The report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pointed out that we should “advocate an innovative culture and strengthen the creation, protection and application of intellectual property rights”, which established the general tone of intellectual property work including copyright in the new era and pointed out the direction for copyright work in the new era. In the 13th five year plan for the protection and application of intellectual property rights, the intellectual property plan was included in the national key special plan for the first time. With industrial upgrading, China’s content industry has ushered in a golden period of development.

However, the rapid prosperity of the content industry is also accompanied by infringement. Although the state has successively issued policies, laws and regulations on intellectual property protection, piracy and infringement are still prohibited repeatedly. Pirated works bring huge economic losses to the property owners. According to iResearch statistics, the economic losses caused by pirated online literature alone can reach 8billion yuan per year. Blockchain and digital copyright protection can be perfectly combined to solve the current situation of rampant piracy.

“Pain points” of copyright protection in the digital age

(1) High cost and low efficiency of copyright registration

The traditional means of copyright protection and transaction are inefficient, and the communication and various costs are high. Relevant data show that the copyright application process takes 30 working days, and the cost is relatively high. For example, for a written work, it is 300 yuan per 100 words, while the charge for a fine art work is as high as 800 yuan.

The traditional copyright trading process is not transparent and requires the intervention of middlemen. There are many problems in the access, distribution and profit-making of copyright content. In addition, the traditional way has problems such as high cost of safeguarding rights and difficulty in tracing infringers. After problems occur in the ownership and trading of copyright, the copyright owners cannot identify the right or find the infringer at the first time, and the cost of safeguarding rights and removing pirated products is also relatively high.

(2) Copyright ownership becomes more prominent in the Digital Context

With the rapid development of the Internet, digital technology has expanded the communication channels of copyright. Now many platforms and media can be used as communication channels. However, the risk of copyright infringement of original works is also significantly increased when they are transmitted online.

At present, such as some copyright content trading platforms, communication software platforms, we media and mobile Internet terminals, but at the same time, there are also legal protection problems. Relevant data show that written works, picture works and film and television works are also the “hardest hit” areas of network copyright infringement. From the perspective of communication channels, 69% of the infringement is spread through websites [[2]. In the digital age, the use of copyright is fast and direct. People do not have enough awareness of copyright, and the ownership of copyright is not clear. It will also cause the proliferation of piracy and infringement cases, making it difficult to safeguard rights.

Features of blockchain + copyright applications

(1) Blockchain helps micro copyright protection and ushers in the era of national creativity

Everyone is copyrighted, and the era of national creativity has basically come. However, the cost of traditional copyright is relatively high, and the traditional registration transaction is relatively complex, which leads to the copyright benefits not being fully brought into play. The emergence of digital copyrights, especially micro copyrights, needs more ways of copyright protection. The application of blockchain in copyright is a feasible way to help protect these micro copyrights.

The blockchain’s distributed ledger and timestamp technology make it possible for the whole network to quickly reach a consensus on the ownership of intellectual property rights. In theory, the right can be confirmed in time. Asymmetric encryption technology ensures the uniqueness of copyright, timestamp technology ensures the copyright owner, and the copyright owner can easily and quickly complete the process of right confirmation, which solves the problem of low efficiency of the traditional right confirmation mechanism.

At the same time, copyright producers can set corresponding permissions. For example, users can only see, but can not download, copy and other operations, which can ensure that users can not freely save and disseminate original works in other channels, and to a great extent ensure the uniqueness of producers’ original works in the chain.

(2) Blockchain helps to create high-quality content and promote the creation of cultural industry in China

The world economic forum predicts that 10% of the world’s GDP will be stored on the blockchain network by 2027. Through the blockchain public platform to store transaction records, the copyright owner can encrypt the copyright content and execute the copyright transaction process through the smart contract. This process is automatically completed when the conditions are triggered without the intervention of intermediaries. It can solve the problems of copyright content access, distribution and profit-making, make the copyright transaction process transparent, and help the creators obtain the maximum income, forming a good closed loop, Help create high-quality content.

For example, based on the “blockchain” technology, the live broadcast platform can directly establish transaction links between users in the community, between users and anchors, and between anchors and advertisers, and improve the unequal sharing mode caused by the existence of intermediaries such as the live broadcast platform and anchor brokerage companies, thus encouraging copyright creators to create better original content.

