Tokyo-based technology giant Sony has filed a patent application to store users’ digital rights data on blockchain technology. On April 26th, 2018, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published the patent application which is jointly filed by Sony Corporation and California-based Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Blockchain Technology to Protect Digital Content
As per the patent application, a blockchain-fueled Digital Rights Management (DRM) can record the obligatory identification information to permit users to view the product before they purchase.
For the past 15 years, Sony has been at the top as far companies that have been awarded the most patents. Now the Japanese tech giant eyes blockchain technology to modify its existing DRM system.
DRM systems is a way that content creators can limit access to their content only to those who have purchased access. Simply put, the system has the ability to control how people can view the content. Specific DRM systems are used by major Hollywood Studios to protect their content, for example.
Blockchain DRM vs. Conventional DRM
The application also lists out a myriad of ways that blockchain technology could improve existing DRM. One of the potential implementation processes is explained as “receiving an enrollment request and a public key from the user; verifying that the user has a private key corresponding to the public key; generating a user identifier using the public key; and generating and delivering the rights blockchain having a genesis block including the user identifier to the user.”
In the a traditional DRM system, a third party vendor stores the data and allows permissioned users to access the digital content. However, with blockchain-endorsed DRM, there’s no need for any third parties. If a third party vendor shutters its business in the conventional system, consumers lose all the purchased content.
The patent application highlights the disadvantage of the existing DRM systems, stating:
“[…] these conventional solutions may not be very reliable and rely on one unique point of failure. If the rights locker provider or system goes out of business or otherwise fails, the user loses all the acquired content.”
Alas, the implementation of blockchain technology to DRM systems can open numerous possibilities in the digital content industry. The technology is not limited to movies but rather can be extended to music, games, and even medical data.
Last year, Sony Corporation also filed a patent for a blockchain-backed multi-factor identity verification system. According to the application, Sony proposed to employ blockchain to facilitate user login systems.
Will Sony’s new DRM transform how digital rights are managed and enhance content protection? Share your views in the comments section.
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