DISH Network recently made headlines for a patent they filed for a blockchain-based-anti-piracy system. The system is designed to combat one of the most sensitive problem spots that the company has been facing regarding their online streaming services. While the technology has not yet been implemented, it could be a big step forward for streaming safety.
The problem the issue is designed to combat, is that there are so many distribution platforms out there now that it is nearly impossible for content owners to effectively monitor for pirated content. Once pirated content is identified it can quickly be taken down, but finding that content takes time and oftentimes millions of people have already consumed the content by the time it’s taken down.
This new anti-piracy system would “…use blockchain to embed ownership data, owner’s name and contact information, for example, into content that can only be uploaded and updated by the owners themselves,” according to Yahoo.
So what exactly does that mean? It means that content distribution platforms would utilize a unique identity token for every piece of content. That token would include the owners name and contact information, which would allow a piece of software to check each piece of content for authorization, before anyone could access to it. Since it would be a blockchain system, it would be virtually incorruptible.
What is still unclear is whether this new system would require DISH to create its own blockchain, or whether it could be implemented using a blockchain platform that already exists.
DISH has long been known as being aggressively litigious when it comes to people pirating their content. As Yahoo points out, “The company filed two separate lawsuits against two platforms early in 2018, accusing them of redistributing its paid-for content without permission and took action another in last August. The company also won a $90 million lawsuit against another online streaming service earlier in November 2018.”
Streaming services have clearly one the war against cable, but the battle against pirated content rages on. A blockchain-powered anti-piracy system is a good idea, but only time will tell if it’s effective enough to counteract the seemingly endless pirating ecosystem.