The blockchain-based copyright platform Binded (formerly known as Blockai) just launched a new service that may be a godsend for copyright-conscious photographers: one click U.S. copyright registration that makes the process 10x simpler with no extra fee.
“This is something that’s never been done before,” Binded co-founder Nathan Lands tells PetaPixel. “We’ve made registering copyrights 10x simpler than using the government website or expensive services like LegalZoom. And we’re not charging anything extra for the service. The user only pays their government filing fee.”
By comparison, LegalZoom charges a minimum fee of $114 for the same copyright registration assistance.
The US Copyright Office offers an Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) website for registering your copyright online. It’s not difficult to use, but the website isn’t the sleekest and working through the forms can take quite a few clicks — we published a lengthy step-by-step walkthrough of the process a couple of years ago.
In its tests, Binded found that the official USCO copyright registration system took over 100 clicks and over 22 minutes for registering a particular set of photos. By comparison, Binded takes about 1 to 4 clicks (depending on if you count payment/checkmarks) and can be completed in 9 seconds.
“So, Binded takes on average 51.5x fewer clicks and 1,906x less time for the user,” Lands says. “To be entirely fair, someone that fills out copyrights every day probably could get the time down to ~10 minutes. But also, someone that understands copyright less than me could have easily spent 30 to 60+ minutes on the site figuring it out.”
The only “catch” is that you’ll need to register for and submit your photos through Binded’s free platform. Once your photos are uploaded, doing the copyright registration takes just a moment and costs only the $35 US Copyright Office fee for a single photo or $55 for a batch of photos (with no limit on how many can be included in the batch).
Binded then handles the registration for you, and you’ll receive a receive and a confirmation record from the US Copyright Office. After the standard 6- to 8-month application process, if everything goes well, you’ll receive an official certificate from the government for your copyright.
Binded says its long-term goal is still to make blockchain-based copyright registrations the standard protection used by photographers and legal systems worldwide.
“However, for now, there’s limited precedent for the blockchain being used in court,” Binded says. “That’s why Binded is supporting USCO registrations for the extra legal protection it provides. For example, USCO registered images may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation.”