Copytrack To Launch Global Copyright Register

Posted on 2/20/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Copytrack has completed its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and will be launching a Global Copyright Register (GCR) this summer that will work in conjunction with their Global Copyright Enfocement services (

With their Presale and ICO they have a total of 8,600 investors who have purchased around 16 million tokens. The purchase of images found on the GCR will be tracked in a Blockchain and paid for using cryptocurrency tokens.

Image creators will be able to place and register their hi-res images in the GCR collection free of charge. If a customer finds an image they would like to use they will be able reverse search a copy of that image to determine if the image is in the GCR collection.

If the image is found the customer will be shown the photographer’s price structure for the use of the image. Each photographer will be able to supply his/her own pricing.  The customer will not be able to communicate with the photographer directly. The customer can simply purchase or see which stock agencies the photographer has supplied as alternative sources for the image.

The photographer will also be able to list the agencies where a customer might go to license rights to the image. At these agencies the customer may also find other images produced by the photographer. Stock agencies will not be allowed to post images on the GCR because they are not the copyright owners of the work. However, agencies will be able to “register” and “offer their services” to photographers.

Copytrack intends to provide certain "standard pricing structures,“ in so called “smart-contracts” that can be easily chosen and modified by the photographer as an aid in establishing prices. The “smart-contracts” are self fulfilling contracts if certain conditions are met.

Marcus Schmitt, CEO of Copytrack says that it is part of the company’s “terms of service” that all images found through a GCR search must be licensed through the company’s facilities and recorded in the blockchain.

The GCR will offer all ways of payment such as PayPal, CreditCard, bank transfer, but mainly also payment with the CPY-token, the crypto currency the CGR is based on. The CPY will eliminate all the high bank fees and make payments much faster.

It is unclear what percentage of the total fee paid by the customer Copytrack will remit to the photographer.

A photographer who is also represented by a stock agency can simply register his agency in the GCR and the agency will become a partner of the GCR. From that point all transactions can be made through the GCR, but still the agency will have its cut.  

It is unclear whether the agency will be able to actually negotiate with the customer, or whether the agency will simply need to establish a “standard set of prices” that the customer either accepts or rejects.

If the agency has already established a pricing deal with a particular customer, it is unclear whether that deal will apply when an image is found through the GCR. It does seem that when an actual transaction takes place the payment will be made through the GCR system and the hi-res file will be delivered from the GCR collection.

Since all images in the GCR will work hand in hand with Copytrack’s Global Copyright Enforcement (GCE) services (, Copytrack will automatically detect a usage within 14 days after the image appears on the Internet.

To deal with images that are used in print, but never appear on the Internet, Copytrack is speaking with companies and services who scan all major magazines and newspaper. In this way they should be able to track many print uses, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to track use made in brochures, books, posters, calendars, etc.

In cases where an agency has done the licensing, Copytrack may be able to determine a license exists, but one suspects that they would not have access to the terms of the license, or the fee paid. Thus, they would be unable to determine if a particular use exceeds the terms of the license.

While the system may not perfectly solve all image licensing problems, it may go a lot further, and give photographers a lot more control than most other image licensing systems out there today.

Once a photographer uploads an image, Copytrack will “check whether it is the original before registering it.” Photographers will be able to register their cameras with the GCR. In order to register an image with Copytrack, they must provide a camera JPG or Raw file. In combination with the meta data of the camera it is unlikely that someone else will have the same proof or data. In case where that occurs Copytrack will have a dispute handling system, but they expect the need to deal with disputes to be very rare.

When they talk of registering it is also unclear whether they intend to register every image in the GCR with the U.S. Copyright Office (which is a requirement to bring legal action in the U.S.) Such registration is not required to bring legal action in most other parts of the world.

When a search detects the use of an image supplied by one of its photographers, and the photographer has no evidence of ever receiving pay for that use, Copytrack sends the user a friendly note asking them to clear up the rights situation. Often the infringing party provides an agency license and Copytrack closes the case. But “very often”

Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff