Blockchain — The Solution for the Controversial Article 13
Blockchain — The Solution for the Controversial Article 13 Juarez Weiss Blocked Unblock Follow Following Jan 3 The internet has been raging in recent weeks. A controversial directive was approved by the European Union that promises to change the internet as we know it. The directive, known as Article 13 , refers to the treatment of copyright on any online platform that offers content, be it videos, images, or even text.
Before the directive was approved, the punishment for using copyrighted content fell into the hands of the content creators: bloggers, vloggers, influencers, and others. Content sharing platforms like Youtube, Tumblr and Instagram have copyright detection programs and algorithms that penalise the creator of content if it is discovered that the use was not legally authorised.
With the new directive, responsibility (and hence the penalty) falls on the platform itself. Any content that is not explicitly created by the platform itself may be contested by copyright, and the platform would bear the consequences. Any video posted by any Youtuber on any date that contains any mention of content that is not specifically created by the platform may result in fines for Youtube, or any online platform that provides content.
Several large content platforms are openly against the new directive, not only YouTube Source: youtube.com Although well-intentioned, the new legislation is an initiative that goes totally against the modus operandi of the internet today: less censorship in favour of more freedom. There are numerous forms of art online that could be considered punishable by the new legislation: from musical covers made by small artists (such as the young Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift) to inofensive memes. It is no wonder that this new directive is being commonly called “meme ban”.
Although using questionable means, the European Parliament is trying to protect artists and their intellectual properties through this directive. There is no online method available yet that is able to record an original creation and receive royalties 100% of the time that creation (or part of it) is used. It is impossible to constantly monitor all the websites in the world (we are talking about 1.6 billion websites, according to the November 2018 Web Server Survey) and yet the big content platforms today each use several different forms of control on their servers. In today’s internet, controlling copyright is an impossible task.
In this case, the ends do not justify the means. The problem exists, but applying more blockages in such a vast and free environment as the internet, is to shoot oneself in the foot. A solution is needed that solves the root problem directly; an omniscient system that records original works and verifies any transaction or use of such work.
The blockchain technology as a solution Until recently this seemed impossible, but blockchain technology today can solve this big problem. Public blockchains are by nature decentralised, immutable and transparent. Records made in a public blockchain are always 100% traceable and without the possibility of modification or fraud.
Public blockchains are the perfect answer to copyright issues: all records are 100% traceable and immutable. Source: businessleader.co.uk Any record made in a blockchain gets a code called Hash . This Hash is a unique string of numbers that will never be copied or manipulated and is always attached to the registered intellectual property. Any transaction made with this IP registered in the blockchain (change of ownership, purchases/sales or any type of use) will always be traceable and datable. Even if the object itself undergoes some change approved by the owner, the new object will contain a record pointing to the original.
There are a few blockchain projects under development today that propose solutions to the copyright problem and give more control tools to creators. Examples include platforms such as Pindify and ArtPro . On these platforms the work is created (or uploaded) already inside the blockchain, so the Hash already exists from the beginning, making it much easier to monitor.
This business model would solve the problem of copyright directly from the root as each IP receives a unique code. It is impossible to defraud as defrauded work would be created with a different code, and any person or platform using the original work would have to make reference to that unique code.
This idea is not new in blockchain technology itself. Most cryptocurrencies follow the same model, i.e. a digital currency created on a “public” platform in which any transaction is dated and traceable. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) are some of the examples of the major crypto-currencies currently following a “transparent, immutable and decentralised” model. Why isn’t the same concept applied to copyright?
In blockchain technology, each new transaction is connected to the previous transaction, creating an “infinite” stream of transactions virtually impossible to defraud or modify. Source: managingip.com Article 13 of the European Legislation being discussed today is an archaic and inadequate “solution” for online development and innovation. Applying more censorship and sanctions based on an old concept ignores all the advances of technology in recent years. A more appropriate response is needed to protect not only artists and their creations, but also the platforms that enable mass content sharing; platforms that have shaped the internet and have connected our world more inclusively and comprehensively.
Blockchain, along with cryptocurrencies and projects being built on this technology, present features that are more intuitive and connected with the internet today and with the world in which we live. Article 13 will be a gigantic step backwards and can have disastrous consequences for how we interact with each other in an online environment. We do not need measures that react to outdated technology: we need new measures that act differently and in sync with the advancements of the world today.
The time has come to look forward to embracing new solutions for a more transparent and just society. The future is decentralised.