Intellectual Property and the blockchain: A company called DACC
If you look back to 1999, the internet was rather young and not nearly as sophisticated. But nevertheless, this young and robust internet was still capable of disrupting one of the most established industries; music. A company called Napster presented one of the largest issues for the music industry, when it became apparent that the days of vinyl's and CDs could be undercut by mp3 files online. Music downloading became the easiest, and most plentiful way of downloading music, despite it being illegal. It's a tricky field for the entertainment industry to navigate, as now they had to fight a new frontier being the internet. An area, that has little to no laws or governing structure, making it difficult to track down illegal consumption. Unlike a store, there was no location to track and account for theft, it was all online, and all decentralized.
In the past few years, these established industries (Music, TV, Film, et al.) became smarter in their deliverance of their content and put it online, to be streamed. What these industries realized is that the allure of downloading their content for free was mostly pushed by accessibility, instead of cost. Physical copies of CDs, DVDs, video games, required more effort than just going to your computer and having faster access to the content. It explains why Netflix and Spotify are more popular than ever, and accounts for why illegal downloading is decreasing in volume over the past few years: (https://www.macleans.ca/society/technology/netflix-ceo-says-torrent-piracy-in-canada-down-50-per-cent/)
While there is still a decrease, the problem of intellectual property protection is still a relevant one, and one that may be addressed now by blockchain technology. A Chinese based company called DACC, which stands for “Decentralized Accessible Content Chain”, may have solved issues of file sharing and identity associated to ownership over files. As stated in the DACC White Paper: “(DACC) is a platform that will revolutionize the digital content and media industry. DACC will establish a public blockchain that features ownership and access management at the infrastructure level in digital media industry. A decentralized file system that contains intrinsic identity and access management (IAM) will be implemented to give users and content creators methods to securely initiate, store, and manage access permissions to their data and IP. IAM ensures that only authenticated users can access the resources they are authorized to use, and resource owners will have full control over the user authentication and authorization process. Content creators, curators, and consumers will all be properly and fairly incentivized to build a community that places content creators at the center stage” (DACC White Paper, 2018).
What is interesting about this solution proposed in DACC's White Paper is that this type of solution is only plausible under a blockchain solution. Prior to the blockchain infrastructure, the largest issue with file sharing was, and continues to be, to protect the Intellectual property once it is paid for. By the very nature of how files work, they can be copied once downloaded. Despite various methods of protecting the data, requiring a sign in to a server (Such as Valve's Steam), the data itself is not associated with a unique identity, meaning with modifications to the online sign in, the verification can be passed.
What the blockchain solution proposes is that the file is part of public chain. What this means is that the file can only be accessed on this server with permission and authentication from the creator to the individual, meaning each file is associated to a consumer. And given the public record of this chain of files, modifying the file can be accounted for, and practically impossible to pass along/torrent given the intrinsic degree of association to the consumer.
Needless to say, this blockchain solution means files can be protected either by public or private means. In this case, what a public blockchain achieves is accountability. By making the file only assessible through identification, and making sure that level of ownership is public, then the ability to change the identity of that information becomes impossible to change as it is not part of the chain. While the public chain may work for accounting for files such as music or videos, the private chain works as a high level of security, protecting information from public consumption.
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