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11. The Value of Registering Creative Works 203

it online or to produce and distribute copies. The business model is based on a small fee for collecting and redistributing payments of value-added services, such as bonus tracks with remixes produced by fans.

9. Some conclusions on trust and governance

As different registries emerge, the challenge of separating practices and maintaining quality standards and trust with different registries approaches. Registry services should certainly not undermine copyright in the sense that only registered works are protected. As soon as we publish a work it shall be copyrighted, unless we say that we grant specific usages, expressed by licenses like one of CC. However, we want to be able to define usage rules for each work or for sets of works, and those rules need to be described somewhere. For example, automatic enclosure of license-related metadata for pictures would be used by many photographers if it were easy to handle. Still, the photographer needs to sign her works in a trusted way when publishing the pictures.

How can we achieve trust? Registration services need to be able to verify that a person’s online identity can be tracked down to his or her real identity. This can be assured by a “web of trust” such as CAcert or by testing the user’s postal address and bank account with a pro-forma credit card payment. However, most registration services also offer a simple check of the existence of an email address. This method of identifying a creator may be efficient for the publisher, but not for the commercial user, who needs full trust that the work is by the author that is claimed and nobody else. Fraudulent claims of copyright could not be solved effectively either, and a conflict resolution procedure needs to be offered. Better user identification would result in fewer frauds. Following the guidelines of implementing digital timestamps (RFC 3161), a revocation procedure needs to be provided for objects which have been signed erroneously or by fraud.

Which organisational structures are providing trust? We need to ensure technical operation for decades and we need to show transparency for the processes. According to economic theory, long-term institutions are either public or have incorporated democratic control elements. Purely profitoriented enterprises may be sold sooner or later, refocus their business or just go out of business. In that case, their limited liability will not be of any use for registrants or users of registered works, unless another registry is taking over the data set, which may be a cumbersome issue for personal


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