Earlier this mont we talked about EasyTimestamping, a non-repudiation service by Securo that works with I.CA, a credited certificate authority in the EU, to give an extra layer of protection and legal support.
Unfortunately, I can’t give Securo a full write up as I don’t have an Android phone, however, the concept is definitely an interesting one and something that any mobile device photographer may want to take a look at.
How it Works and Why Use It
The basic idea of Securo is fairly simple. You take a photo using the Securo app,
the photo is automatically sent to their servers where a hash of the photo is created (Correction: According to Marco from Securo.it, the hash is created on the phone and that hash is then sent to their servers), the time, date and uploader are recorded and you are given a certified photo in return.
The main use of this tool has less to do with copyright and more to do with other situations where you may need legal proof of when a photo was taken. For example, if you’ve been in a car accident and wish to record the damage or your house sustained damage in a storm. Securo can verify when the image was taken and that it wasn’t altered.
That being said, with more and more artistic and creative work being photographed on mobile phones, it makes sense that, artists might be interested in this app as well as a means to verify when an image was taken and who took it, especially in environments where multiple photographers may be working at the same time.
As with EasyTimestamping.com itself, this power is most useful outside of the U.S., in particular the EU, as the evidence gained by this, while useful, can’t stand on its own in the U.S. This is because you still need to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office to sue for infringement and have prima facie evidence of authorship. This evidence as with a Securo certificate, puts the burden on the other party to disprove the claim rather than on you to prove it.
But even with that limitation, Securo is an interesting idea and one that, as the creators point out, has a lot of alternative uses as well.
All in all, this seems a natural space for non-repudiation services to get into. With more and more content being created on mobile devices, it seems logical for these services to create applications and mobile versions that streamline the verification process.
My only regret is that I can’t play with the app to give it a hands-on review, but I will do so when and if the iPhone version is released.
In the meantime, I’d like to see other non-repudiation services step more into the mobile space. There’s also no reason to limit it just to images as sound recordings, text works and videos also need verification and protection as well.
Securo is a great idea but it’s just the tip of a much bigger mobile iceberg. One that should be very exciting for content creators and non-repudiation services alike.
(Note: Pricing information isn’t available on Securo’s site. However, the app is free and I’m forced to assume that the timestamps would cost the same as they do on EasyTimestamping, meaning a range from 20 timestampes for 10 Euros (approx $13.75) to 500 for 100 Euros (approx $137.50). Will update when I get verification.)