Windows operating system and Office productivity suite have always been the top performers on software piracy platforms. Thus, it is not a wonder that Microsoft, the developer of both products, works hard to establish the anti-piracy measures.
The major software developer’s new plan to fight piracy relies mainly on the transparency of blockchain technology. In a new paper that was released by Microsoft’s research department, with the participation of many researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Alibaba.
Microsoft, the Redmond-based software giant, managed to study a blockchain-based incentive system to enhance anti-piracy campaigns.
The title of this research, “Argus: A Fully Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy Campaigns,” suggests that Microsoft’s new system relies on the transparency aspect of blockchain technology. Powered by the Ethereum blockchain, Argus strives to offer a trustless incentive mechanism while it protects data that is protected from the open anonymous population of piracy reporters.
The paper stated:
“We see this as a distributed system problem. In the implementation, we overcome a set of unavoidable obstacles to ensure security despite full transparency.”
Argus supports backtracing of pirated content to the source with a corresponding watermark algorithm, which is detailed in the paper. Also named as “proof of leakage,” every report of leaked content features an information-hiding process. That way, no one but the informer can report the same watermarked copy without having to own it.
The system has also set up incentive-reducing safeguards to ban an informer from reporting the same leaked content over and over under different aliases. This report said:
“With the security and practicality of Argus, we hope real-world anti-piracy campaigns will be truly effective by shifting to a fully transparent incentive mechanism.”
Detailing this issue of Ethereum network fees, the same paper explained that the team managed to optimize several cryptographic operations:
“so that the cost for piracy reporting is reduced to an equivalent cost of sending about 14 ETH-transfer transactions to run on the public Ethereum network, which would otherwise correspond to thousands of transactions.”
Tech firms throughout the world have become quite worried about protecting the intellectual property of creators and combating digital piracy. Based on previous reports, the IT subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, Tech Mahindra, recently unleashed a new blockchain-based digital rights and contracts platform on IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric protocol for the media and entertainment sector.