We have been harping on about blockchain technology and the law for so long now, and how our crystal ball has been glowing so much in to the future with a bright light over the possible uses that blockchain technology can support. So, I thought I would offer an example of how it can work in practice.
The brilliant minds at Lawdit have created a system called Protect Your Design (www.protectyourdesign.com) to allow people to safely deposit their copyright works and designs with a firm of solicitors (us). The reason why copyright owners may wish to do this is because it affords them peace of mind that their work, once created, is safe and stored away under lock and key, but also provides a record of creation and ownership. Remember that there can be both registered works and unregistered works, which is the type of copyright that Protect Your Design focuses on. It is also possible for copyright works to be assigned to a third party and allows users to manage and maintain all their designs in one place. Genius isnÂt it!!!!! It gets better because here is where blockchain technology comes in.
We have mentioned record of creation and ownership. By using blockchain technology, this will allow for an accurate record keeping, secure, time stamped and more importantly irreversible record the moment that someone hits the button to upload their works. This means that blockchain is not only recording a personÂs IP, but also showing precisely the journey of this works. If assignment is given, then it will be stamped and recorded to show the whole journey of the work, starting with the genesis block all the way up to the last block which is essentially a timeline of this IP. This then allows for a robust mechanism for proof of work.
It can also act as a source of evidence in a dispute. Now bear with me here, because this could work.
It is likely, in the case of a blockchain, to be its ability to certificate each transaction in the block, namely by the modern use of a smart contract. This is a mechanism intended to regulate, verify and provide credibility for a transaction, or log on each block. It essentially acts as a digital signature that certifies each document stored within the chain. So, for the purposes of Protect Your Design, every logged piece of information regarding the copyright works would be supported by a smart contract. In this capacity, it would be practical to consider its protection under section 7 of the Electronic Communicat, but that is because it isthe ions Act 2000 which specifically details electronic signatures and related certificates, including electronic seals, time stamps, and electronic documents being admissible as evidence. It states that in any legal proceedings, an electronic signature incorporated into or logically associated with an electronic communication or particular electronic data, and the certification by any person of such a signature, shall each be admissible in evidence in relation to any question as to the authenticity of the communication or data or as to the integrity of the communication or data.
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This report is just scratching at the surface with blockchain technologies capabilities and there are far more uses. Protect Your Design is a perfect platform to trial the use of blockchain.
Now all we need is a tech whizz kid to show us how to put this in place!!!!!!