Bitfury and PatentBot Launch Blockchain Timestamping for Copyright Protection
As the blockchain continues development by major institutional and governmental entities in both the public and private sector, the immutability of information stored on the distributed public ledger has become one of the most useful commercial and functional assets of blockchain technology. Far from being simply the tech behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, the blockchain technology first popularized by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto is being used in hundreds of different ways, changing the way information is transferred, stored, and viewed in the modern era.
Few applications of the evolving technology are as useful to both the private and the public sector as its use in the patenting and copyright protection process. The blockchains created by fintech companies are immutable, meaning that the transactions and information stored on the block cannot be changed by any single entity. This is very good for the copyright industry, because immutability and resistance to manipulation has always been the first concern in the patenting process. Especially for those companies that have reason to distrust the entities in charge of patenting processes, a decentralized ledger way of copyrighting information and creative projects could be industry-changing.
Fintech organizations PatentBot and Bitfury have teamed up to create a new blockchain protocol used to timestamp documents with copyright information in order to permanently store authorship information and prevent theft of intellectual property.
The Modern Stamping
According to comments from the creators of the project, much of the platform is simply a modern exercise in a process that has been around in the writing industry for hundreds of years. Since before the 1800s, authors would often mail their own work to themselves in order to prove the date of authorship in court, should a dispute happen. The speaker elaborated, saying that, weird as it might sound, this process is still used occasionally today.
Blockchain technology seems to be tailor-made for this process. Rather than having to send themselves a letter that cannot be opened before a theoretical future court date, authors and creators would simply be able to timestamp their important copyrighted work using the PatentBot program. The information of when the document was written and timestamped would be permanently stored on the blockchain, impossible to remove, edit, or move unless the blockchain is destroyed completely.
Using the program is relatively simple. Users are able to send a file to the server, at which point the server will verify the content and timestamp of the file. Then, the user will receive back a timestamped and encrypted version of the original file. That way, if there is ever a dispute, proving authorship would be as easy as referring back to this digitized record, encrypted and permeant, unchangeably stored on the immutable blockchain.
The list of people and organizations who could make use of this new technology is extensive. Aside from the millions of authors who struggle with copyrighting and authorship dispute issues, law firms, regulators, private businesses, hospitals, and a score of public institutions stand to benefit from a simple and immutable way to verify authorship and time of a particular document.