Creative Commons and ascribe join forces to protect artist’s work online.

Richard Prince Instagram Art

Following all the noise about Richard Prince and his $100,000 instagram art some news about how to protect your artwork or at least make sure you are attributed as the creator of the original image/art.

Creative Commons (CC) France and ascribe have just announced a partnership that unlocks the value of the bitcoin blockchain for the benefit of the free and open-source culture.


The new CC + ascribe service ( allows creators to share their works under a CC license, without having to worry about a potential loss of attribution. The service securely time-stamps the work to the blockchain, and stores the file and its meta-data to the cloud. This gives creators the best of both worlds – a CC license, secure attribution, and cloud storage. The service is provided at no cost for content creators.

Ten years ago, Creative Commons revolutionized copyright via licenses that focus on attribution over monetary gain; now hundreds of millions of works are CC-licensed. ascribe started in 2014 to help creators secure their intellectual property, with the help of the bitcoin blockchain.

Primavera de Filippi, Creative Commons board member, said

“The aims, and approach of Creative Commons and of ascribe are so similar that once we learned about the new service, it was obvious for us to work with them to unlock new, real benefits for our users. ascribe has found an ingenious way to enable open, secure attribution without resorting to traditional DRM.” provides CC creators the following benefits:
Secure attribution by registering the work and choosing a CC license. Attribution is then time-stamped onto the bitcoin blockchain.

Get a unique ID for the work. The ID represents an address on the blockchain which enables tracking with blockchain explorers.

Share the work easily: a single public url contains the work, CC license, ID, and metadata (title, creator, year).

Upload any digital file – documents, images, text, and more. This is possible because the time-stamping step (“hashing”) is independent of the file format.
Back up the work into the cloud.

Trent McConaghy, co-founder and CTO of ascribe, said

“We believe creators should be attributed for their work. And they should be able to easily choose how they want to share that work – without losing attribution. The partnership between Creative Commons and ascribe – to put copyleft on the block chain – is a winning combination. This is the start of a fruitful, long-term relationship that will benefit creators around the world.”

Creators can ascribe CC-licensed work to the bitcoin blockchain with the following simple process:

Upload the work and enter title, author and year Choose the CC license
Click “register”.

Creative Commons
Is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. It was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred with the support of Center for the Public Domain. As of November 2014 there were an estimated 880 million works licensed under the various CC licenses. Their licenses have been embraced by many as a way for creators to take control of how they choose to share their copyrighted works. CC France ( was launched in 2003 by Danièle Bourcier and Melanie Dulong De Rosnay.

ascribe GmbH
Was founded in 2014 with the aim of making intellectual property easy for creators to wield. ascribe enables creators to securely attribute and share their digital intellectual property, without losing control. ascribe works closely with world-class creators, museums, galleries, and marketplaces. ascribe’s founding team brings many decades of experience from the fields of technology, art, law, and

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018