Consumer electronics giant Sony has developed a digital rights management platform which may be rolled out commercially, becoming the latest major company to launch a blockchain innovation.
Powered by the same technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Sony’s platform will be used to manage copyright in digital media, with educational content considered the primary use case for the platform.
The new system has been described by Sony as a more efficient way to manage ownership and licensing rights to content, which is currently tracked manually by content creators, rights holders and their respective industry organizations.
With blockchain tracking for digital rights, these manual processes can be replaced by immutable, permanent records written to a digital ledger, for more accurate, timely and secure storage.
According to the press release announcing the launch, Sony described how the features of blockchain were well suited to managing rights.
“Blockchains create networks where programs and information are difficult to destroy or falsify, and are well-adapted for the free transfer of data and rights. Those traits give blockchains many potential uses across a range of services including finance, merchandise distribution management, and the sharing economy, and blockchains are expected to bring about even more innovative services in the future.”
The system will handle rights for ebooks, video content, music and even VR content, with Sony suggesting their system could eventually become commercially available as a service to other businesses and industries.
As digital content becomes increasingly more valuable to rights holders, an efficient mechanism for tracking these rights via the blockchain is a model that appeals to many businesses, with a number of similar systems already in the works – including a similar system previously established by Sony.
The new digital rights platform will allow automatic verification of rights, as well as sharing information such as the date and time of creation, and the original author’s details.
With the backing of Sony, it is expected that the platform will be rolled out across digital content industries, potentially redefining how intellectual property rights are managed in the digital age.
It comes as the latest innovation on the blockchain from Sony, which is one of the top 30 companies in the world by the number of blockchain patents filed.
The firm has secured as many as 20 other patents for blockchain technologies, at a time when world leading companies across multiple sectors are scrambling to secure blockchain IP.