What is PriorThings
PriorThings is a service that makes it possible for you to register your creative works and intellectual property in the public blockchain. Registering your genius and flashes of brilliance becomes necessary when there is a dispute about ownership or prior art. PriorThings is a service that resulted in our quest to find a way to secure our creative works against future claims.
PriorThings uses the public blockchain to store your registrations. We chose the blockchain because it is the best available way to store content in an immutable manner. Once something has been stored to the blockchain a permanent record gets created. Once added, altering your content corrupts the entire chain. The immutable nature of the blockchain is the reason that financial institutions and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have turned to the blockchain to register financial transactions.
Can I do this myself?
Yes. We’ll even show you how just keep reading. But like most things in life that you could technically “do yourself,” this is one that you might not want to tackle. You could technically pull your own wisdom teeth and there is even probably a Youtube video that will teach you how. But wisdom tells us not to. Same thing here. There are too many moving parts to keep track of if you ever need to prove prior ownership. To answer this question more fully, let’s explore our methodology.
Step 1: Bundling
Everything begins with you the user. You will log into the Prior Things platform and gather your intellectual property or creative works into bundles of digital assets. These bundles might include nothing more than a description of your idea, or they can include descriptions, diagrams, notes, files, source code, images, etc. Everything you want to include in your bundle gets uploaded to Prior Things. Please note that you can password encrypt your files before uploading them to Prior Things, but it is your responsibility to retain the decryption password safely in your possession.
Step 2: Hashing
We create a hash of each digital asset within your bundle. A hash is a unique digital fingerprint of each file and bit of information that you send to PriorThings. We then create a JSON object that contains all those hashes and create a master hash which becomes the digital fingerprint for your entire bundle.
Step 3: Publishing
When you are satisfied that you have included everything important in your bundle you push it to the blockchain by clicking the Publish button. This action is irreversible. Once you press that button, we launch a few contracts against the blockchain to create a third hash of your data before committing it to the blockchain. Our hashing algorithm is critical because you do not want your original files published to the blockchain. We only publish a triple-hashed digital fingerprint of your content.
Step 4: Confirmation
Once your request is mined, we receive a transaction receipt that provides us details about the exact block location of your bundle. We provide you with QR codes and a landing page for each of your registered bundles so that you can demonstrate prior art ownership of your creative works and intellectual property.
Step 5: Proving Ownership
To prove ownership of your stuff you need to be able to backtrack all the steps above. Verification requires that we match each file to the digital fingerprints that are registered with the blockchain. If the data change in any manner from the time of registration and when you are required to prove prior art, the fingerprint will fail, and you will be out of luck. Verification is where PriorThings becomes your trusted third-party. We maintain not only source files and file fingerprints, but a historical archive of the algorithms required to reproduce the block entry.