Blockai’s new tool combines tweeting and claiming copyright

Blockai is supposed to help photographers and artists defend their intellectual property. Now it’s launching a new feature to make that process easier — or at least better-integrated with Twitter.

Previously, Blockai users would go to the startup’s website to upload their work, creating a record in a public database (namely, the blockchain) stating that they’re the creator.

However, CEO Nathan Lands said, “We don’t imagine artists are sitting on Blockai all day,” so it’s also trying to integrate with other tools, starting with Twitter. Just tweet the image that you want to register and include the hashtag #blockai; the image will automatically be registered (assuming you’ve already got a Blockai account — otherwise it’ll ask you to set one up).


As Lands explained when the service first launched, the idea is to offer users a way to create proof of their copyright without going through the trouble of registering with the Library of Congress.

Then if you see someone reusing your photo or your artwork without permission, you can send them a copy of the Blockai certificate, which would seem “a lot more serious” than sending a screenshot from social media. (Lands has said the certificate could also serve as evidence in a court of law, although that’s untested so far.) Blockai will also search the web for similar images, so you can be proactive in watching out for copyright violations.

The service is free for artists to use. The plan, eventually, is to charge other customers, such as media companies.

The ultimate goal, Lands added, is “to answer, for every file on the web: Who owns the copyright?”