It may seem a bit strange, but the idea of owning a piece of data is a relatively new concept. Before the invention of the printing press in the 15th and 16th centuries, the only real “owner” of any piece of data (a scroll or book or whatever) was the person holding the physical document. When the printing press allowed for the wide dissemination of books, anyone could print anything and sell it. None of Shakespeare’s plays were published by himself and the copies we have today are hobbled together from the folios and quartos which only started to appear forty years after the playwright’s death. In 1662, the English Parliament tried to protect the author’s rights (in a veiled censorship mood to be honest) and this example was followed by the West resulting in today’s rather complex web of protections for documents and now data.
A major concern for companies deploying PLM systems is the security of their intellectual property throughout the product design and manufacturing processes. Now that data is primarily inside networks and computers, it gets even more complex to determine the real owner of a particular document or idea. Qore8 provides both electronic and digital signatures and a related infrastructure designed to protect PLM IP as it moves through the supply chain always guaranteeing original ownership.
Sometimes things can get confusing during various processes though. To take an example from the jazz world, the amazing pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk wrote the jazz class “‘Round Midnight” (also sometimes written as “‘Round About Midnight”) and asked his friend Cootie Williams to get it copyrighted for him (Monk was not big on paperwork!) Unfortunately for Monk, Cootie added his name as well as Bernie Hanighen’s to the copyright (Hanighen wrote lyrics for it, unrequested and unwanted by Monk and more or less completely forgotten now), and so, despite having written the song by himself, he had to split royalties with two other guys who truly added no creative spark to his work particularly after Miles Davis made a massive hit out of it on his eponymous album in 1957.
In order to secure transfers in PLM, Qore8 has a robust approval system using digital signatures with the customer’s personal certificates to validate all approvals during the life of any object. This way, no one can steal credit (or pass the blame) because there is a secure trace of all approvals.
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