Blockchain technology (chain of blocks) is a decentralized system that provides protection, security, and privacy in different records, transactions, and online operations. A simple way to understand the concept of blockchain is to use the example of a “large digital ledger,” where all operations and transactions are grouped into blocks that are interwoven; the main difference with traditional accounting is that no transaction can be “repeated” or “erased,” this special feature provides a great advantage, since it provides greater security to the system by not allowing the information to be falsified, since it is registered, encrypted and with a unique identifier.

Other uses of the blockchain

Although the blockchain became popular with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the truth is that this technology has different applications that cover various areas; a clear example of this is the case of the applications of management and protection of rights of the author, a sector that has had many problems in the online field, where various problems need to be investigated and analyzed in greater depth.

How did this use come to be?

The research that led to its application for copyright management is basically due to the boom in the distribution of audiovisual content through different platforms on the Internet or the distribution of files between users or peer-to-peer (P2P). This has made content security, the preservation of copyrights, and the tracking of infringers’ topics of interest for different content producers and distributors.

Faced with this situation, the blockchain allows you to upload copyrighted content, keep track of licenses, manage its distribution, track piracy sources, and something significant: receive payments for the use of the content. However, despite the growth of the sector and the capacity of this technology, the study highlights that copyright protection systems, based on the blockchain, are still very scarce. This situation opens a “gap” in research and the market. To “fill this gap” requires a taxonomy or classification that integrates the technical aspects and knowledge about these systems and that, in turn, serves as guides for Researchers to develop better blockchain-based copyright protection systems.

Project examples

There are different projects on copyright, an example is the case of the University of Lleida, in Spain, which is testing this technology for copyright management in the context of the CopyrightLY initiative (funded in part by the European Union) within the framework of a project called Ontochain Next Generation Internet; here, the blockchain is used to track the person who “claims to be the author” of content, besides the evidence of authorship that said person must provide, evidence could be, for example, a video of a painter working on a work (of which he claims to be the author).

Thus, thanks to this technology, when someone claims to have authorship of work (especially digital), it is “registered” and cannot be deleted or modified. In any litigation, the parties can contribute as evidence to these records, which remain intact and are associated with the time they were made. This will be decisive to know exactly who the original author is and who was the person who tried to “appropriate” the work, in addition to being able to document the changes and uses that said work has undergone so that all this serves as “evidence” in any legal process.

What do you think about this topic? Do you think that with the use of blockchain technology, it will be easier to protect copyright?

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