Will posting a copy of my work to myself help to prove its origination?

Known as the “poor mans copyright”, posting a copy of your work to yourself is not a reliable method for proving origination. The reason is that the method can be easily faked and manipulated. For example, an empty and unsealed envelope can be posted and the work sealed inside at a later date to give the impression it was created earlier. It is unlikely this evidence would stand up in Court.

The best way to deal with origination issues is to ensure all preparatory documentation that goes into the creation of a work is signed by the author, and dated, then stored in a safe place. Such documentation could include sketches, drafts, plans etc. However, once the work is complete, filing a copy of the work with a recognised third party such as a solicitor, bank or independent organisation will help provide independent evidence of a latest possible date of creation. ACID offer such a service through the ACID Design Data Bank and all members should take advantage of this.

Last update on 06.11.12 by the ACID Team.

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