China’s Internet Court Adopts Blockchain for Online Copyright Protection

While cryptocurrencies suffered a yearlong downtrend, blockchain has been steadily gaining ground in its adaptation into the mainstream technologies. Businesses and industries ranging from supply-chain systems to food traceability have already implemented or have plans in place to implement blockchain technology into their existing and new systems. This wide adaptation is also helping ease the remaining faction of the industry about this new and foreign feeling technology.

Governments across the world are introducing systems powered by blockchain to improve their security and efficiency. Thailand’s government plans to power its taxation system with blockchain. US Department of Homeland Security is adopting blockchain technology for its functions. In keeping with this trend, an internet court in east China’s Hangzhou has adopted blockchain to protect the copyright of online literature.

Writers who publish their work online are always in the danger of having their work stolen or not receiving credit for their efforts. However, blockchain technology can help secure these writers by providing its trademarks of security, transparency and unique identification. These three traits of blockchain technology can be crucial in helping scientists, engineers, doctors, and students secure their work and get credit for their hard work. Under the security of blockchain, no writer will ever again have to worry about having their work stolen and not getting credit for it.

Thanks to the blockchain, the integral process of work circulating in cyberspace can be extracted for writers to use as evidence in court. Previously writers had to resort to screenshots and downloaded content as evidence. Proving the authenticity of the proof was a challenge in itself. According to Judge Wang Jiangqiao, a judge at the internet court, it was hard to gain legal recognition for such evidence as the process was not credible enough. In addition to that, notarial procedures and hiring of professional lawyers made things further difficult. After all that, the original authors could still not guarantee that they would get their due credit.

But the adaptation of blockchain will guarantee that data cannot be tampered with, due to it’s decentralized and open distributed ledger technology. Therefore, all digital footprints stored in the judicial blockchain system such as authorship, time of creation, content, and evidence of infringement have legal effect, Wang Jiangqiao concluded.

Even though this step by China’s internet court is a first of its kind, it will pave the way for other courts and legal systems to utilize this free and open source technology to protect the interests of those that are giving their blood and sweat to their respective fields in the hopes of pushing humanity further.