About SharpShark

What is SharpShark?

SharpShark is a service for the protection of intellectual property, namely texts and images, intended for publication in open sources. Shark is also able to detect copyright violations and resolve disputes.

Why do I need SharpShark?

SharpShark combines numerous features: copyright protection, proof of authorship, automatic detection of violations and dispute resolution altogether in one app. Allowing the entire cycle of intellectual property management to be controlled from one place.

How do you create evidence?

According to the Berne Convention (the standard of international law governing intellectual property in 179 countries), authorship occurs at the moment of creation of the work. It doesn’t need to be specially registered, but in the event of a dispute, evidence will be required. The evidence must include: the work itself in an immutable form, the author’s name and the date of creation. We save the work in an immutable form in the IPFS, the date of creation, the author’s name and a digital fingerprint in the blockchain.

Why can this be used as evidence?

It can be used as evidence because it is collected in a way that fulfills the requirements of the Berne Convention. The concept of technological neutrality does not distinguish between centralized and decentralized services.

Why is blockchain needed to protect intellectual property?

Three things are recorded in the blockchain: the digital fingerprint of the content, the date and time, and the address of the author’s account. We are following the path of creating an excess of proof of authorship. Blockchain helps to ensure that the content actually existed at the specified time and the principle of immutability provides the author with reliable, mathematical proof.

What is IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System)?

IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System) is a distributed database. It works on the principle of torrents: content is stored in an encrypted form simultaneously on the computers of many users (nodes). In order to change the content, it must be changed at the same time on all nodes, which is impossible, so the content stored in IPFS is immutable.

Why do I need IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System)?

IPFS is the only infrastructure in the digital sphere that allows you to save content in an immutable form. This is one of the requirements of the Berne Convention so that authorship can be confirmed.

How are users verified?

SharpShark verifies users through their main accounts.

Who’s SharpShark available to right now?

Currently, only companies that give access to their full-time authors can use SharpShark.

In the future, who else will be able to use SharpShark’s service?

We are working on making SharpShark available to individual users too.

Editing and saving content

Where do you save the content?

SharpShark saves content in open source in the IPFS.

What if I don’t want anyone to see my content yet?

Right now, content is shared once saved. However, it is difficult to find it, because there isn’t any search feature yet in IPFS, but there is still a possibility that it will be found. We are working to ensure that the next version will be able to save content in an encrypted form and you will be able to open it whenever you need.

What kinds of content can I upload and save?

Currently, SharpShark supports texts and images. We are in the process of adding audio and video to that list too.

What kind of documents can I upload?

You can upload texts and images in PNG and JPEG formats to SharpShark.

What should I do, if I need to use a part of another author’s content?

SharpShark allows users to cite other authors with a visually pleasing link to the source.

To what extent are quotations allowed?

Although there are no clear legal standard, Article 10 (1) of the Berne Convention says, “It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work which has already been lawfully made available to the public, provided that their making is compatible with fair practice, and their extent does not exceed that justified by the purpose, including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries.” We recommend adhering to the principles of common sense and fair use, and limit yourself to one paragraph.

What should I do if I have already protected the content, but I need to make changes to it?

You can add different versions of the work to SharpShark and they will be automatically merged.

What is versioning?

Let’s say you saved an article but the next day, you found an error. With versioning, you can fix it and it will be overwritten in the new version, which will automatically merge with the previous versions of the work.

Why is versioning needed?

Versioning allows you to confirm authorship at the draft level, which creates a preferable surplus of evidence and confirms authorship.

Why can’t I just edit the already protected document?

This is because of a requirement of the Berne Convention, according to which, the document must be saved in an immutable form.

Where is the content sent once it’s saved?

As soon as the user agrees to the content being protected and made public, it is sent to the IPFS and blockchain, and made available on all participating nodes in the network. Thereby, acquiring the property of immutability.

How does content protection work?

