How does it work exactly ?
Since the beginning of the internet there has been research on Digital Rights Management (DRM) using cryptography to provide proofs of existence and traceability. Recently this technology has evolved towards a decentralized technology using cryptography, called blockchain. But no matter which technology is used and trusted, we believe we can only provide this level of protection that is needed through a community that supports it. Because how can you enforce ethical and fair protection for authentic ideas, in different jurisdictions, globally ? First of all, a proof of existence for your idea, is not a final solution: you will still need to go to courts to see judges and lawyers. Secondly, the terms authentic, ethical and fair can be defined and interpreted differently in local regions and cultures around the world. If you need to let the local judges and lawyers decide on those terms, again it will cost you lots of money, with no guarantee of a positive outcome. Therefore we created this global community, the Ethical and Fair Creators Association. And this makes us different from all the other proof-of-existence-startups that use blockchain or one of the other solutions for DRM. We define in our community what exactly is ethical, fair and authentic, we do that for free, with the help of volunteers. And we enforce it, because we invest in, like, buy from and work for these authentic entrepreneurs.
We provide a platform called MacroIdea, where you can submit new ideas, content, music and video. You could see this platform as the Wikipedia for new authentic ideas, with clear identification and support for the original creators. When people/startups want to raise capital on crowdfunding sites or elsewhere, they can show the reference to their idea on the platform, which shows the exact date when the idea was submitted. If you are an investor on crowdfunding sites for example, wouldn't you want to invest in the authentic creators instead of investing in people who only made a nice story around someone else's idea they copied ? If you ever have tried to create a new page on Wikipedia, then you know that the community on Wikipedia will only accept the article, if there is already sufficient information available about that topic on the web. So it is even not possible to put new ideas on Wikipedia. Like the community on Wikipedia reviews (and possibly rejects) articles, our community will check ideas submitted on the platform and verify if they were not already submitted by someone else on MacroStarter or on another site. We use automated tools to crawl the web for identifying potential copy/paste parts, as much as we can, like Wikipedia. These verifications are actually the work that lawyers and judges would perform in an intellectual property dispute. We do their work in our community, for free, to help starting entrepreneurs have an effective and affordable way to protect ideas. That's why we are also looking for many volunteers who want to help us do manual reviews as well, as not everything can be automated. So please get in contact with us, if this interests you !
Our technology is based on blockchain, but we do not create virtual currencies. To explain briefly how blockchain works in a simplified manner: it is a distributed computer network, with each of the machines holding a full copy of the database. In order to change something, it needs to be agreed by most of the machines. So this system is difficult to hack, virtually impossible if there are enough machines in the network. This contrasts with centralized organizations that also of course keep data in the database, with backup etc. But it will be easier to maliciously modify the data held by this one organization. It can be hacked, the organization can be acquired by other parties , it can be corrupted by internal fraud. Because the blockchain uses databases spread over different organizations, individuals, universities, with high ethical standards that cannot be bought and/or are not corrupt, knowing you need most of the machines to control the integrity, it is clear to understand it is a fair and secure system. Of course the more machines, the higher the infrastructure costs. So in terms of web applications, it is more expensive than the traditional applications, but the traditional way of working involves also a lot more administration, taxes, fees, third parties, etc, which in fact makes blockchain systems in the end a lot cheaper to protect value of some kind. These can be currencies, or innovative ideas, content, music, trademarks, property. You can also submit ideas, content, music and video in encrypted format on our site, if you do not want to go for crowdfunding immediately and then later provide the cleartext version, when you are ready to raise capital. The timestamp (date) when the encrypted idea,content, music or video was submitted first, will be used in this case as the authenticity date for your submission.
For MacroIdea, we chose AES 256-bit encryption. You can download the free tool VSTextEncrypt (parse as text, don't use salt) for text encryption and VSFileEncrypt for file encryption. The file can then be attached to your submission on our site. You should use a secure password. There exist many other tools, but they not always use the 256-bit version of AES and can give different results on different operating systems. Also, when using an online encryption site, you submit your idea in cleartext to the site! So it is safer to download an encryption tool and run it locally. You can use other encryption tools, but in this case, you need to guard the tool, the right version and remember the extra parameters, options and OS you used. We will need all of these, when you want to prove the authenticity of your idea. This will lead to extra work at our side, to verify. Extra work will be invoiced at the rate of 55$/working hour. So we recommend to use the free tool, but we also offer you the freedom to decide. We store your encrypted idea in a highly secured cloud environment. Only the SHA-256 hash and the date (timestamp) of submission are stored in our public blockchain. We could also just ask you to generate this SHA-256 hash of your idea and then we don't need you to submit your idea in encrypted format. However the SHA-256 hash, like other hash functions, gives very different results when small changes occur in your original text/file. So if you don't remember or saved the 100% exact text/file that you used in the hash, then you cannot prove anything later on. With our approach, you will only need to enter the password you used before!
You also need to think about the fact that if you leave your idea encrypted for a long time, it is possible someone else comes up with a similar idea in the meantime and already crowdfunded it, before you decide to move on with your own idea. So keep an eye on the ideas that are published to receive crowdfunding, so that you can inform the community in case you believe something unethical and/or unfair is happening.