Thanks to its built-in proof-of-ownership quality, blockchain’s distributed ledger technology lends itself to the protection of copyright. Binded has answered the call and is bringing copyright assistance to photographers and visual artists around the world.
The Curse of Copyright Infringement
When you’re a creative professional, it’s your brainchildren that earn you your bread and butter. Every note you compose, word you write, stroke you paint, or photograph you click, builds out your brand, your career, and your bottom line. When someone else uses your work without your permission, you lose out on the ability to make an informed decision as to whether you want them to use it and, should you want remuneration, the chance to earn from your work.
In the US, copyright is automatically afforded to the creator of an original piece of work. Copyright infringement, then, is intellectual property’s shadow twin. Whenever there is creative output, chances are there’s another party willing to exploit the original work by claiming it as their own, or by using it without the creator’s go-ahead. Even celebrities are not immune to copyright infringements, when they’re re-posting photos of themselves. Businesses who are in violation of copyright often learn their lessons the costly way.
Exceptions to this rule is the Fair Use Doctrine, although even this can be brought into question.
Blockchain to the rescue
While Binded urges US-based creators to register their works with the US Copyright Office (the company even provides a free one-click registration service that takes 9 seconds as opposed to the usual 22 minutes), their product works to provide proof of ownership and can assist in settling claims without the need for a court case. It is not, however, a replacement for copyright registration, and a lawsuit can only be pursued should a copyright registration be in effect.
Users who sign up for a free Binded account are kitted out with a deceptively simple tool to help protect their images. Any visual imagery uploaded onto the Binded platform is timestamped and issued with a digital certificate to prove their ownership.
Traditionally, photographer and visual artists have turned to Google to check for copyright infringements of their images, but the process can be cumbersome. It also doesn’t provide creators with an irrefutable record of ownership, the way blockchain can. In the past, photographers have had to use laborious tools to edit EXIF tags on their JPEG images to add ownership data to copyright images.
In this way, Binded is democratizing copyright.
How Binded Works
Images are dragged and dropped to the user’s own secure vault, and a permanent blockchain record is created for each image. Users can monitor usage of their images through Binded’s web search feature to search for and identify copyright infringements of that image.
Binded is an upgraded and relaunched version of Blockai, CEO and co-founder Nathan Lands’ first attempt at creating a blockchain copyright product.
The Team Behind Binded
The Binded team is a talented bunch. Lands was a child prodigy, programming from age 10. By the time he was 14, he was already making money thanks to his programming skills. He coined the term ‘gamify’, and founded and led successful tech companies GameStreamer and Gamify.
Co-founder and CTO Oli Lalonde is a software engineer who was involved in creating proof of liabilities for Bitcoin exchanges. Carey Janecka, Binded’s founding engineer, started his career at 15, working for SpaceX, while their computer vision engineer Zach Raha is a physics researcher who has worked in supernova research.
They’re funded by angel investors such as 2016’s Angel of the Year investors Scott and Cyan Banister, and Spam Arrest creator Brian Cartmell. Advisors include Zach Klein, creator of Vimeo and DIY.org.
While the importance of taking responsibility for copyright registrations continue to be stressed, Binded has taken the first step in making “creativity the world’s most valuable asset.”
The company continually works to improve the product, including improving process flow, allowing direct uploads from major file-hosting services, a new applications page, improved landing pages, and notifications support.