About UsUsers can find the copyright owner from their creative works online
Creators and rightsholders can find online uses of their creative works
... that's what we do
If you're a creator who wants to be found from your works online that are uncredited
... C-Registry is for you
If you're publisher who wants to contact the rightsholder of uncredited works online
... C-Registry is for you too
This service is created by the same innovators noted for leading the industry with model-released images in an online network as early as 1993, multilanguage CD catalogs in '98, a stock photo portal in 2000, the stock photo search engine in '04, the PLUS matrix numbering system, and now, C-Registry - the people at StockPhotoFinder.com, Inc. The following explains the policies, intent and functionality of C-Registry. In referring to "photographers", we include by inference the broadest definition of other creator types since C-Registry also applies to art, illustrations, music, video, mashups and other creative works.
---------- Background, Purpose and Vision of C-Registry ----------
C-Registry is an Internet-only service that is owned by StockPhotoFinder.com, Inc.. Its beta website is located at www.C-Registry.us. For marketing purposes, it uses the trademarks "The Copyright Registry", "Lost and Found" and "C-Tools". C-Registry is a commercial service and is not affiliated with the U.S. Copyright Office.
C-Registry was created specifically to anticipate and address key elements of the 2008 House of Representatives Bill HR5889 (known as the "Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008") and Senate Bill S2913 (which passed the Senate and is known as the "Orphan Works Act of 2008"). These and other versions that were introduced in preceding years are commonly known as the "Orphan Works Act".
Registries have long existed in many forms. C-Registry differentiates itself with technology-driven solutions that address the anticipated requirements of possible orphan works legislation. C-Registry was created specifically to reduce the risk to rightsholders of orphan works and related legislation.
The core services of C-Registry use existing and emerging copyright laws to help find rightsholders from content of unknown origin, to provide licensing inquiries to rightsholders, and to create revenue streams for rightsholders. C-Registry is not a stock photo agency and will not become a stock photo agency. C-Registry provides fee-based services described herein. For all services, photographers may opt to participate or not at their discretion.
---------- Protections For Photographers ----------
In its technology, business model and Terms of Service, C-Registry has built-in the following protections for photographers and for copyright itself:
No Search Of Orphaned Works
C-Registry does not and will not enable search of "orphaned" works. The starting point for using C-Registry is to first have the image or be at a website that has an image file (or other creative work) for which a user or client wants to find or contact the rightsholder who is likely unknown at that site.
Access, Not Use
In C-Registry, photographers are granting rights to access their images in digital form via a web browser or similar, not for users to use, modify or copy their images, except when applying a copyright notice. ( See more contract info at What rights do photographers grant C-Registry? and at Terms and Conditions )
Functions Await Law
Some functions of C-Registry’s beta website that are designed to adhere to requirements of the Orphan Works Act if it passes, such as certain reports, are not available for public access until they are needed by law.
By eliminating image uploads, C-Registry enables a scalable solution that has no risk for photographers beyond what currently exists for images that are already online.
---------- Services and Fees ----------
C-Registry provides two core services for free:
1) Finding Photographers from their Images Online C-Registry enables users to find and contact photographers from copies of their images at any website, in any language, provided that A) the image either contains appropriate IPTC/File Info OR the rightsholder has registered that specific image in the C-Registry.us database, and B) the website using the image is not hiding access to files at that site.
2) Finding Online Uses of Images C-Registry documents online image use, including the URL of the website of use, the URL where the image is stored, and the date range in which each image is discovered at those URLs.
Although core services are free, C-Registry charges or intends to charge fees for the following optional services:
Photographer Verification & Bulk Functionality
For identity verification and upgraded services (such as bulk data import, file locking for professional photographers and their agents, and image recognition), there is a recurring, annual fee of $25 that can be waived for members of trade associations that support copyright.
For report tracking and verification (such as the date range of use at a specific URL that might be used by a trademark attorney, or for DMCA Take Down orders), we anticipate the fee will start at $30 per report when this service becomes available.
For site advertising (such as banner ads), these fees will be based on market rates for equivalent advertising elsewhere.
Facilitation of Copyright Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office
For use of the streamlined process that facilitates registration of images with the U.S. Copyright Office, fees will be determined upon completion of that function.
Time Dedicated for Providing Testimony
For time dedicated to provide legal testimony (such as expert witness in a court preceding as it relates to disputes within the C-Registry database or reports), fees are variable.
( See more info on fees at Where will the revenue come from? )
---------- Technology ----------
C-Registry uses the following methods for enabling users to identify rightsholders from their images online, for identifying online usages of registered works, and for enabling photographers to add copyright notice to their photographs:
Finding Photographers from their Images Online
Each image online is the starting point for finding its owner, even if the owner is unknown at that website. Any user or client can click the C-Tools bookmark to find the owner of images on that page, provided the rightsholder has claimed ownership to that image in the C-Registry database. Every image on the Internet is instantly associated with its owner if any copy has been claimed by the owner in the C-Registry database. Photographers can be found from images at any website, in any language, assuming that site is not blocking the technology. The ability to find owners from images at any website does not depend on spidering, Veripixel nor image recognition.