(3) Blockchain reduces the cost of copyright transaction and creates a new industry ecology

Through blockchain, public key encryption, trusted timestamp and other technologies, it provides original authentication, copyright protection and transaction services for original works, thus greatly reducing the cost of ownership confirmation and transaction. Blockchain is changing the basic industrial rules such as the transaction and revenue distribution mode of digital copyright, user payment mechanism, etc., and forming a value sharing platform of the whole industry chain integrating copyright owners, producers, users, etc.

The future creative industry is expected to create a new industrial ecosystem based on the blockchain application technology, achieve a more efficient and convenient transaction mechanism, significantly reduce transaction costs, significantly improve the synergy efficiency of the industrial chain, but also more effectively protect the interests of all participants, form a more honest industrial ecosystem, create a creative industry infrastructure in the value Internet era, and even completely change the industrial landscape.

(4) Blockchain reduces copyright disputes and maintains judicial justice

Blockchain technology can bind the author, content and time of digital works together, reducing the possibility of illegal counterfeiting and infringement. With the help of blockchain technology, the opening, registration, transaction, payment and other information of copyright are completed in an open and transparent database. The characteristics of full network right confirmation, information trace and traceability make the overall chain of copyright registration or transaction clear and accessible. These registration information can be synchronously transmitted to the Judicial Expertise Center for filing.

Once a copyright dispute occurs, the judicial department only needs to retrieve the corresponding information in the blockchain database and trace it according to the digital identity ID of the copyright. It can complete the whole process of proof, verification and evidence collection under the traditional mechanism with one click, which not only saves manpower and time costs, but also reduces the error probability of manual operation, ensures the accuracy, authority and reliability of the evidence, and is conducive to reducing copyright disputes, Safeguarding judicial justice will play an important role.

On june28,2018, the Hangzhou Internet court publicly pronounced a judgment on a dispute case involving infringement of the right to network communication of works’ information, and confirmed the legal effect of electronic data stored by blockchain technology for the first time, which attracted great attention from the industry.

The court said that for electronic evidence, including blockchain certificates, the court conducted case analysis and determination with an open and neutral attitude. It will neither exclude or improve the evidence determination standard of blockchain technology because it is a new technical means, nor reduce the corresponding recognition standard because its technology is difficult to tamper with or delete, But will judge its evidence effectiveness according to the relevant legal provisions of electronic evidence.

Typical case analysis

(1) Baidu Totem

Baidu totem is the original image service platform of Baidu blockchain. It takes “image copyright” as the starting point to resolve the current pain points of industry development. The picture copyright industry consists of picture producers, users and agencies. As far as picture producers and institutions are concerned, the information in the picture copyright market is opaque and asymmetric, piracy is rampant despite repeated prohibitions, and the cost of safeguarding and confirming rights is high, which to a large extent stifles their creative enthusiasm.

For we media platforms, authors, webmasters, commercial products and other graphic users, the cost of using graphics is high, the comprehensiveness, timeliness and localization of images are insufficient, and the definition of copyright is vague.

For agencies, it is difficult to expand the sales channels of selling pictures, and the lack of overall technology in the industry is the primary difficulty they face. To sum up, the core demands of all parties are reflected in the need for a safe and reliable system, transparent information, direct connection between supply and demand, and optimization of rights protection and confirmation process to solve the pain points of the industry.

As the first blockchain implementation project of Baidu search company, totem, based on the credibility and tamperability of the blockchain, and in combination with Baidu’s artificial intelligence map recognition technology, aims to provide full link services for original producers in copyright authentication, distribution and dissemination, cash transaction, monitoring and rights protection, and IP asset management, so as to reshape the value chain of copyright assets while improving the copyright confirmation and maintaining the efficiency of all links Help copyright owners obtain multiple values.

Totem adopts Baidu’s self-developed blockchain copyright registration network, combined with trusted timestamp and chain stamp dual authentication, to generate copyright DNA for each original picture, which can truly realize the traceability, reprint and monitoring of original works.

The core of Baidu totem is blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data technology. By binding and recording the author, content and time of original works on the chain, the copyright ownership is clear, so that these high-quality original contents can be better protected; Based on the traffic advantage of Baidu search, these original contents can reach hundreds of millions of users.

