ZhongAn Wants to Catch Media Pirates with Blockchain

ZhongAn Technology, a subsidiary of Chinese online insurer ZhongAn, hopes to patent a blockchain solution for protecting digital media against piracy.

AccessTimeIconMar 13, 2018 at 2:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:41 a.m. UTC

ZhongAn Technology, a subsidiary of Chinese online insurer ZhongAn, has filed a patent for a blockchain solution aimed to protect media companies' intellectual property rights in the face of growing piracy and illicit file sharing.

According to a filing published Tuesday by China's State Intellectual Property Office, the system seeks to prevent unauthorized distribution of digital media content by providing the ability to identify who shared the content.

The application states:

"The development of internet has made it easy for illegal distribution of digital content such as movies and music even after parties have purchased the license from content creators. When such content gets republished after being copied, it's hard to find out who has initiated the unauthorized sharing."

Effectively, when a certain piece of media content is bought, ZhongAn's blockchain system would link the buyer's ID with the unique data of the purchased item and process the combined information to produce a unique hash that is stored on a blockchain.

If the same content is later discovered on the internet, the system would upload its data and run it through the same hash function, comparing the result with those stored on the blockchain. When a match is found, it would reveal which buyer had violated the licensing agreement.

Formed in 2016 by ZhongAn, which went public in Hong Kong last year, ZhongAn Technology primarily focuses developing emerging technology solutions that can be outsourced to businesses.

The latest patent filing, though still to be approved, signals that the company is keeping its focus on blockchain technology. As reported by CoinDesk, the firm is already applying its blockchain solution to track chicken processing in China using its Ann-chain blockchain platform.

The latest filing also marks yet another effort by an established Chinese technology firm in seeking to patent blockchain solutions for digital rights management, following a similar effort by telecoms and smartphone giant Huawei, as reported last week.

See the full patent below:

Pirated movies image via Shutterstock


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