Finding Online Uses of Images
Images found by spidering or user actions are matched with the unique ID of identical files found elsewhere. For each image, photographers can view a list of URLs list of known use at other websites. Unlike finding the photographer from the image, this free service requires an ever-expanding database of file locations online.
New Copyright Notice – "Veripixel™ "
C-Registry provides photographers a new form of copyright notice called Veripixel™. This is similar to putting "© John Doe" into the IPTC/File Info or affixing a text notice adjacent to an image, except that this new form of copyright notice is visible in the image itself. This can add a new layer of defense for photographers since it can be a violation of copyright law to remove a copyright notice. This copyright notice is discrete, appearing as a series of colored pixels in a predictable location (the upper left corner). Each copyright notice is derived from a unique ID for that image, which can be almost limitless (16 million to the sixth power). Veripixel™ is optional and is not required for successful functioning of any aspect of C-Registry.
C-Registry will be PLUS Compliant and will work closely with PLUS to build on its pre-existing relationship. (StockPhotoFinder invented the numbering system for and orchestrated assembly of the PLUS Media Summary Code.)
Image Links to U.S. Copyright Registration
Photographers can optionally enter their official U.S. Copyright Registration Number, which enables users and clients to see both the image and the text registration at the U.S. Copyright Office side-by-side.
Photographers and their agents can optionally enter a URL link to any website or ecommerce process of their choosing to facilitate direct licensing on a per image basis. (ie, PhotoShelter, GettyImages, Alamy, a personal website, etc.)
C-Registry uses exact match to connect images and their owners. Exact match is essential since some aspects of copyright ownership claims and image use will need to be verifiable in a court of law. ( See more tech info at How does the technology spider and track infringing images on the web? )
Whereas exact match is required for legal reasons, image recognition is provided by C-Registry as a nice convenience for photographers. Image Recognition is not necessary for successful functioning of C-Registry’s core services.
If a photographer has populated the IPTC/File Info of their image, that copyright information will be automatically extracted from the file and displayed whether or not the image has been claimed in the C-Registry database. IPTC is not required for successful functioning of any aspect of C-Registry.
Because all users are registered and all actions are tracked, when a photographer claims an image in the C-Registry database, they gain access to view past inquiries by users about that image that occurred before the owner was known.
---------- Policies of C-Registry ----------
It is the policy of C-Registry that:
C-Registry Does Not Encourage Infringement
C-Registry does not and will not encourage, support nor in any way condone copyright infringement. The www.C-Registry.us website clearly states, "Prior to using any and all images or other content whose ownership is checked in C-Registry, users must have a license for use from the rightsholder(s). C-Registry is not a licensing agency. Only the rightsholder or their appointed agent can issue a license for use of their creative works. Failure to obtain authorization from the appropriate rightsholder prior to use could be a copyright infringement that could be subject to statutory damages."
C-Registry Grants No Rights via Reports
C-Registry does not sell any right to publish images via its reporting process. The www.C-Registry.us website clearly states, "C-Registry Reports do not grant any rights of any kind to users or recipients. They state the status of information available in the C-Registry database at that moment in time in a way that each report is verifiable and trackable."
Reports Required by Law Will Not Be Available until that Law Passes
Only if the Orphan Works Act passes, and if that law requires registries, and if it requires a report of a "reasonable" search, only then will C-Registry make that report available to fulfill the requirements of that law. Until the Orphan Works Act passes, C-Registry will not make available any services that were created for the sole purposes of addressing that law.
Finding Photographers from Images Online is a Free Service
C-Registry does not charge and will not charge for users and clients to find photographers from their images online. Users will not be required to pay to access the name and contact information of the rightsholder of images. And, photographers will not be required to pay to include the URLs to their images in the C-Registry database, nor to receive sales leads from potential clients who inquire about their images.
Photographers Retain 100% of Revenues They Invoice
Photographers may directly invoice users and clients based on information they discover in C-Registry and retain 100% of the resulting revenues they receive. C-Registry does not require fees for invoices by photographers.
Privacy Rights of Photographers Are Protected
The preceding reconfirms substantially all of the policies, intent and practical application of www.C-Registry.us. We welcome all suggestions that would benefit photographers and nurture copyright protection.
The development team at The Copyright Registry™
C-Registry.us is a service of StockPhotoFinder.com, Inc.
10 E. 23rd Street
New York City, NY USA 10010
Phone: (212) 929-6965