(2) Annie shares copyright industry

The copyright blockchain system developed by Annie Co., Ltd. adopts the form of alliance chain, which can efficiently handle the copyright business of various digital works (text, pictures, videos, etc.), has more efficient business data handling capacity, and can reach the level of real-time business processing, making it possible for Hailiang’s Internet creation to be timely, low-cost right confirmation, and rapid transaction and circulation.

Based on the FISCO bcos blockchain platform, Annie shares has built a blockchain system based on copyright, which has realized copyright confirmation, copyright infringement detection and copyright transaction based on manuscripts.

The core layer uses the language of solidity to develop the deposit contract, asset contract and transaction bookkeeping contract. The service layer uses web3js to develop, complete the interaction and call of smart contracts, and provide service interfaces for the user layer.

The user layer is divided into three parts. The authorization application is developed using JavaScript and packaged into a desktop application using node WebKit. The application can completely record the user’s creation process, upload relevant information to the blockchain certificate, and realize the right confirmation upon creation.

The copyright infringement detection system, supported by big data technology, retrieves the information of the whole network in real time, detects the infringement of licensed works, and provides evidence support for later rights protection. The manuscript trading and media platform is developed using PHP, Java and OC to complete online manuscript trading and publishing. The bottom layer uses CRC contract (similar to erc721 contract) to realize asset transaction, writes transaction authorization information into the blockchain, and realizes copyright transaction authorization and certificate storage.

Use smart contracts to distribute benefits among authors, readers and platforms, and realize openness and transparency of data. And use a unique incentive mechanism to encourage authors to create high-quality content, encourage readers to read at the same time, complete the screening and dissemination of high-quality content. Finally, an open content platform based on the copyright blockchain system will be created to form a value creation system with continuous flow of copyright.

At present, the platform has provided the right confirmation service for millions of valuable works, with nearly 100000 users, tens of thousands of manuscripts and millions of yuan of transaction volume.

(3) Keyless signature blockchain Digital Copyright Registration Platform

The traditional copyright registration application process takes 30 working days, and the fees range from 300 to 2000 yuan. The time and money costs of registration are high. Zhongyun culture big data Technology Co., Ltd. independently developed a digital copyright registration platform based on keyless signature blockchain technology – Guizhou copyright registration platform, and is committed to solving many problems existing in the copyright industry through blockchain technology.

The Guizhou copyright registration platform provides a convenient and authoritative solution, that is, the “double certificate” service: the applicant can obtain the blockchain copyright certificate immediately after uploading his works through the platform. In addition, he can further improve the information to apply for the work registration certificate issued by the Guizhou copyright bureau according to the needs of the applicant. The whole process can be completed within 3 minutes. It is convenient, efficient and low-cost, which really keeps the copyright owner at home, You can catch the fast train of culture and big data and enjoy the convenience of the digital age.

This application scenario gives full play to the unique advantages of keyless signature blockchain technology in terms of security, scalability and efficiency. It can verify and prove the data integrity, time and origin without relying on “decentralization” means. It is very suitable for registration services.

Keyless signature blockchain technology can verify data creation time, creator identity and data integrity at any time. It is independent of internal personnel, keys, encrypted messages and certificates. Keyless signature blockchain technology can get rid of the trust and dependence on internal personnel or any organization. It has a natural application scenario in the copyright industry.

The Guizhou Copyright Registration Platform Based on keyless signature blockchain technology can provide efficient, simple, easy to operate and low-cost copyright registration services for 100 million digital works. The copyright cloud is also simultaneously developing and building a copyright trading platform, and actively exploring the application of blockchain technology in copyright trading.

At present, the PC, mobile and wechat apps of Guizhou copyright registration platforms have been launched. Within half a year, tens of thousands of digital copyright certificates have been stored. The number of works registered has increased about 3-5 times compared with the recent two years, covering a full range of works such as pictures, text, video and audio. They are oriented to the Internet and provide services for the majority of copyright owners.

(4) Public blockchain copyright storage platform

Zhongxiang bit has established an alliance chain with the judicial notarization office, judicial appraisal office, arbitration institutions, courts and other institutions to take the copyright electronic data as the operation object, solidify the copyright evidence on the Zhongxiang blockchain certificate storage platform, and realize the whole process services of electronic data collection, certificate storage, evidence collection, notarization, authentication, mediation, arbitration and so on.

