Since the introduction of the smart phone, it is estimated that there are over a trillion licensable images on the Internet today. A simple web search gives access to thousands of photos, and with just a click, a digital file can be saved to the desktop. The Internet makes it difficult to identify copyright owners for payment and licensing is costly for potential buyers. Arguably, most theft happens because it’s inconvenient to do it any other way. According to a study done by Getty Images and the Stock Artists Alliance, 70% of all visual media used on the Internet today was not authorized by the copyright owner. This leads to a loss of billions of dollars to content owners. Unfortunately, roughly 80% of unauthorized uses are non-commercial and not pursuable for monetary value because they are personal blogs, forums, ad supported blogs, or there is no identifiable owner. The only action is to send DMCA takedown notices to the ISP or hosting company to remove the infringing content from the websites. Commercial infringements are expensive to pursue. According to Penn Law, the average cost to litigate a copyright infringement case through trial ranges from $384,000 to $2,000,000. Additionally, to pursue a case in federal court the image must be registered through the US copyright office. According to a survey done by PPA, only 4% of professional photographers register their copyrights. This leaves very few cases for photographers to monetize. The photo licensing industry is controlled by a few companies who keep up to 85% of licensing revenues leaving little profit for creators and rights owners. The current landscape lacks transparency and efficiency in protecting copyrights, managing licensing, and leaves few ways for creators to monetize their work. This limits industry growth and creates legal issues for both rights holders and photo buyers. Blockchain decentralization and smart contracts promises incentives and technology to solve these challenges. Image Protect is a revolutionary content rights platform, utilizing blockchain technology to manage, protect and monetize digital media for content producers of all levels, publishers, and advertisers. Our embeddable in-image advertising format, IPShare™, lies at the heart of our mission. IPShare™ will significantly change the current copyright and licensing landscape by locking in attribution, securely sharing content, gaining visibility, social engagement, ownership authentication, easy-to-use licensing, and revenue growth from online advertising. Image Protect’s marketplace will be the center for all digital transactions, allowing complete transparent licensing and increased protection for all digital assets. Designed to restore trust and transparency to its members, blockchain technology will be used to securely record transactions that are impossible to later repudiate or manipulate. Blockchain will also be used to secure smart-contracts to create transparency into sales history, usage, evidence collection and provenance of registered content.
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