Microsoft to tap Ethereum’s Blockchain for Fight Against Piracy

In order to combat piracy, the world’s leading software developer, Microsoft, is working to utilize Ethereum blockchain technology to establish antipiracy measures.

Microsoft’s research department recently conducted a study on a blockchain-based incentive system with Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University researchers to bolster antipiracy campaigns.

As contained in the research paper titled “Argus: A Fully Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy,” the company’s system will now depend on the transparency aspect of blockchain technology. The tool Argus will be Built on the Ethereum blockchain to enable a trustless incentive mechanism while securing gathered data from the open anonymous population of piracy reporters.

Argus’s expected functions include “proof of leakage,” enabling backtracing pirated content to the source with a corresponding watermark algorithm, and incentive-reducing safeguards to prevent an informer from reporting a leaked content repeatedly. 

The report stated that “with the security and practicality of Argus, we hope real-world antipiracy campaigns will be truly effective by shifting to a fully transparent incentive mechanism.”

The research paper also stated that

We see this as a distributed system problem, in the implementation, we overcome a set of unavoidable obstacles to ensure security despite full transparency.”

The paper touched on the issue of Ethereum network fees, stating that: “so that the cost for piracy reporting is reduced to an equivalent cost of sending about 14 ETH-transfer transactions to run on the public Ethereum network, which would otherwise correspond to thousands of transactions.”

This development by Microsoft indicates the increasing concern among tech companies to protect intellectual property and fight digital piracy. Recall that TAreh Mahindra, the IT subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, recently launched a new blockchain-based digital contracts and rights platform on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric protocol for the media and entertainment industry.

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