Proof of delivery

The artist who sent himself up, from today’s Times, reports on an unemployed actor who posted himself to the Tate Britain in a wooden box. Dan Shelton said the idea came from the technique used by inventors who seal plans in a postmarked envelope to prove when they came up with a concept. Shelton and The Times should be aware that this technique is also used by certain writers as a cheap alternative to copyright registration: you send yourself a copy of what you’ve written and leave it unopened somewhere safe before sending it to a publisher or whoever, so that if someone else steals it and makes millions out of it you can prove the idea was in fact yours all along and sue them. Of course it’s all a bit vain because it presupposes that your idea is so brilliant that someone would want to rip you off, which nine times out of ten isn’t the case. Anyway, I hope Shelton made sure he was signed for, so that in the unlikely event that someone else claims to be him, he can sue them.