With the evolution of the Internet, piracy has become increasingly more sophisticated. It’s biggest victims however, are probably music artists and actors.
In the last year’s forecast of Digital TV Research, it’s mentioned that the TV series and film could reach a revenue loss of over $50 billion by 2022. This is all attributed to online piracy and those rough estimations do not include sports, pay-per-view and other forms of media content. The real number would be quite higher.
If we’re looking at the scale of worldwide blockchain adoption, we must come to the consensus that the technology isn’t capable to destroy piracy, at least not yet. It’s important to note that most media content can be easily captured and reused. This means that in the moment most blockchain projects are not going after piracy so much as ad transperancy.
A report from CREATe, a UK copyright research body, dives deeper into the psychological aspects of piracy. If we look past the ridiculous over complication of the aspects of Piracy, we can agree that most people do it because they simply cannot afford these products in any way. Some countries have a limited access, but they can share files endlessly with no repercussions.
There is no clear consensus on the subject since many people will likely have their own viewpoint. There is evidence that blockchain technology can be used to start the initiative to combat piracy. It’s a widely shared opinion that piracy would be completely eliminated if the Internet was entirely built on the technology. While that remains a future possibility, there are a few methods involving blockchain, which can be applied today.
Piracy is an opportunity for profit and fame, if a company can manage to combat it
A “surveillance smart contract” technology is currently being developed by Vevue. The blockchain streaming service says that the technology would be able to track the lifespan of all content. Essentially, this would mean that every time a video is copied or recorded in any possible way, the technology would be able to ID the original owner of the system/device on which the content was last displayed.
The tracking isn’t done by blockchain. Tracking and ID’ing the stolen content is quite the difficult task it goes a little above blockchain. The platform will use a very sophisticated computational engine, which is still pending a patent. It will be tasked with content protection but the details on tracking and ID’ing content will be kept a secret.
Another unique approach is taken by a South African company. CustosTech is implementing the Bitcoin blockchain in the fight against piracy. The company has built a technology known as “forensic watermarking.” It’s essentially a reward system, which embeds a monetary reward, in this case Bitcoin. The reward will be connected to the unique serial number encoded into the media files like eBooks, audiobooks, audio and video.
The technology is also known as digital watermarking and has seen the light of day for a few years now. Many companies use this technology today. The watermark is randomly placed in a piece of the media and it’s completely imperceptible. The fact that it’s location is unknown and the way it’s embedded across the entire file makes it incredibly difficult to remove. Another important part to note is that the serial key is completely unaffected by file manipulation such as downscaling, transcoding, recording or any form of alternation. This means that if a file is suspected of piracy, the serial number can be used to determine the file’s legal recipient and thus the origin of the stolen content.
In the near future many such projects will start popping up. The music and TV industry will do well to invest in such innovations because if successful, they could literally save them billions.
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