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Proof of Record, copyrights and patents. Facebook's sleeping revenue stream.

When I first started blogging at sent2null space one of the main reasons for doing so was to record sketchy thoughts into a public medium where there would be a record of the act of having presented the idea.

This would serve as a proof of record of sorts to the origination of a given concept. The idea being that in the future when the question comes up of "who wrote about x or y first?" the answer can be found definitively by searching several sources with such proofs of record.

A few hours ago I posted an idea for a new company name to a thread. After joking about the fact that some one may be stealing the idea to attempt implementing something similar I realized that some aspects of that post would be ideally protected via Facebook itself.

If any service will likely be with us for decades if not centuries to come I'd pin it on Facebook, the main reasons I've posted about before.

1) network connection effects. Facility to build social connections on the service.
2) network stickiness. The resistance of those networks to falling apart or being migrated to other services. (See: the mostly failed attempt many on FB had in trying to go over to G+)
3) network scale. Facebook now has 1/7th of the human population logging into its service. This is astonishing...over 1 billion is going to take a very long time for people to disinvest and will require a lot of epic mistakes on FB's part to happen.

All that said, Facebook makes a great medium for enabling proofs of record to be created. It has a history of that can extend as far back into your life as you wish, capturing your every event and post if you wish...but this history can be searched and correlated against similar human histories now and going forward. The recent addition of edit histories or thread life cycles ensures that even edits to commentary are stored preventing retroactive revision of published streams of content.

Though Facebook uses an asynchronous post update algorithm they can readily disambiguate temporal events down to minutes and seconds which should be more than enough resolution to ensure precedent far beyond the ability of most nations copyright and patent systems.

So I see this as a novel opportunity for Facebook to start offering such services.

Imagine the ability to post something that you know is novel or simply suspect may be novel and then tagging it with "proof of record" what this would do is flag to Facebook your intention to file for protection of the described content or simply to have Facebook serve as a vector agent for your posting. In this case a vector agent is basically a witness that can attest to the content and temporal presentation of that content to legal entities across any nation that wishes.

This way Facebook could do things like charge for engaging mechanisms for automatic copyrighting images , music, poetry by users simply posting those novel works and then tagging them as "proof of record" items.

Facebook can then provide services around protecting the submitted content that spans nations. For patentable concepts it could engage an online peer vetting of submitted events that would allow them to quickly be searched for possible infringement of claims by existing patents and if found free of violation, serve as a mechanism to trigger filing for formal patents.

I can see this as a potentially huge and profitable new revenue stream for the social network because of the aforementioned unique attributes.

I share this idea ironically with Blogger here, just remember this article is "proof of record". ;)


Anonymous said…
Again, "go outside, dive into the market" and see if really, people would use your proposed solution. How in hell do you see a potential "*huge*" revenue stream without knowing how many people *today* propose new ideas to...(the public, their circle of friends?) through the Facebook platform.
Just cause you see yourself using it for that purpose (and apparently you're willing to pay Facebook for it) *definitely* doesn't mean everyone would also be willing to do so.
You're the first person I've seen that has actually started a blog so that once they have "a new and genius idea" they'd have a "proof of record" that it was actually theirs if someone else builds it later.
Have you seen cases in real life where blog posts have actually been used as valid proof? How could you actually proove that say, I didn't come up with the same idea on my own and have actually stolen it from you by reading your very blog (against all odds)?
Maybe it's you who should wake up. =(

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