Blockchain technology supports chainsql and fabric. Chainsql supports state secret algorithm. It has obtained the model certificate of commercial cryptographic products, and has carried out state secret transformation for fabric. It has state secret fabric products. Chainsql provides rich privacy and security functions, including record level permission control, field level encryption, etc., to fully protect user privacy and data security. Research and development of PDFs technology, cold data is stored by erasure code, and hot data is stored by copy, realizing the high efficiency of “saving” and “reading”.

The crowdsourced blockchain copyright storage platform supports two versions: the basic version and the upgraded version. The basic version supports basic functions such as registration and login, data storage and certification, and data forensics. The upgraded version additionally supports functions such as platform / alliance access management, judicial authentication (providing interfaces), system maintenance monitoring, blockchain awareness, etc.

The anti tampering project of shared bit files can resolve the pain points that electronic files are easy to be maliciously tampered during transmission and use due to their characteristics, damaging the interests of file owners and users.

Based on the security practice of shared bits for many years, the blockchain file tamper proof system organically combines blockchain storage, tunnel encryption, random fragmentation, shared communication protocol and other independent intellectual property technologies to meet the needs of file tamper proof under different conditions. At present, it has been widely used in the fields of public security, government affairs, industry and scientific research.

The blockchain file tamper proof system structurally processes files and stores them in the chain, supporting traditional databases and distributed storage systems. The management strategy is flexibly customized according to different security requirements to provide operators with management means in advance, during and after the event. In some applications, the reward and punishment mechanism based on blockchain has been combined to realize the value circulation of electronic documents.

(5) Ant gold suit

In September, 2018, ant financial and Hangzhou Internet court jointly created the first judicial deposit platform in China that assisted in adjudicating cases with blockchain technology. The main application scenarios of the judicial depository platform include electronic contracts, copyright protection and secure storage of judicial evidence. Users can use Alipay facial recognition to verify their identity, sign electronic contracts or make copyright notices online, and generate electronic data certificate, which mainly solves the pain point of “the last mile of the Internet”.

The current electronic evidence platform facilitates the prosecutors to submit evidence online and initiate litigation online, which significantly improves the litigation efficiency and solves the credibility problem of electronic data storage, transmission and use.

However, there are still some problems in the generation of electronic data, such as scattered, incomplete or lost evidence; The evidence stored in the infringer’s equipment may be forged or tampered with, and the time of electronic evidence may be reset, resulting in the loss of legal effect. Through the judicial certificate deposit platform, the plaintiff can submit electronic evidence such as contract, rights protection process and service process details online through the online appeal portal, and the notarial office, judicial identification center, CA / RA institutions, courts, ant financial services and other chain nodes can jointly witness and endorse, so as to provide one-stop services for the plaintiff.

Blockchain technology not only ensures “credibility”, but also significantly reduces the cost of legal rights protection. Such legal disputes as unauthorized use of photographic works and salary arrears in part-time jobs are called “the most unbearable lawsuit” because the subject amount is small and the cost of collecting evidence and proving the validity of evidence is high. After the court uses blockchain technology to adjudicate the case, the above situation is expected to be fundamentally reversed.

At present, some applications of blockchain technology in the judicial field have been recognized by the regulatory authorities. On september7,2018, the Supreme People’s Court issued the provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues concerning the trial of cases by the Internet court, which made it clear that electronic evidence based on blockchain technology “should be confirmed by the Internet court if it can prove its authenticity”.

(6) Zhigui blockchain copyright business

Aiming at the pain points of traditional copyright registration, Zhigui technology uses the technical features of blockchain decentralization, tamper proof, distributed storage, etc. through hash calculation, it writes the hash value and the relevant information of the work itself into the blockchain, and stamps it with a timestamp in accordance with the electronic signature law to generate a unique corresponding electronic copyright certificate for each work.

Once the deposit of relevant records or documents is completed through blockchain technology, relevant deposit information can be queried online, which is permanently valid and cannot be tampered with. For individual users, Zhigui provides a fast and zero cost service of free certificate storage and 15 minute certificate issuance. For enterprise users, Zhigui provides technology docking services, which can provide batch automatic right confirmation and deposit certificates for original content platforms.

Relying on the independently created Zhigui blockchain copyright storage platform, Zhigui technology can provide rights confirmation and storage services for various types of Internet works, including audio, video, graphics and text. Based on the confirmation of rights and certificates, aiming at the pain points of rampant piracy and difficult protection of rights in the domestic Internet copyright industry, Zhigui technology, supported by blockchain technology, has developed an infringement evidence collection tool, established strategic cooperation with Hangzhou Zhijiang notary office, and launched an online notarization service.

