What is it?
A timestamp is a proof that valid information of your property existing before any similar work was done. The timestamps show the integrity of any information that has been processed through the system.
Timestamping is characterized by a higher level of assurance, advanced security and it is convenient. The processes of time stamping include:
* The generation of a unique digital fingerprint also called a hash which is derived from a file. The hash on every file is unique and cannot be duplicated.
* The timestamp is generated by the computer and included in the file hash. It then creates a second hash which is unique and derived from the two pieces of data.
* The computer proceeds to create an encrypted key which becomes the only means through which the owner of the key can access the recorded information of the timestamp.
* The file owner is given the hash and the private key (the signed hash) as well as the information contained in the timestamp. This is stored with the original document as proof that the document and files have been timestamped. This is an entirely confidential process because the hash is securely stored on the computer.
Currently, time stamping is based on reliable agents who render this service. They are usually authorized by the government as third party representatives who have the authority to facilitate the computer processes to generate and record timestamps. Some of these agents have also secured approval from the European Union and foreign governments because they met with the recommended security standards.
Blockchain represents the most innovative version of the timestamp technology. It works independently of third-party agents by using a decentralized tamper-proof virtual ledger to facilitate a peer to peer network which records timestamps. Blockchain has already been accepted by authorities from all over the world as a high level and superior timestamp technology based on the acceptable transactions recorded in the Blockchain ledgers.
One of the essential parts of the Blockchain is the block. This is the part responsible for preserving all kinds of value that stand for data sets. During the process of setting up this system, the block is validated by the network through a complex cryptographic puzzle. It is then included as part of the Blockchain permanently. All single files can be processed to represent their hash values by using a strong hash function which is described as the digital file fingerprint. The hash value and other hash values created are put into the block. The block and its components are validated and endorsed on the blockchain. Whenever this process is carried out, the block is updated with a date and time value which supports the immutability of the blockchain. This also applies to the content of the blockchain which includes the original files and hash values that can be verified by the rightful owner.
In many countries, the introduction of the blockchain stands as a potential substitute for the previously used trust services in those countries. There are variances in the time of transition depending on the method used and many other factors such as the existing laws, regulations, technology, practices, etc. And this is why Proofstack has developed the Blockchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dashcoin (coming soon)) and EU qualified timestamps.
The Qualified Timestamp authorities are creators of copyright holders possessing timestamps that have better protection features, higher levels of deterrence and better chances of winning legal battles against infringers.
The European Union has provided a very comprehensive set of requirements to control the use of qualified electronic timestamps under the eIDAS. This is the EU Regulation No. 910/2014. You can find more details about this here (Section 6, articles 41 and 42). It was published on 23 July 2014. On 01 July 2016, the eIDAS became binding on all the members of the EU.
eIDAS hinders the courts from avoiding the legal admissibility of timestamps as valid evidence because it has been generated electronically hence it does not meet the rigid conditions of an EU qualified timestamp. The European courts will have to acknowledge your timestamp as evidence even though it has been electronically generated.
The various timestamps obtainable in different countries such as Germany (Exceet), Hungary (Microsec) and Estonia (SK ID Solutions AS) have more advantages. The courts in these places acknowledge four characteristics of qualified timestamps as date, time, content, and the certificate of the timestamp authority. Furthermore, the issuance of a timestamp by one member state is acknowledged as a qualified electronic timestamp in all the member states.
The evidence provided by the qualified timestamp authorities has higher probative, and this compels the companies to carry out the following functions to meet the eIDAS standards:
* Combine the date and time with the data in the timestamp such that it reduces the chances of the data from being manipulated.
* Create the timestamp based on an accurate and reputable time source.
* Signature (individual) or a seal (corporate) should be used as an endorsement on the timestamp with the use of innovative technology as described under eIDAS.
Globally, in the places like the United States and other countries, the electronic timestamping authority has not been fully recognized and adopted. However, the electronic timestamps are considered as valid evidence in most jurisdictions.
Proofstack has made the eIDAS qualified electronic timestamps available through the Exceet Secure Solutions based in Germany, Microsec developed in Hungary and SK (SK ID Solutions AS) from Estonia. The electronic timestamps are issues by Exceet, Microsec and SK, they meet the eIDAS standards, and they are accepted as valid evidence in all the European member states.
Some countries have promoted the electronic timestamping using their laws and regulations which are in agreement with the eIDAS standards. While some timestamps may be applicable in other countries as a reciprocating gesture. Proofstack has made timestamps available for the following countries
France, Spain, Slovakia and Turkey:
Universign (Paris, France)
Tractis (Madrid, Spain)
Disig (Bratislava, Slovakia)
KamuSM (Kocaeli, Turkey)
Proofstack has also made available numerous options that have been designed to meet your needs. The laws that govern the probative value of copyright evidence provision are usually very complicated. Therefore you should find out the laws and regulations, third-party website provisions and the advisors to get legal advice concerning the copyright protection provisions that can be related to your needs.