Supporting evidence falls into two categories:
Evolution of ideas
This is defined as evidence that the work progressed over a period of time, rather than being copied from elsewhere, and normally takes the form of development work such as:
- Background research,
- Draft versions,
- Rough sketches,
- First recordings etc.
If you include your evolution of ideas work at the time of registration, you will also establish independent date and content evidence of your supporting work as additional protection, you will also have the assurance that if you lose or discard your original development work, we can provide a duplicate if it is ever required.
Once your work has been registered, you can also use the registration update facility to submit new updates and revisions, this will provide independently verifiable evidence to prove the evolution of your work.
- Version control systems
Using a version control system is an good way to provide evidence of evolution.
Most commonly used for software development, version control systems are used to record and track modifications to files, enabling the user to retrieve earlier versions of the work and track development. Examples include: GitHub, Subversion, Mercurial, CVS & Perforce.
- Copyright registration updates
The registration update facility used to register updates to your work. This enables you to include any new content in the registration, whilst still retaining the original registration date, and evidence of the original content of your work. Updates processed in this manner are linked with your existing registration, and protected from the date we process the application. This also provides evidence of 'evolution of ideas' and demonstrates that your work has evolved and developed.
Even if you use a version control system, you are still able to register updates as independent proof of the date and evolution of your work.
Footprints or watermarking
You can also insert supporting evidence into finished documents:
Footprints are deliberate mistakes or hidden elements that will be known only to you. A typical example would be the software designer who includes redundant subroutines that make it possible to identify the authorship in some way.
Invisible watermarks are algorithms embedded inside a file which can be read by special readers, they are particularly relevant to image files, and many software image packages (such as Adobe Photoshop) provide facilities to include watermark information.
Using image editing or photo editing software it is also possible to add a visible watermark (such as semi-transparent text) identifying the owner for images you publish online. This is discussed in detail on our page 'How to add a visible watermark to images'.