Patent Filed for New Blockchain Piracy and IP Protection Tool

A patent has been filed in China this week for a new blockchain tool designed to prevent piracy and help media companies better control and protect their intellectual property.

Filed with the State Intellectual Property Office by ZhongAn Technology, the patent describes a system that tracks the sharing source of media, effectively limiting the scope for unauthorized distribution.

Relying on the distributed nature of blockchain systems to track information about content, the patent application sees the technology as solving a key problem for content creators in the digital age.

According to the patent description, content creators find it virtually impossible to track the source of copied and republished content.

“The development of internet has made it easy for illegal distribution of digital content such as movies and music even after parties have purchased the license from content creators. When such content gets republished after being copied, it’s hard to find out who has initiated the unauthorized sharing.”

The ZhongAn solution records buyer information on the blockchain, along with a unique identifier. In the event of unauthorized distribution, intellectual property holders could simply decode the unique hash data and cross-reference the blockchain to identify the source.

Developed by the firm, a subsidiary of the Chinese insurance group ZhongAn, the model represents the latest development in their work with blockchain technologies.

To date, as well as launching their own Ann-Chain blockchain infrastructure, ZhongAn has also developed other applications for the technology, including the example of a chicken processing system.

Data identifying the purchaser and the terms of their license would be recorded permanently within a blockchain, using an encrypted hash of a combination of a unique purchaser ID and information about the license.

With the help of automatic cross-referencing, rights holders would then be able to identify the origins of pirated copies, which could be referred automatically for enforcement.

Digital rights management is thought to be a space that stands to benefit significantly from blockchain applications, with several other recent high-profile patent filings related to the tech, including an application unveiled last week from smartphone manufacturers Huawei.