The online timestamping service was developed by Hellenic Copyright Organization (HCO) in order to address the need of all authors (irrespective of the specific type of the work created and regardless of whether they are professionals or amateurs) to be capable of proving in a simple and efficient manner the date at which their work existed under a specific form.

The timestamping service is neither a formality nor operates as a prerequisite in order for a copyright or a related (to copyright) right over a work to be obtained, since this right is acquired (in accordance with both national law and international conventions in the area) informally and without the author’s consent to be required. In order for a work to be copyright protected, it shall constitute an original intellectual literary, artistic or scientific creation, expressed in any form (art. 2, Law 2121/1993). Whether a work fulfills the preconditions stated above consists of an issue to be determined by the courts.

We strongly believe that this service, based upon international and European standards, will facilitate authors to obtain evidence in respect of the existence of their works.

1. What is Time Stamp?

It constitutes one of the practices followed for the protection of the author, accomplished through the formulation and substance of evidence serving as the means for proof of the date of existence of an object that may be protected under copyright law (hereinafter: work).
As from the moment when the work is converter to a digital file, Time Stamp is, in effect, uniquely identifying it, attaching it, in parallel, with the specific date and time that its submission to the ‘Time Stamp’ service has taken place.

2. What may be submitted to the service as a Time Stamp object?

Any digital file.
The type of the digital file is irrelevant, since any format is admissible, indicatively mentioning word files, worksheets, sound, image and video editing files etc.

3. How does Time Stamp protect me in copyright infringement cases?

On the basis of the ‘Time Stamp’ process, the exact time of existence of the digital file submitted for timestamping may be certified.
In more detail, with the completion of timestamping process, the service produces the digital files concerning the identity of the file (id_hash) and the timestamping of the file’s ID (id_tst), which subsequently must be saved by the user in a file on his computer, together with the file submitted. The verification process, which is performed electronically via the service, requires the availability and submission of all the files above, in order for their compatibility to be verified, in order to be eventually determined that the submitted file has been submitted to the specific date and time (or, otherwise, that the work has been stamped).
For analytical guidelines concerning the ‘Time Stamp’ process please click here
In this way, the existence of the file at this given time is certified. Moreover, the extent to which a file may include a copyright protected work, or, on the other hand, if a copyright infringement has been committed, constitute issues to be decided and resolved by the competent courts.

4. Which is the usefulness of a ‘Time Stamp’ certification?

The certification issued by Hellenic Copyright Organization (OPI) consists a confirmation, in a writen form, of the evidence concerning both the user of the service and the operation of timestamping. Such evidence is the user’s full name, the name of the submitted file, the digital identity of the submitted file, as well as the specific date and time that the timestamp has taken place. In a case of a dispute concerning the content of the file, or the extent to which the certificate issued refers to the specific file, a verification process is provided, as executed by Hellenic Copyright Organization. In addition, the certificate does not constitute any evidence of existence of copyright or related rights over the file it concerns.

5. Why do I have to create a user profile?

The user profile is necessary in order for the user to be able to subscribe to the service, and consequently to make use of it. The profile is created once for each user, and insofar as the necessary, for the service, information is successfully saved, the user receives an email in order to activate his account. Subsequently, the user may log – in to the service, typing his “username” and the “password” he had chosen during the creation of his profile.

6. How much does Time Stamp cost?

The cost of timestamp is fixed exclusively on the basis of the size of the file uploaded. For this reason, there are specific graduations (pre-determined ranges of sizes) for the specific determination of the charges.
The charges are allocated correspondingly to the size of the submitted file. In particular:
files from 0 to 3 Megabytes are charged with 20 euros
files from 3.1 go 10 Megabytes are charged with 30 euros
files from 10.1 to 50 Megabytes, are charged with 45 euros
and files from 50.1 Megabytes to 2 Gigabytes, are charges with 85 euros.
The verification process carried out by the HCO, e.g. to be used in a court case that concerns a work that has been submitted to the online timestamping service of the HCO, costs one hundred (100) euros. V.A.T. is not included in the costs herein above.