Dish Looking to Fight Video Piracy with Blockchain

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Dish Network is looking to use blockchain technology to better track video content and keep it out of the hands of digital pirates.

According to an application filed with the U.S. Patent Office in mid-2018, unearthed this week by Coindesk, the satellite TV operator is developing a “software and/or hardware facility that can be used by content owners to assert ownership of content so that copyright friendly websites and services can take action against copyright piracy effectively, efficiently and is scalable is disclosed. The facility makes available to all content owners watermarking/fingerprinting technology so an identifier (e.g., a unique code) can be embedded in the content (e.g., video/audio portion of each video content asset). The facility utilizes blockchain technology to add information related to each unique identifier in a database and allows an authorized user (e.g., the owner) to update the information through a blockchain transaction.”

Dish asserts in its application that, given the vast amount of digital distribution points that now exists for video, it’s exceedingly difficult these days for rights holders to keep tabs of their content. And when illegal distribution is found, it’s usually after content has been unlawfully distributed many times. 

Dish’s anti-piracy scheme would use blockchain to embed ownership data into content. That data could only be uploaded and updated by the owners themselves. 

Those lawfully licensing the content would purchase it directly from the owners, paying in either fiat or crypto currencies. In return, they’d receive tokens that authorize them to use the content. 

Dish has been one of the more aggressive pay TV operators in terms of shutting down illegal online content networks. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!