Therefore, the business scenarios of the Zhigui blockchain copyright deposit platform mainly cover three parts: copyright deposit, infringement evidence collection and online notarization.

The technical advantages of Zhigui technology blockchain are as follows: first, it introduces identity registration and identity authentication based on PKI system, and takes relevant service departments, notary offices and other ecological participants as participating nodes to ensure safe and reliable cooperation between all parties on the blockchain. Second, the corresponding records are registered in real time to quickly confirm the right confirmation information with notarization and other nodes, and are stored on the blockchain in a safe and reliable manner in real time, and a multi node backup mechanism is established. Third, the blockchain browser module was introduced to provide information query services on the chain, and all data such as the confirmation of rights and infringement certificates of deposit records were made public. Any individual or institution could query them, so as to ensure that the services were fair, just and open, and promote the healthy growth of the industry. Fourth, in the process of obtaining the infringement certificate through the URL, the verification institution is introduced to restrict the evidence collection behavior, so as to ensure that the evidence collection service is constrained to be able to and can only obtain the corresponding web page content at the current time of the URL, and the constraint process can be verified.

Development trend

(1) New technologies of blockchain copyright continue to expand new industrial space

Blockchain technology will provide huge market demand for the booming Chinese cultural industry. The blockchain platform can provide traceability support for copyright content. Through blockchain, public key encryption, trusted timestamp and other technologies, it can provide original authentication, copyright protection and trading services for original works.

In the active integration and development of various fields of the Internet copyright industry, technology can be used to promote the formation of new content ecology such as information flow, music social networking and wechat apps in the form of “content + social networking +ai big data”. In terms of industrial ecology, further promote the further integration of the Internet with upstream industries such as film and television, publishing, music, animation, etc., and cultivate a more prosperous original market [[1].

Relevant data as of December 2018, the number of users of online video, online music, online games, online live broadcasting and online literature was 612million, 576million, 484million, 397million and 432million respectively, with utilization rates of 73.9%, 69.5%, 58.4%, 47.9% and 52.1% respectively [[2]. Major network platforms pay more attention to the quality of program content, and self-made content is gradually refined. In the future, blockchain technology and industry will be deeply integrated. New technologies such as cultural and entertainment blockchain will further improve the industrial environment and continuously expand the new space for the development of “industrial blockchain”.

(2) The blockchain copyright user payment mechanism has gradually taken shape

As the copyright market enters the competitive stage of high-quality products, the industry has a more urgent need to innovate business models and develop the user payment market. In recent years, the scale of online video paying users in China has grown rapidly, and the proportion of the revenue composition of the user paying online video industry has been increasing.

By the third quarter of 2018, the overall payment proportion of online video users in China had reached 53.1%. According to the forecast and analysis, by 2020, the scale of online video payment users will reach 180million person times, and the scale of online video payment market will reach 64.68 billion yuan.

Taking the music field as an example, Tencent music’s net profit in the first three quarters of 2018 was RMB 2.707 billion, a sharp increase of 244.8% over the same period in 2017. The monthly active users of online music services were 655million, and 24.9 million paying users, with a payment rate of 3.8%. The average monthly payment amount of each paying user (arppu) was RMB 8.5. The payment proportion in the fields of short video and online literature also increased significantly compared with the past.

Chinese netizens’ awareness of copyright payment has been greatly improved, which has created a good social environment for blockchain copyright payment. In the future, with the promotion of blockchain rights confirmation and transaction facilitation, the copyright payment mechanism will be further improved and developed.

(3) Content copyright becomes the key landing direction of blockchain Technology

In view of the piracy and infringement problems existing in the content copyright industry, the blockchain technology has the characteristics of being tamper proof, open, transparent and traceable, and can produce a strong transformation effect in areas requiring data storage and cross subject trust and cooperation, which has a natural advantage in the field of content copyright.

Based on blockchain, we can comprehensively promote content copyright protection, decentralized distribution and full ecological finance of copyright assets, and effectively build a content industry with more efficient operation process and more reasonable benefit distribution. Judging from the current development situation, the scale of China’s blockchain content copyright market will continue to grow, with huge growth space. The content copyright industry is gradually becoming the key application direction of blockchain technology.

Responsible editor: CT

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