Bitmark imagines a future where individual internet users will take back ownership of their digital lives – a new internet built on individual freedom and empowerment where everyone has a chance at success. This freedom stems from ownership of digital property just as we own everything we buy and build in the physical world. (https://bitmark.com/)
The more I read throughout their site, the more questions that surfaced. Every tool proposes to meet a need or solve a problem, and Bitmark has set out to create a way to document ownership of digital property rights. If their goal is to protect digital intellectual property, they have committed themselves to a huge undertaking and I’m still not exactly sure how this will be accomplished or enforced in the event of a digital property dispute.
If my initial understanding of this is correct, they are creating a system of digital deeds or patents that will be associated with specific documents, pictures, files, and other digital content. The site also talks about Digital Estate planning and providing a centralized system for managing all of the digital content we produce over a lifetime–another huge undertaking that raises more questions for me.
Curiosity soon won over and I began the process of signing up for an account in hopes of achieving a better understanding of the process and results. Creating an account required me to enter my email and then clicking the link in the confirmation message that was sent to that email. After clicking the link, my dashboard opened and I was able to poke around. I have not been asked for a password or seen anything about a password, which seems odd. At this point, the only way I have found to get into my account is through the link in the confirmation email. When I go back to the sign-in page on Bitmark’s webite, I see the same box to enter my email to create an account. If I enter my email again, I am sent the same confirmation link that gets me to my dashboard. Can a system that asserts to protect digital property rights operate without a password? For now, I’ve bookmarked the link for future access.
Since I first heard about Bitmark through IFTTT, I created an IFTTT Applet to issue a Bitmark for any future blog posts (I’m using WordPress). Not only is this post about Bitmark, I am using it to test Bitmark in the hopes of seeing exactly what a Bitmark is and what I can do with it once it is created. There are also pre-existing IFTTT Applets for Twitter and other social media tools, which may deserve exploration depending on some additional research.
Since I have to publish this post before I can discover more about Bitmark, the story will pause here for the time being.
I can see this tool meeting an important need for bloggers and content creators. Where Creative Commons meets the needs for those willing to share specific content, Bitmark may meet the needs of those wishing to protect specific content and ensure that their content is inherited in accordance with their wishes. Has anyone else had any experience with Bitmark and IFTTT integrations? Have you found it useful, or do you even think this tool is necessary? How are you using it or how do you intend to use it in the future? Are you currently using a better tool to protect your digital intellectual property? I would appreciate any information or opinions in the comments.