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How Do I Secure An IP, While Leaving Options Open? 281

Tiger4 writes "Let's say I have a photograph, or a television script, or have finally perfected the water-to-gasoline conversion process, or some other piece of non-software but copywritable or patentable IP. I know I want it secured in my name, on this date, in a provable and verifiable way. But being an Open Source, free-to-the world sort of person, I'm willing to share my knowledge to the world, as long as all credit points unambiguously to me. Any attempts at theft could, would, and must be immediately rebuffed by my offer of proof from when I first secured the IP. What, if any, tool or method is available to me in the digital world? MD5 and the like are available to show that copied files are the same as the original source, but they don't show time of authorship unambiguously. The same with Public Key crypto. I could lock it up with a time stamp, but what prevents me from faking the stamp that locks the file? Is there a way to homestead a little chunk of time with my IP's name on it?"

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