This describes a technique that can help you prove that you are the rightful owner
of a piece of software or data, although it can easily be used to show your ownership of any idea or object.
- Create a copy of your software/data on removable media. A write-once CD-ROM is preferable but floppy disk is also OK.
- Write your name and the date on the media.
- Place it in an envelope, seal it and sign your name over all of the seals of the envelope.
- Mail the envelope to yourself, or your lawyer, by recorded delivery. This will place an official date-stamp on the software/data.
- Keep the envelope in a secure location, for example, a safety deposit box.
In a dispute over ownership, if you can produce this and have it opened in front of witnesses, while the other party cannot, you have a strong argument for your ownership of the contents of the envelope.