Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI | AI Based Startup Ideas

This Artficial Intelligence based Startup Idea from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups is to prevent and stop copyright infringement using Machine Learning and AI. The proposed start-up will have to design a cloud-based web crawling platform which can alert, detect and eliminate copyright infringements and counterfeits of a brand sold on the web.

Market Definition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

Intellectual Property (IP) infringement is a massive global issue, and as per OECD, trade in counterfeit goods was valued at USD 0.5 trillion in 2015, amounting to 2.5% of global trade.

The growth of digital e-commerce platforms, marketplaces and other places to buy and sell goods has led to an expanding problem for companies, brand owners and IP lawyers to keep up with the rate of counterfeiting, piracy and infringement of copyrights online.

The fastest way to counter counterfeiting quickly and rapidly is to use technology to rapidly detect, alert and send takeoff requests to websites hosting counterfeit goods. The rise of e-commerce presents a massive opportunity for start-ups who can create solutions to the problem of counterfeiting and copyright infringement.

Competitor Analysis  for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

Red Points, a Spain based startup has developed a SaaS-based product for detecting content and goods that infringe on intellectual property and issuing takedown requests. Their software uses keyword monitoring, image recognition, and machine learning to detect infringing content. With a 96% efficiency rate, they have removed more than 200,000 incidents of illegal products and content every month for brands and media companies on marketplaces, social apps, and websites. They have grown over 350% in the last year alone with 300 clients globally.

Pain point & Target Audience for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The target audience for this startup would be companies selling, Toys, Fashion and accessories, Sports merchandising, as these categories had the highest number of fakes and counterfeits selling online. The other segment the startup can target can be IP lawyers who can use this platform to find evidence and focus on their core job, i.e., litigate, investigate and enforce infringements

The increase in the proliferation of e-commerce and social media has led to increasing problems associated with copyright infringement and enforcement as these platforms are ubiquitous and sometimes trade without borders. It is difficult to track every marketplace manually.

For examples, Major League Baseball alone sent 150,000 requests to Amazon to take down counterfeit goods listed on its platform, and another Major European Soccer Club reported 8,000 counterfeit listings to Amazon in 2016. Alibaba recently put back on a U.S. anti-counterfeiting blacklist, took down 380 million product listings and closed about 180,000 stores on its Taobao marketplace.

Value Proposition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The value proposition that this startup provides is that it can help automate the process of discovery of counterfeit listings and pirated products using advanced technologies like Machine learning, Image recognition, and specific keywords.

This kind of automation can increase the counterfeit and piracy detections significantly, thus empowering companies to act in time to ensure that there is no damage caused to its brand. It can also reduce losses in millions of dollars caused due to sales of counterfeit products instead of the genuine ones.

Business Model for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The startup can sell a monthly subscription to the companies who want to access this platform for individual users like IP lawyers. For Enterprise Customers, the start-up can charge the companies on the number of detections and removal that the platform can make on its platform. In the future, the startup can also sell this solution to big marketplaces like Amazon, E-bay to ensure there is no listing of counterfeit products.

Way to Market for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The start-up will have to design a cloud-based platform which can detect counterfeiting and send take off requests to online marketplaces. The start-up can devise advanced detection methods using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Image Processing with the help of web crawling.

The start-up can tie up with one of the major sport merchandise companies to ensure that the algorithms can learn and detect instances of counterfeiting, as the platform learns, it can use history of its previous enforcements to fine-tune the product.

Once the rate of detection is reasonably accurate, the start-up can launch its product officially.

The start-up can time its pilot project with a major sporting event like a football or basketball league when there is a surge in the number of counterfeit listings due to the demand.

Key Milestones for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The design, development, and coding of the algorithms required to launch the platform have to be completed within the first quarter of the platform. The pilot project that will be used to supervise machine learning on the algorithm using image processing, keyboard search, etc. will have to be completed in the next three to six months. The pilot can be extended to next few months if the desired accuracy of the algorithms is not reached. Once the platform achieves a high level of accuracy in detecting counterfeits online, the platform can be launched commercially.

Investment needed for Prototyping this Business Idea

The proposed start-up can raise upto $100k from accelerators like Rockstart AI Accelerator or AI Nexus Lab. The startup will have to focus on the Algorithms for machine learning as all other technologies like Image processing, Ai, and keyword-based searches have been made available to the public by Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. All the funds raised by the startup will have to be used for development of the platform, marketing and customer acquisition only.

Team Capability for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The founding members of the proposed start-up should include an expert data scientist who can write, supervise and train the machine learning algorithms to detect counterfeiting. The startup will also need a full –stack developer with experience in web crawling for designing the platform. It is essential to have a member who has expertise in IP litigation, as this would help them reach, engage and onboard their target audience faster.

The startup can use Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Google’s Tensor Flow and IBM Watson to get a headstart for AI applications.

Investors/Expert Take for 1001 Startup Ideas – Preventing Copyright Infringement using AI

The e-commerce explosion has taken the world by storm; it has created numerous jobs and automated a lot of industries like warehousing, automation, customer service, etc. It has made access to global products easier, faster and cheaper. Unfortunately, e-commerce has also increased counterfeiting as the costs of shipping goods have become cheaper, and access to newer markets has become easier. As e-commerce industry grows, counterfeiting will also rise, unless kept in check. The easiest way to keep counterfeiting would be to use technology to track real-time –listings and take them off. This presents a large opportunity for start-ups that can create cutting-edge tools to detect and take them off quickly. The early movers will catch the investors eye as they are the ones placed perfectly to get that elusive unfair advantage over the competition.

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This 1001 startup ideas article is from Yostartups, YoStartups is a Pre Accelerator, and it empowers entrepreneurs to propel their business ideas into successful ventures. Yostartups’ core mission is to take the message of entrepreneurship to 1 billion people globally by 2020.

In case you are looking at scaling or launching a venture on similar lines, you can apply for our virtual acceleration program Excelrate on our website,, Yostartups’ Excelrate program will help you in streamlining and structuring your startup idea. We have limited scholarships and discount packs for deserving business ideas, depending on the strength of your startup ideas, you may qualify for a discount.


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