Global Blockchain Copyright Register Copytrack Consensum is dead

Global Blockchain Copyright Register Copytrack Consensum is dead

Copytrack Consensum

Copyright Concensum, a blockchain-based global copyright registration service that advertised itself almost exclusively to photographers, appears to be completely dead.

The platform was positioned in the same way that the Content Authenticity Initiative works today, but was instead based on cryptocurrency. The service was launched in the spring of 2016 as a way to provide photographers with a method to protect their images through a blockchain-based registry.

“Photographers and other image rights holders can securely register their images and applicable usage rights in this blockchain-based registry and, for the first time ever, monitor how their images are used around the world,” Copytrack wrote at the time.

“Images are continuously tracked online upon registration to ensure maximum transparency. The best part about the registry is that after registration, image rights are permanently and irreversibly embedded in the Blockchain.”

The company said that tracking unlicensed images prior to this offering was a painstaking task, as metadata is often lost once an image is posted online. Concensum promised to solve this by making it easier to show ownership of images. Copyright holders will confirm their identity at the time of upload and one has value for the image and information about the photographer will then be written in the blockchain.

“This image registration process permanently links images to their respective copyright holders and allows rights holders to easily prove their ownership. When an image is registered with Concensum, a certificate serving as proof of copyright is issued to users for each registered image,” promised Copytrack.

Once an image is registered with Concensum, Copytrack will protect it by continuously monitoring it, and if the image was discovered anywhere online, the photographer will be notified.

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On paper, the promises don’t sound so far-fetched, especially now that the Content Authenticity Initiative is trying a similar approach—albeit without the overt cryptocurrency and blockchain angle.

The consensus now is completely dead. The URL expires in May, but it currently no longer links to an active site. Aside from an old social media presence and what appears to be a forgotten YouTube channel, Concensum no longer exists.

What existed of the site before it was taken offline can at least partially be seen thanks to the Wayback Machine.

Consemsum collapses

According to journalist David Gerard, there was much about Concensum that was misleading right from the start. Concensum was actually a separate business located in Singapore – some distance from Germany-based Copytrack. The entire business was based on a Copytrack white paper and was eventually established as a separate entity.

“The ICO (initial coin offering) was announced by Copytrack GmbH, using Copytrack GmbH’s track record of achievements. But the ICO was run by, and the funds were sent to, a company in Singapore with a similar name, Copytrack Pte. Ltd. — no company links to the German company. Copytrack GmbH is now being sued over the ICO because of this,” writes Gerard in a blog post from 2018.

Gerard also takes issue with the idea of ​​protection that Copytrack and Concensum peddled. The company said it would automatically “detect and link all metadata with the registration data” as well as “create a unique fingerprint of the image and store the hash in the blockchain.”

He points out that this is not the same as ownership.

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“Obviously, it is not the same as ownership – which is a function of (a) who performs the act of taking the image (b) the legal circumstances regarding ownership of the copyright created – and nothing to do with data such as .like the camera’s ownership, which Copytrack also wants to address, says Gerard.

“The explicit intention (of the archive) is to have this function as a register with legal status. It is not clear how this will ever happen – private ‘copyright registries’, for example, are a common scam, rarely providing anything that has ever had legal force.”

Now that Concensum no longer exists, it is not clear what will happen to any “coins” or protection that a photographer may have purchased through it in the past. Very likely it will cease to be of any value – if it ever held any to begin with.

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