Intel Thinks Blockchain Could Power a Next-Gen Media Rights Manager

Tech giant Intel has moved to protect a custom system for digital rights management built on a blockchain.

AccessTimeIconMar 19, 2018 at 12:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:42 a.m. UTC

Tech giant Intel is joining the growing list of enterprise firms that see blockchain as a way to reimagine digital rights management.

In a patent application released March 8 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Silicon Valley tech company described a method for using a blockchain for downloading the rights to digital images, one it believes is unique enough to be a protected invention.

The patent application states:

“Blockchain technology is used to document and verify attributes of digital content that are relevant to copyright protection. Such attributes may include, for instance, an identifier for the author of the content, a timestamp to indicate when the content was created, and a measurement that can subsequently be used to detect copying or modification of the content.”

As described, the proposed platform uses several types of software to automatically assess copyright policy settings for each image, even if the picture was taken from external sources. Then, it creates a unique identity for both the original content and any modified versions. The patent calls these identities “shadow images.”

Intel’s patent goes on to mentions video and other types of content aside from images, offering a more comprehensive rights system with additional features.

For example, Intel's system seeks to allow users to maintain works in progress, including “unstructured” pieces such as literature with multiple editors. In this way, content can only be modified in accordance with copyright policy settings.

Still, Intel is far from alone in pursuing the idea. In addition to blockchain industry efforts, like Berklee's Open Music Initiative, companies including China's ZhongAn and WENN Digital are companies to make headlines for similar ideas in recent weeks.

The patent is also that latest that finds Intel seeking to protect its intellectual creations related to the industry. In June 2016, the company filed a patent for blockchain-powered software to help research DNA, genetic sequencing in particular.

Intel image via Shutterstock

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