SharpShark does 2 things: it formally creates proof of your authorship, which can be used in court, and, most importantly, it allows you to quickly deal with any unauthorized use of your content. We monitor the reproduction of all protected texts on the internet. And, if a violation is detected, then you have the option to initiate the dispute resolution process using SharpShark as well.

Why is the content checked for originality at the start?

This is done to stop users protecting someone else’s content under their own name.

Can I protect previously protected content on SharpShark?

While this feature is not currently provided by our service, once we figure out how to fully and remotely verify authorship of previously published content, we will add this feature.

What if someone slightly rewrites my content and receives a certificate?

This user would have to rewrite at least 75% of the content. And, even in this case, Shark would detect a lack of originality and ask them to quote the source.

What is a certificate?

A certificate is a document that contains all data which verifies authorship, based on the principle of a surplus of evidence.

Why do I need a certificate?

You need a certificate in case your rights are violated and you need to prove that you are the author, not the third party.

Who signs the certificate?

The certificate is automatically signed by 3 parties: SharpShark, the employing organisation and you, the author.

How do I use the certificate?

If you are the author, then the certificate serves as proof of your authorship. If a violation is detected, SharpShark will use this certificate to resolve the dispute in a dialogue with the violator. You can also use it in other cases yourself, where you need to prove your authorship.

How long is the certificate valid for? How long will my text be protected (for)?

Once a certificate has been issued, it is protected indefinitely. You will always be the owner of your certificate and be the author of the content, even if you unsubscribe from SharpShark. All content becomes a part of the public domain 70 years after the author’s death.

Why do I need QR codes?

QR codes are needed to quickly view records in the IPFS and blockchain.

What is draft level protection? And why do I need to protect content at draft level?

We use this method to create a stronger proof of authorship. I.e., we recommend that you protect your content multiple times: the draft, the corrected version, and the final version immediately before publishing.

Can I delete my data/content?

The content itself cannot be deleted, but your personal data can be. Imagine that your content was published, as if you had published a book.

Is it possible to give up authorship?

The right to be called author is inalienable, and the waiving of such rights usually makes them null and void. This means that no one else can be named as the author of your content. You can transfer the rights to use your content, meaning that you are still the author but the content is commercially used by the copyright holder. You can be a ghostwriter on behalf of a third party, but this is not within Shark’s purview.

But, you can try to voluntarily refuse, so that the work becomes a part of the public domain, if your country’s law/legislation allows it. Though, officially, everyone will still know who the author is.

If you are unable to do so, the deal will still be void. The best way around this situation is to publish the content under a pseudonym.

Can I protect my content under a pseudonym?

Publishing content under a pseudonym is permitted by international law, so SharpShark provides this option.

What can I do with protected content?

You can publish protected content and be sure that if someone republishes it without your permission, SharpShark will notify you and offer to resolve the issue for you.

Auto-detection of violations

What does auto-detection of violations mean? And how does it work?

Every day SharpShark’s algorithm analyzes content on the internet, and if it finds something similar to your content, Shark will report it as a suspected violation. You have the final say, if you consider it to be a violation, you can decide to resolve it, or you can ignore it.

How often does the algorithm check the internet for violations?

The algorithm checks the internet for violations once a day.

What happens when the anti-plagiarism algorithm detects a violation?

If the anti-plagiarism algorithm detects a violation, you’ll receive a notification about it in your personal account and by email.

I have a site where I want to publish my content in a way that is not considered a violation. How do I do it?

You can create a ‘safe list’ of sites that won’t be regarded as suspicious (for example, include your Zen blog in there). Then the anti-plagiarism algorithm won’t view these sites as violators and send you notifications with a link to them.

Dispute resolution process

What happens if someone publishes your text as if it’s their own?

You will receive a notification in your personal dashboard and by email that the anti-plagiarism algorithm has detected an unauthorized use of your content.

Can I not start the dispute resolution process if a violation is detected?

Yes, you can. The decision whether or not to start the dispute resolution process is up to you. If you decide against it and then change your mind, and decide to start the dispute resolution process, you can do so, at any time.

How does the dispute resolution process work?

