Trusted timestamping

Alex Pankratov ap at
Wed Oct 7 01:21:19 EDT 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: pgut001 [mailto:pgut001 at] 
> On Behalf Of Peter Gutmann
> Sent: October 5, 2009 10:07 PM
> To: ap at; cryptography at
> Subject: Re: Trusted timestamping
> "Alex Pankratov" <ap at> writes:
> >I have spent a couple of days looking around the Internet, 
> and things 
> >appear to be .. erm .. hectic and disorganized.
> >
> >[...]
> Your summary pretty much answers the question, lots of bit 
> players sitting around waiting for the market to emerge, and 
> they've been waiting, in some cases, for at least the last 
> decade or so.  In Europe the vendors are pinning their hopes 
> on legislation forcing people to use TSPs, although even 
> there it's been severely crippled by the fact that having to 
> point a legislative gun at the customers head to get them to 
> use it doesn't engender much enthusiasm for it.

These players are sitting in the wrong place then. I have run 
into a fairly well defined need for a timestamping service in 
a graphic design community. 

Interestingly enough they do not need the timestamps for the 
courts, they need them more as a deterrent to a blatant theft 
of their creative ideas. 

If someone copies their work, verbosely or at a concept level, 
then the clone is wortheless unless it can be sold or used as 
a promotion vehicle. The copycat's goal is to get the copy 
published in as many online galleries and auction/specwork 
sites as possible, and the goal of the original author is to 
prevent that from happening. At the moment the challenge 
frequently boils down to searching through contents, 
and using that as a proof of who was first. 

In this context, clearly, serves as a coarse time
stamping service, implicitly trustworthy. There is obviously
a room for improvement, and that's why I asked what I asked.


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