The copyright belongs to the author of the work, who is authorized to decide on the exploitation of the work and to gain financial benefits from it. Simply put – you have the right to decide on what you create. The copyright understood in this way arises automatically upon creation of each work and is not subject to registration. However, the fact that literary work, graphic design or computer program was created in a particular form at a specific point in time is often difficult to prove. For example, if you write a book and put it in a proverbial drawer, how shall you prove that you had created it first, if it was stolen from you and now someone else claims that he is the author of it?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) proposes a solution to this problem. On 27 May, a new service was launched – WIPO PROOF. This platform allows you to receive an official confirmation that your digital file existed at a specific point in time. The file can be in any format, and the data contained in it will be classified into several categories:
- trade secret (undisclosed expertise);
- creative work (audio, visual or literary);
- creative design (brand logo, design, textiles, architecture and more);
- industrial design (technical diagram, schemes, processes and others);
- code (for software, applications, games and others);
- research (laboratory notes, reports or other arrangements);
- data (ai algorithm training, genetic sequencing and others);
- digitally signed document (contracts, letters, certificates and others);
- other (e.g. damage documentation or unsigned documents).
The system is safe because it does not require sending the file to external WIPO servers at any stage , or any other form of reading its content by an external entity. On the basis of the data of the file saved locally in our browser, a unique token is generated (the so-called “digital fingerprint” – a unique digital code that is like the fingerprint of our file) with an assigned digital stamp confirming the date of its generation. The cost of obtaining such a token is CHF 20. As a part of this fee, token data is stored by the WIPO for 5 years, in order to allow verification of its authenticity (extending the service for the next period requires the payment of another fee). The authenticity of the token generated by WIPO PROOF can be verified free of charge by anyone without creating an account on the WIPO internet platform. WIPO also offers the option of purchasing a certificate of authenticity of the token, in the form of a pdf document signed by the organization.
Obtaining the confirmation for a certain date for a specific form of the work as a whole (and not just a general declaration of its creation), granted by a credible and reputable international organization, will allow it to be used as evidence in litigation around the world. Owing to WIPO tokens and certificates, you can easily and securely prove the existence of a digital file at a specific and demonstrate that the file has not been modified since it was created.