Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Global Education announced that they are creating a rights management based on blockchain technology. Though the first phase of hype surrounding blockchain slowly died down, this hasn’t stopped huge companies from jumping on-board.
The platform will be used to store digital content; think music and video. Sony spoke about the outdated methods that have been used to store content:
Today, advances in technologies for digital content creation allow anyone to broadcast and share content, but the rights management of that content is still carried out conventionally by industry organizations or the creators themselves, necessitating a more efficient way of managing and demonstrating ownership of copyright-related information for written works. This newly-developed system is specialized for managing rights-related information of written works, with features for demonstrating the date and time that electronic data was created, leveraging the properties of blockchains to record verifiable information in a difficult to falsify way, and identifying previously recorded works, allowing participants to share and verify when a piece of electronic data was created and by whom. In addition to the creation of electronic data, booting up this system will automatically verify the rights generation of a piece of written works, which has conventionally proven difficult. Furthermore, the system lends itself to the rights management of various types of digital content including electronic textbooks and other educational content, music, films, VR content, and e-books. As such, Sony is contemplating possible uses in a wide range of fields.
This system will be great when it comes to cases to relate with IP in media but considering that Sony has already messed up when it comes digital management rights before, it will be interesting to see whether this will be a viable platform that plugs or improves on previously existing gaps. Due to blockchain’s nature, which tracks digital transactions in records that are particularly difficult to forge or otherwise tamper with, its application as a DRM tool makes sense and may also help creators keep tabs on their content.
Good or bad?
Well, Sony has been plugging away at DRM solutions for a while now and they’ve been involved in a scandal or two. Why do I say this? Well, blockchain enthusiasts tend to say things like “even Sony is using blockchain!!” when people are arguing about the tech. Yes, Sony will be using the technology soon but with their track record, it might be a good idea to actually wait and see if they don’t mess it up this time around.
Who else is getting in on the action?
Microsoft, Google and Mastercard are also dipping their toes into the blockchain pool. I believe the utility is there but I’m not entirely sure if it will be as impactful as some belief. I certainly don’t think it will be an internet version 2.0.
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