Role of Blockchain in Reducing Copyright Infringement

August 3, 2018


Role of Blockchain in Reducing Copyright Infringement

Being a creative person in today`s internet driven world is probably the hardest thing to be. Not because creativity in the form of artistic endeavors such as music, photography, painting, and writing, is a very time-consuming process. In fact, we can hear authors saying how many years it took them to write that masterpiece, or a photographer to click that eye-catching, perfect shot. But, once their creative work in uploaded on the internet, they no longer remain the sole proprietor of their artistic works. That, undoubtedly, is the hardest thing these creative people go through because of the internet. Think of a musician who meticulously composes a song and that song virtually ends up in everyone`s phone without any proper citation or mention of the composer of the song.

Well, can that be the end of it? I mean the blockchain technology shows the promises of putting an end to the unauthorized reproduction of creative works online. It promises to protect the copyright infringement and violation committed on the internet.

How is Blockchain Going to Reduce the Copyright Infringement?

 Though the blockchain technology came into being primarily for purpose of the creation and distribution of new kind of currency, which is digital, named Bitcoin. But it seems on track to revolutionize the way internet works and how people interact, access and transact on the internet. One such revolutionary scope of blockchain technology is in the Intellectual Property domain.

The sectors of Blockchain Technology and Intellectual Property are embarking on a new journey to ensure no more violation of the copyright, to put an end to the copyright infringement. As is obvious, the Intellectual Property sector is worst hit by acts of copyright violations, the reason for which are many but following are significant:

  1. No proper digital registry for keeping the record of such things as trademarks.
  2. No secure catalog for safeguarding the creative works of authors and musicians.

These emerge as the primary reasons why infringement takes place. Because of such encroachment on the creative work of the authors and artists, they not only lose monetarily but also get ousted from the authority of their own creations.

With the advent of the blockchain technology, hopes are high that copyright infringement could soon be the thing of the past. It promises air-tight protection of copyrights. Any transaction completed via the network of blockchain remains there permanently, the record of which cannot be edited or removed. The blockchain transaction record would, however, remain accessible for the third party, though strictly subjected to the license and ownership of that very intellectual property (IP).

The IP would become more secure with the deployment of blockchain technology as it keeps the permanent and impenetrable record of transactions taking place and stores data of transaction on a centralized as well as decentralized (meaning public) register.

Continuous developments are taking place to make blockchain technology a full-fledged application for curbing copyright infringement. The protection for the content and security from theft for media content has become the need of the hour. Blockchain in this regard has emerged as the possible savior.

Blockchain Technology and Protection of Intellectual Property

Any creative person such as an author can, with the help of the blockchain, record and register his/her ownership, as the legitimate copyright holder of the creative work on not only the centralized network of blockchain but on its decentralized network as well. Doing so would make it possible for authors to keep track of the manner their material is being accessed on the internet. Not only that, in fact, it allows authors to make the license agreement with other institutions and individuals who may want to use their material, only if an author so desires. It records everything right from the work is registered on its network.

Another feature of blockchain technology solutions that can ensure that copyright of copyright holder is not violated is the digital authenticity documentation. What that means is, when an author registers his work on blockchain network, he is given a certificate that proves his ownership of the work. That makes striking a deal with third party much easier and also notifies an author whenever any violation of copyright is recorded regarding his work.

On the internet, right now, there are no provisions for owners of copyrights to some way limit the use of their material online, or simply to keep a watchful eye over what is happening to the work they have put on the internet. But that limitation has now been eradicated with the advent of the blockchain as it gives them a detailed record of the use their work has accrued over the years. It lets them know who, where and when is using your material.

The impact of this groundbreaking technology has begun to show up as many music industry owners have already partnered with blockchain developers to create for them a highly secure and copyright protection proof system so that they could put an end to the violations and infringement of the copyrights. The music creators and producers seem enthusiastic about blockchain technology as believe that it could at last stop unauthorized distribution of the music, end the problem of no citation or attribution. They are even hopeful that when such technology is fully developed they would, at last, get the royalty they deserve.

So how would blockchain reduce the copyright infringement? It would do so by securing the Copyright, help authors strike a deal via its Smart Contracts feature, help everyone associated with publishing industry receive timely payments via its Smart Wallets, and above all, it would do so by ensuring better Privacy between the owner of the material and its consumer or one who would want to buy it.

One can only hope that blockchain technology would completely eradicate, not only reduce, the copyright infringement that has become so common these days. Rest would depend on how the technology emerges and develops and how would Intellectual Property sector respond and embrace the new technology of blockchain development.

Rohit Madaan

Rohit Madaan

Assistant Digital Marketing Manager at Signity Solutions
I am an enthusiastic internet marketer.
Rohit Madaan