Skip to main content

Dish Looking to Fight Video Piracy with Blockchain

(Image credit:

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.