Proposal:Timestamping Creative Works

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Very early work in progress. Feel free to contribute suggestions and criticisms on the Discussion page. --Zahlen (talk) 21:28, 10 February 2014 (MST)

Artists, musicians, coders may want to timestamp their works as proof of authorship. They can use aliases to do this for digital works. The key idea is to register an alias to store the hash of the work, then the block height acts as a timestamp:


The process:

  1. Author completes a work, and stores it in a single file (e.g. using a compression program).
  2. Calculate a hash of the file using a common, strong hash function (e.g. SHA256)
  3. Register an alias using a standardized format, e.g.
Alias:[Title of work]-[Author name]-[filename]-[optional: descriptive tags] (Restricted to only latin chars and digits... how to ensure clear separation?)
URI:[hash function]:[hash value]-[optional: version number]-[optional: additional descriptions]
Ideally, use the Alias field for indexable descriptions that are not likely to change, and the URI field for information that may need to be updated.


  1. After registering the alias, the author archives the file somewhere, e.g. on a hard disk, in cloud storage, uploaded as a torrent.
  2. Updated versions of the work could be timestamped by updating the URI field, or registering a new alias.


In future, once there is demand: Software that easily generates and manages such aliases.