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How to Claim Copyright with Numbers Protocol?

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How to Claim Copyright with Numbers Protocol?


Cath Simard’s Photo made “free” following numerous infringements and failed attempts at recuperating losses

After many years chasing down copyright infringers and employing several online services to hunt down infringers and recuperate usages fees, Canadian photographer Cath Simard has been unable to collect a single dollar on her famous “Hawaii Road” photo. On September 19th, the journey reached a tipping point as Simard decided to “free” the photo and release the heralded photo to the public to use without restriction.

Though a great service to the wide internet community, it highlights the futility of the copyright infringement crisis especially in the current internet. A piece of digital media can be shared over and over and within minutes the creators identity is lost. Even with the “protection” of copyright services, rights are far from guaranteed as coverage is limited to the umbrella of these centralized platform. So what can be done?

Numbers Protocol is a decentralized photo network for Web3.0 (internet’s next frontier) that aims to address the 4 pillars of the digital asset dilemma: ownership, provenance, ecosystem and most importantly copyright. Digital assets created in the Numbers Protocol network can be traced, verified and most importantly have copyright claimed. Let’s take a look at how this works!


First let us navigate to Media Integrity Verification Site, the place to verify all digital assets within the Numbers Protocol Network. Media Integrity Verification site is powered by Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a standard born out of the recent misinformation crisis lead by industry leaders such as Adobe. This is important because the embedded information in all digital assets created with Numbers Protocol adheres to the C2PA standards.

Navigate to Media Integrity Verification Site

At the time of writing, the majority of photos and videos in the Numbers ecosystem are created with Capture App, Numbers Protocol’s native blockchain camera app. All Capture App accounts come equipped with an Ethereum (ETH) wallet address. When a Capture is created, assets are cryptographically signed with the users Capture App’s ETH private key. This signature is key in claiming copyright of a Capture.

In order to conduct the claim copyright verification users connect their Capture App wallet by import their private key into MetaMask.

Connect to MetaMask with Capture App ETH-Based Private Key

Following the successful import of Capture App wallet address into MetaMask, users can connect to the Media Integrity Verification site with the specified wallet.

Successfully connected to MetaMask

Click or Drag & Drop to upload Capture. Captures are photos or videos generated by Numbers Protocol. Captures are multilayered information containers with embedded ownership, context of creation, provenance, creator signature and on-chain record. In uploading Captures, Media Integrity Verification site is pulling the embedded data from the digital asset.

Upload photo to claim ownership (wait a few moments to grab embedded data)

If the digital assets embedded information is not tampered with, Media Integrity Verification site will show a Chronicle Record summarizing creator, contextual information, proof, and signers public key. When Claim Copyright is clicked, the signers public key is cross checked with the connected wallet address.

Resulting Chronicle. Claim copyright by clicking on button

If the public key from digital assets Chronicle Record matches with MetaMask wallet public key, the copyright claim is successful. Upon successful copyright claim, the user can proceed to utilize the photo or video for the purposes they desire.

Successful Claiming of Copyright

Circumstances such as the one below (next two graphics), where the Capture’s Public Key does not match with connected MetaMask wallet address will result in a failed copyright claim and users will not be able to do conduct further actions with the digital asset.

Another File Uploaded to Media Integrity Verification. Capture Public Key doesn’t match imported MetaMask Address

Failed Copyright Claim

Technical Breakdown

Core Technologies

The following are core technologies that make up Numbers Protocol’s Media Integrity Verification and the role they play:

  1. Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI): Embedded metadata that allows digital content such as photos and videos “speak for themselves”
  2. Digital Signature: Ensures the integrity and creator of the digital content
  3. MetaMask: Utilized to cross check copyright claim of digital content in decentralized world.

Media Integrity Verification Flow

The following flow diagram illustrates the entire digital content journey from creation to copyright claim within the Numbers Protocol native network.

low Diagram illustrating digital content journey from creation to copyright claim within Numbers Protocol Network

Step 1: Creation

Step 1 is creation. Much of the content in the Numbers Protocol network is currently created with Capture App. Photos and videos created with Capture App, coined as “Captures” have metadata embedded into the asset itself according to CAI / C2PA standards. Metadata includes the content’s context of creation, on-chain record and most importantly digital signature.

Step 2: Allowing the Photo to speak for itself

Media Integrity Verification retrieved the CAI injected information upon upload and does an integrity check (Digital Signature & Integrity Information). If the digital contents are corrupted or tampered with then the integrity check will fail. If the check passes then the contents of the digital content will appear as a Chronicle Record.

Step 3: Claim Copyright

“Captures” are digitally signed with ETH wallet private key. This wallet private key can be imported into MetaMask and connected to Media Integrity Verification site and cross checked with the contents recovered CAI data to claim copyright. Following successful copyright, users unlock NFT minting permission or general usage.

Numbers Protocol : Decentralized Photo Network

The ethos of technology and innovation is the desire to solve real world problems. As technology continues to develop and we trend more and more towards decentralized solutions and Web3.0 space, it is important that our tools need to follow suite.

Media Integrity Verification aims to solve real problems in a space littered with violations and inaction by creating an ecosystem where all digital content is verified and equipping creators with a means of protecting their works via copyright claim.

In the Numbers network, digital content can be shared freely without worrying about infringement and chasing usage fees because permission to mint as NFTs and use as profile pictures or in articles will be locked behind copyright claim.

August 2021 Numbers Hackathon

Numbers Media Integrity Verification was created in August 2021 by devs in the Taiwanese Developer Community at Numbers very FIRST Hackathon. Developers spent 3 days leveraging Numbers tools and services to help build upon the Numbers native network. See here for their virtual presentation.

If interested in making contributions to the Numbers network, consider checking out our GitHub or checking out publicly available API. Here at Numbers, we understand that protocols, tools and services are only effective if used. As a result, we are firm believers in Open Source projects and are appreciative of the innovative contributions of the developer community.

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