The Global Copyright Register Explained

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Copytrack, based in Germany, is an existing business and leading the market of global copyright enforcement. Their system for image search and copyright enforcement is used by 6,000 clients already and Copytrack offers its services in over 140 countries.

With the new Copytrack Global Copyright Register, based in Singapore, Copytrack are about to release their most exciting project to date. It is a project based on the vision of eliminating disputes and misunderstandings of online copyright worldwide and is based on one of the most advanced technologies for secure and highly complex online databases: Blockchain technology.

The Copytrack plan was met with widespread acceptance, especially amongst photographers. But there are still some questions about the new developments and how they will be implemented and the impact it will have on current Copytrack users. There are also uncertainties as to how the Global Copyright Register differs from the already existing Copytrack service.

This article aims to look at the Global Copyright Register in detail and explain the exciting changes to come. But before doing so, we will talk about the much-discussed blockchain technology on which the most exciting innovations in online copyright protection are based.

What is a blockchain?

A blockchain is an online database secured through cryptography and thus one of the safest ways of handling information online. Any information entered into a blockchain cannot be changed in retrospect. A blockchain is also spread out amongst a decentralized, peer-to-peer network. This means anything added has to be approved by multiple peers, also called Miners. In other words, only with the approval of Miners can any changes to information be “branded” into the blockchain. All participants in the network can access and verify the authenticity of the information embedded in the blockchain. Originally created as an accounting method for Bitcoin, blockchains are now increasingly employed for new as well as existing business models.

Why is the Global Copyright Register relevant?

With the new challenging project, Copytrack aims to resolve two main problems around the usage of digital content: Insufficient proof of ownership for original content as well as derivative works and an non-transparent licensing market for digital content. With the help of the blockchain, Copytrack will create a free platform for image creators and image users. Photographers can upload images and can register their ownership and obtain a certificate at the same time. Every image on the blockchain will be irreversibly linked with its owner. The platform also allows image users to look up images easily.

In detail: How will the Global Copyright Register function?

Registration to the Global Copyright Register is a guarantee for the future. Currently, it’s hard to identify the original copyright owners of online content. Content owners are faced with image theft every day. It doesn’t matter if image theft is committed consciously or unconsciously it is still a major problem for creators online. While the existing Copytrack service manages copyright infringements of non-licenced images, the Global Copyright Register will help to prevent image theft online and to create a transparent marketplace.

In order to get started with Global Copyright Register your account has to be verified through a complex identification process. Once image owners have an account they can upload RAW or JPG files in order to register their copyright. In addition to this, the image owner will have to complete a document to confirm the metadata of the image. Once the verification processes have been successfully completed, the uploaded data, consisting of images and parts of the photographer’s data, are encrypted and written to the blockchain. Via the blockchain, it is now possible to determine who has registered which picture and when, and therefore check the legitimate author of the picture.

It’s not just photographers that will benefit from the register though. Copytrack has already observed in the past that illegal uses of images are not necessarily malicious, but instead occurs in situations where the image user couldn’t identify the copyright owner. A unique function to the register is the ability for image users to search for creators with the reverse image search. This search function quickly leads to the image owners and their licence agreements. As a result, unintentional image theft will be reduced.

Copytrack is also creating a cryptocurrency: the CPY Token. Using the new digital currency transaction costs are minimized and license revenues for photographers are increased. This also enables automated payments to rightsholders. Once CPY Tokens are received they can easily be exchanged into any currency.

When does it all start?

The Global Copyright Register will be launched in the middle of 2018. This will allow users to create an account, upload their images, and register their ownership. The next important stage to note is the development of the public platform for different media foms in addition to photography. The platform will be established by the end of 2018. It allows major companies to incorporate the Global Copyright Register into their system in order to register their copyright for audio, image or video works.  Check out our roadmap for more details on what’s to come.

How does this affect current Copytrack users?

It’s always at the choice of the current Copytrack user to jump on board the Global Copyright Register and join in on the promising new changes. The original Copytrack portal for the post-licensing and legal enforcement will remain at their service.

For more information on all the changes check out the official website.

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