Copyright & Law

Binded Is Working to Improve Copyright Registering Service

September 11, 2017

The new copyright-registering service Binded (formerly Blockai) turned heads last month with its promise of free copyright registration and the use of the Bitcoin blockchain to authenticate images.

Binded bills its service as a simplified approach to what can be a time-consuming process, but Carolyn Wright (aka The Photo Attorney) pointed out that the service cut too many corners in its attempt to quicken the copyright registration process. Wright noted, for instance, that Binded’s registration process did not ask when the work was created, whether it was “published” (and if so, when and where) and the registrant’s nation of citizenship–all of which are required for a successful copyright registration.

Now, Binded is in the process of making fixes based, in part, on Wright’s critique.

According to company co-founder and CEO Nathan Lands, Binded now has a field for citizenship in its registration. In the coming weeks, they will add the ability to change creation date, the ability to mark work as published or unpublished and will provide guidance in the product when a user is trying to batch register images that were published in different years. They’ve also created a Help Center where users can learn more about registering copyrights.

Lands also tells us that Wright didn’t get everything right in her post. “For example, she said that images are permanently on the blockchain so you can never remove them. That’s not correct. We only write the cryptographic hash, which we call a ‘fingerprint,’ to the blockchain. The image is not on the blockchain.”

As for Wright’s contention that Binded “may try to lock” photographers into using their copyright infringement services down the road, Lands says that won’t happen. “That’s impossible and is a big reason for using the blockchain. The users always own their records, no matter if we exist or not. If we tried to force people to do anything, they could just stop using Binded.” Any future services will be opt-in, Lands added.