By Isabelle Lee
Software giant Microsoft is looking to use the ethereum blockchain to combat digital piracy by relying on the network’s transparent and decentralized nature, according to a new paper released by the firm’s research department.
The Redmond-based company is exploring a new concrete system named Argus, which Microsoft dubbed as the “first public anti-piracy system.”
In the 11-page paper, Microsoft – together with researchers from Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University – laid out the design, implementation, and evaluation of the new system.
CoinTelegraph was the first to report on the initiative
Microsoft says Argus will run on a public blockchain in order to allow digital piracy informers to remain anonymous while maintaining a certain level of transparency for the wider public at the same time.
Reports filed to Argus, for instance, will protect the identity of the informers but allow the firm to backtrack the source of the pirated content.
A blockchain is a form of public ledger, in which every transaction is recorded after it is authenticated.
Furthermore, by optimizing several cryptographic operations, the cost for piracy reporting will be “reduced to an equivalent cost of sending about 14 ETH-transfer transactions,” the company added, contrary to the typically high transaction fees ethereum is known for.
“With the security and practicality of Argus, we hope real-world antipiracy campaigns will be truly effective by shifting to a fully transparent incentive mechanism,” the paper said.
The latest effort undertaken by Microsoft highlights the obstacles faced by technology firms in protecting their intellectual properties.