For many years, the entertainment industry has struggled to fight piracy and copyright issues. This has had a lot to do with the fact that for so long the players in the industry misplaced the problem or dealt with it in an inadequate way.
As technology becomes fully mainstream, many companies are working to develop solutions that can address piracy issues. Among these solutions, blockchain is one of the most efficient. But, blockchain technology also carries some downsides, as it is unregulated and can be difficult to apply in real life. Piracy as a cybercrime should be fought using the law, but there is no law without a regulatory body. And that’s where a regulated blockchain can come into its own.
In the past decade, the entire entertainment industry has suffered because of internet-related issues which include:
The issue of the cost of entertainment is not insignificant. Poverty and increasing costs of entertainment are some of the immediate causes of piracy. In the United States, cinema ticket prices are at an all-time high of $9.16 as of 2019, compared to 1948 when cinema tickets cost $0.36. This trend of increasing cinema ticket prices can be seen globally.
It is also the lack of availability of some types of media that can be one of the biggest causes of piracy. In response, there are numerous and increasing ways to download media illegally. The higher the lack of available legal means for downloading, the higher the number of illegal downloads in a region.
Copyright law is one of the strategies used to counter piracy.
Before the emergence of the Creative Commons (‘CC’ – “the free, simple, and standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works”), it was very difficult to regulate piracy on the internet. And even CC still has a hard time fighting against it. However, it must be acknowledged that the law remains a safe and effective means of countering the scourge of piracy.
As we are in the midst of a digital revolution, one of the best ways to fight digital piracy in the digital age is by developing digital solutions.
Media companies have tried to secure their products with copy-protection locks, encryption, and more. They also try selling their products directly to make it easier and cheaper for consumers. Apple’s iTunes Store is attempting to do this, but the movie industry is still sceptical due to the traditional insecurity of selling films online.
One way of solving these issues is through the use of blockchain. A blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology that records, verifies, and stores any transaction in the database.
Most associated blockchain with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ripple, and Ethereum, but blockchain technology can offer multipurpose business applications for a large number of industries. And the entertainment industry offers an interesting case study because of the two challenges the industry has struggled with: its ability to protect and also to monetize intellectual property.
There are different kinds of blockchain out there — each one with its own specificity. This is how the different types can be used to address copyright and piracy issues in the industry.
The collection and distribution of royalty payments in the music business have become more complicated and opaque with the growth of music streaming services.
Each time a song is played online or in the background of a television program, for example, the distributor must compensate the copyright owner — but disputes may arise as to the accuracy and compensation rates for such royalties.
Smart contracts built on a blockchain and tied to a given piece of music could add speed, precision, and trust to the process by automatically executing contract terms among qualified parties. This would allow more accurate monitoring of the use of a song, faster payment of royalties, and greater transparency of contractual terms as well as the distribution of revenues between artists and other stakeholders.
The elimination of content aggregation
The decentralized structure of blockchain could allow content creators, such as musicians or writers, to distribute their works directly to consumers, which would sidestep traditional distribution channels and give a larger share of the revenues to the content creators themselves. This could have an impact on everyone, from major media houses to independent bloggers, by helping artists establish a direct relationship with consumers.
Blockchain is a decentralized technology. This can be of great benefit, but it can also become an issue in relation to legal regulation and enforcement. This is best highlighted by asking how one regulates anything in an unregulated environment?
The ideal solution for this is the regulated blockchain. A regulated blockchain is a shared network with an overall authority at its apex. The next question is, how can a regulated blockchain help fight against piracy?
Protecting sensitive data
Storing digital goods in a regulated blockchain will make it safe and piracy-free, as it has the same benefits of a decentralized blockchain — transparency, stability, person to person connection, resistance to attacks or piracy collusion. Due to this architectural decentralization, L3COS has no single point of failure, which makes it quantum safe or technically unhackable.
The extra benefit with the L3COS technology is that you can review your information in the system and see how it is being or has been used. You own and manage your digital footprint. And tapping the benefits of L3COS is easy, regardless of your technical literacy.
Reducing corruption and fraud
The traceability enabled by blockchain technology makes fraud difficult to commit. All actions taken by the users of the system leave sufficient information behind (a digital footprint) which is available for regulatory review, making it easy to hold people accountable for what they have done.
With L3COS, you unlock unmatched levels of visibility into each transaction with a data record making it fully accountable. Also, it negates any possibility of falsified information or hacking as the record-keeping on the blockchain is unalterable and incorruptible.
Digital rights management
The solution increasingly being put forward for backing up digital information and identity protection is blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology can replace the national regulatory body or copyright agency that validate copyright and collect what is owed; but enforcing digital rights against offenders still relies on instituting legal proceedings.
L3COS’s regulated blockchain enables that too. Using L3COS, creators can monitor their images, videos, and check for any copyright infringements and refer to the time-stamped blockchain to prove ownership. And since these rights remain the immutably provable responsibility of the copyright owner, they will be in a strong position to exert their rights when they find that their works have been illegally distributed. The regulatory body would then be in a stronger position to take action.
The entertainment industry has been through many struggles in trying to fight piracy. From tracking copyright violation to protecting privacy and copyright, the industry has finally realized that giving consumers what they want in the easiest and cheapest way is the best solution to stopping piracy. But regulation remains the best way to stop piracy in its tracks.
Blockchain has shown us how secure it can be, but a regulated blockchain has more to offer. Although it’s just emerging as a viable tool, it’s will be certain to transform the way content is created, consumed, and then protected.