The Windows operating system and Office products are downloaded very often on all software pirate platforms. So it’s no wonder that Microsoft, the company behind these products, is working hard to fight piracy.
In a new paper published by Microsoft’s research division in collaboration with researchers from Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University, the software giant examined a blockchain incentive system to support anti-piracy measures.
Like the title “Argus: A Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy Measures” already reveals, the new system from Microsoft uses the transparency of blockchain technology. Argus is based on the Ethereum blockchain and is designed to provide a trustworthy incentive while protecting the data collected by the open, anonymous community of piracy reporters.
“This is a problem with distributed systems,” according to the paper. It goes on to say: “During implementation, we overcome a number of inevitable obstacles in order to be able to guarantee security despite full transparency.”
With a corresponding watermark algorithm, which is described in detail in the paper, Argus enables pirated content to be traced back to the source. When reporting leaked content, an information obfuscation process is used. This process is also known as “Proof of Leakage”. This way, nobody but the informant can report the same watermarked specimen without actually owning it.
The system also has anti-incentive safeguards to prevent an informant from repeatedly reporting the same leaked content under different pseudonyms. “The security and practicability of Argus is intended to make measures more effective in practice by converting them to a fully transparent incentive mechanism,” as the report says.
Regarding the fees for the Ethereum network, the paper explains that the team has optimized several cryptographic operations “so that the cost of reporting piracy is offset by the cost of sending about 14 ETH transactions on the public Ethereum Network would be reduced. Otherwise it would correspond to thousands of transactions “.
In this context: Data protection calculations on blockchains could prevent hacker attacks
Protecting intellectual property and combating digital piracy are increasingly important concerns for technology companies around the world. As Cointelegraph reported, Tech Mahindra, the IT subsidiary of the Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, recently launched a new blockchain platform for digital contracts and rights based on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric for the media and entertainment industry.