register your work to be the legal owner, it will just be of great help in the unfortunate instance you find yourself in a legal dispute. Blockai hopes to offer you the benefits of registering your work without large monetary and time costs. 

Blockai is built on the idea of the blockchain. As SLR Lounge refers to it, the blockchain "is the public ledger used to verify bitcoin transactions." Blockai wants photographers and other artists to use the blockchain to timestamp their work, keep a vigilant eye out for anyone violating their copyright and also create a permanent record of their works. And perhaps best of all, Blockai is free to use!

How Blockai works. Image credit: Blockai

After registering your works -- which is as easy as dragging and dropping the files -- you will receive a copy of a copyright certificate. If anyone violates your copyright, then you will be able to send them your certificate and and issue a cease and desist or a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice. According to Blockai's CEO Nathen Lands, utilizing Blockai would provide you "sufficient evidence in a court of law" should it ever come to that. However, this has not been tested in court yet, so it's difficult to say how accurate that statement might be. Nonetheless, Blockai can't hurt, as it provides you with a permanent record of your works, monitors online usage of your creations and perhaps will help you in any potential legal battles.

It's obvious that the current copyright system in the United States is well behind the times in a digital age and doesn't provide nearly enough (affordable) resources for victims of theft, especially if you find yourself going up against a large and powerful group. As we wait for the slow wheels of bureaucracy to turn, Blockai hopes to be a useful and easy-to-use solution.

(Seen via SLR Lounge and Fstoppers)