Sony the Japanese technology company, made an application on Thursday for a patent for a blockchain system to store digital rights data. Digital rights management (DRM) systems, restrict access to copyright-protected content to those who have the permissions, this is often via a paid service or purchased copy. Customer identification could be stored on the blockchain, which could be used in the verification process to validate if they have the appropriate permissions to view or listen to the media. Sony believes a blockchain-based system could prevent piracy across a variety of media and data such as video, audio, games, and scientific data.
Impact of piracy
In a day and age where we have the internet at our fingertips, copyright infringement is a growing concern. Producers, developers, and service providers are continually looking to improve systems to protect their products.
Digital TV predicts a total loss of USD 52 billion across 138 countries between 2016 and 2022 for streaming services. Piracy, not only affects profits by the loss of subscription fees but puts ad related profits into the pockets of criminals. These figures do not include profit losses from illegal cable and satellite services.
According to Sandvine’s studies TV service providers are set to loose up to USD 4 billion as a direct result of pirated TV services. Up to 6.5% of North American households are believed to be viewing this illegally streamed media. As technology improves and more content begins to migrate to media players like HBO and Netflix, the material becomes more accessible to hackers. Piracy is no-longer a concern for just Hollywood and the music industry.
The computer game industry loses up to a fifth of its U.S market to piracy, USD 3.5 Billion. Globally, piracy costs the market 8.1 Billion a year.
Music piracy was on the rise in 2017 and was up by 14.7% from prior years. The US was at the top of the list, with 27.9 billion visitors to illegal music sites annually.
By country, the U.S. is affected most by the impacts of piracy and the industry is looking to take preventative measures. If piracy was to continue at its current rate, we would inevitably see a loss of profits, leading to a reduction in services or media offered. Blockchain could bring a fairer future for content providers and producers alike.