Firstly, SharpShark will help you to create a claim.

The first claim should be sent to the website owner. If the site owner doesn’t respond, then Shark will help you send the next claim to the website provider. If this also doesn’t work, then the third claim will be sent to a number of search engines, such as Google, Yandex, and Bing.

Usually, the content is removed at one of the first two stages. But if the search engines also don’t respond, then you can file a lawsuit with this certificate.

Who will send the claim?

Unfortunately, by law SharpShark can’t act on your behalf, so the precise act of sending such claims should be performed by you. But SharpShark automates almost all the processes of compiling the claim, finding contact details, and monitoring the progress.

How do I know where to send it?

SharpShark searches for the contact details of the violator via the API of a third-party service, Hunter.io. You can also add the details of contacts manually to the site if they are protected from search bots. SharpShark will instruct you on how to find them.

What results can be achieved using the dispute resolution feature?

In the claim, you set your own terms. You can ask the website owner to:
- Change the content at your request (for example, include links in the first paragraph). 
- Or you can have the content removed from the violator’s site. 
- And/or have it erased from the search results, either voluntarily or forcibly.
- You can also demand that they pay you for content usage (because it was already used).

How many warnings will the violator receive? And how often should they be sent?

Warnings are sent out in accordance with the law, based on the principle of showing sufficient goodwill to resolve the case in a pre-trial manner.
SharpShark helps to send a notification and a claim to the violator one time, then after one business day the next claim to the provider may be sent (with the violator in copy). 

If there is still no response, then the service will help send it to a higher authority: search engines.

How long is the violator given to respond?

In general, the violator is given a day to respond.

How will I be notified about the progress of the case?

You will receive notifications in your personal account and by email.

What if there is no result after the final warning?

You can go to court and request compensation for commercial and ethical damages, as well as financial compensation. We will soon add the affiliated contacts of lawyers and services that assist with filing lawsuits in different countries.

Will I need to contact the violator myself?

Yes, because SharpShark can’t contact the violator on your behalf. But we will guide you!

Will I have to go to court myself?

Usually, SharpShark helps to resolve the case before going to trial. There is a small risk that the violators will not respond and you may have to go to court on your own or with the help of specialists.

If negotiations with the violator have already started, can I still stop the dispute resolution process?

Yes, you can stop the dispute resolution process at any time you want. SharpShark will help you create such a letter automatically.

What happens once the content is deleted?

It will disappear from all search engine results and an error 404 message will appear on the violator’s page. But, you may not see this change right away, because browsers leave site pages in the cache, so we recommend clearing the cache.

What are the stages of dispute resolution? What happens at each stage?

There are 3 stages:
1) Sending a claim to remove the content to the site owner.
2)Sending a claim to delete the content to the website provider.
3)Sending a request/claim to search engines to block pirated content being displayed in their search results.

Can I remove content that wasn’t protected?

Yes, you can. This will cost significantly more than subscribing to the service because evidence will have to be collected manually.

How do I set a fair price for my content?

By law, royalties cannot exceed 5% of the cost of content. The financial side of the issue is a rather flexible condition of the contract: in CIS countries, sometimes authors only get crumbs, and in the States, usually it is the other way around, but the agency is still paid extra.

Are you lawyers? Is this even legal?

Our team includes an international lawyer. Currently, the legal framework in different countries regarding the use of texts stored in blockchain and other data (information) as evidence is not strictly unified, but the commonly recognized principles and standards of international law gives us every right to protect customers and their works, as well as the established conduct of internet providers and other market players. Additionally, the provisions of other legal branches (institutions), such as those related to personal data, are also often in breach of copyright.

Subscription rates and terms

If I unsubscribe, will I lose my certificate of authorship?

If you protected your content using SharpShark, the certificate of authorship will be yours forever. It does not expire, even if you unsubscribe from our service.

What happens if I cancel my subscription?

Once your subscription is cancelled, the monitoring of your content and any disputes resolution processes are stopped. The certificate of authorship remains yours forever.