Proving Your Copyright: Can You Date and Timestamp Your Work?
by Web Commodore [email protected]
Whenever copyright disputes and claims arise, there is always one issue which emerges – the matter of date and time of creation. While one party can claim against another if they protest they are copying their intellectual property, they will always need to make sure they have appropriate proof to show that they can back themselves up.
As you might imagine, the easiest way to clear up a dispute regarding copyright claims is to check ‘who got there first’. This applies to a broad range of creative works. It could be a written work, a photograph, a performance, a recording – a clear and accurate date and timestamp, one which is indisputable, can be enough to settle the debate.
There’s an argument, however, that simply ‘creating a work’ gives you enough copyright protection. Unfortunately, in a court of law, this is not always going to be the case. Automatic copyright, which you generate when you create work, isn’t necessarily going to give you indisputable proof. Therefore – what is?
For your ownership to be indisputable, you will need the backing of a third party. If you are the defendant in a copyright claim, you may run into issues if you’re unable to prove, without any doubt, that the work originated with you. The need for a third party engine – which provides a digital signature or fingerprint that contains an accurate timestamp– is likely to be hugely beneficial in many cases.
Proof of Copyright
With creative works increasingly being generated in the digital domain and often shared with collaborators or distribution platforms, it is getting increasingly tricky for copyright owners to back themselves up appropriately. This, thankfully, is where Web Commodore Digital Proof comes in.
Web Commodore, as an independent digital notary service, generates a timestamped digital fingerprint, or Digital Proof token, to enable you to establish indisputable right of ownership from the very beginning. For formal requirements, such as presenting your copyright proof in court, you can also download a Digital Proof certificate like this one and print a hardcopy for submission.
To prevent accusations of personal tampering, and to help support your rights and claims should any disputes arise, Web Commodore securely stores your Digital Proof tokens until the need for proof emerges. You can also download your Digital Proof tokens to save alongside the original asset. Even more flexibly, Web Commodore will only ever need a browser to establish a fingerprint. There is no need for any kind of file to be disclosed or uploaded to generate your Digital Proof tokens.
This means that you have instant registration of your copyright, and a firm, digital token, established from the point of creation. As the copyright owner, you will have access to your token in your files, but this indisputable proof is wholly created by Web Commodore, giving it control over the entire chain of custody. Therefore, should there ever be any kind of claim raised, you will have the immediate advantage of having solid proof of your copyright - evidence that’s admissible in court.
Copyright registration for digital assets is a concept that’s been around for a while, but which is still in dire need of streamlining. With ‘proof’ being so easy to doctor on either side of a copyright debate, there have been cases where legitimate IP owners have been unable to adequately prove their rights. What’s more, there have also been cases where unlawful claimants have pressed on with creating fraud.
The digital proof created automatically by Web Commodore effectively fills one of the biggest gaps in modern copyright. Establishing a date and time of work creation means that you, as the owner, will have an immediate backing for any potential claims. This, in the long run, will give you greater peace of mind, and will ensure that you can continue to work creatively without fear of unlawful reproach!
Trust Web Commodore to always have your back.