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27/06/2017
Alternative copyright registry? Part II
Por:  Santos E. Ruiz

An earlier article examined alternative copyright registrations routes as SafeCreative, in the light of two important premises: the principle of automatic protection and the existence of official copyright registers.

Thus, we learned that platforms like Safe Creative, rather than protecting works, acted as proof providers in order to help authors demonstrate authorship over their works, and we commented that this was a very different route to the subject of protection itself.

Now, even considering the possibility that these alternative copyright registrations may provide evidence of authorship, we wonder: Could such registries serve as an effective proof to evidence the authorship of a work?

Safe Creative’s Guarantees

When registering a work in Safe Creative, this is added to a kind of database with the data of the author, work and other related details that, in criteria of the company that provides the service, are sufficient to prove the ownership on a work. These include:

  • Integrity of the registered work. Safe Creative's website states that “The registration record is accompanied by a digital copy of the copyrighted work or of a representation or description sufficient for unambiguous identification of the content" [1].
  • Registration date guarantee. Regarding this guarantee, the website states that “To also offer a reliable and irrefutable guarantee of the accuracy of the registration date, the system uses time stamping technology, and as it does with the file integrity identification keys, it is also applied redundantly by stamping one time stamp to the registered file keys with Safe Creative’s time stamp server, and over this time stamp applying a second one from Firma Profesional (Ministry of Industry of Spain homologated time stamp server) thus demonstrating the exact coincidence of dates in both servers at the moment it happened and therefore a total accuracy.” [2]   In order to record the relevant data, Safe Creative issues a certificate that can be downloaded or automatically received by authors. This way users will keep an evidence independent from Safe Creative.

 

Effectiveness of Private Registry Generated Evidence

Safe Creative asserts that it provides effective evidence, stating that “a private copyright registration has the same effectiveness and the advantage of offering evidence of authorship as public registration would in deterring plagiarism – in many cases free of charge – and has the advantage of generating the strongest technology based global evidence, immediately available and transparent online information, which facilitates interaction between rights holders and the users of the works.” [2]

However, it is prudent to pause for a moment to analyze whether this type of evidence is actually necessary in Venezuela. Thus, it is necessary to refer to article 111 of our Law on Copyright which, when referring to civil and administrative actions, provides that the Judge \"may order judicial and expert inspections, as well as any other means of proof provided for in the Civil Procedure Code.\"

The Civil Procedure Code provides that, in addition to the means of proof provided therein, those of the Civil Code and other laws of the Republic are admissible. Likewise, it establishes that other means not expressly prohibited are admissible provided they are conducive, which shall be produced under the rules of similar means of evidence and, failing that, in the manner indicated by the Judge.

The problem is that Safe Creative issues a registration certificate including the details of the work and the author that does not constitute a proof of authorship, but is a tool that serves as circumstantial evidence.  Thus, is it really a good investment a service that does not provide evidential security on the ownership of the works? We recommend consulting your Intellectual Property advisors in order to protect your works or, as advised in a previous article, to prevent conflict.

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Sources:

[1] [2] Safe Creative. Safe Creative. 2017. https://www.safecreative.org/faq/las-garantias-tecnicas-que-ofrece-el-servicio-de-registro-de-propiedad-intelectual-de-safe-creative

[3] Safe Creative. Safe Creative. 2017. http://es.safecreative.net/faqs

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