Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and Sony Global Education yesterday (Oct 15th) unveiled a new rights management system for digital content using blockchain technology. The new system is based on Sony’s earlier developed solution which had a patent filed for it in April. Its use cases include authenticating, sharing and rights management of educational data. Broader areas such as music, e-books, VR content and films can also be managed.

Trailblazing Solution

Blockchains create networks where programs and information can be shared but are difficult to alter or destroy. This technology is used in public P2P network transactions – with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin dominating their use today. This same framework is now being applied for the first time by Sony in the field of data rights management for a vast range of digital content types and formats in a way that enables secure validation and ownership of digital assets.

An excerpt from the announcement reads:

This newly-developed system is specialized for managing rights-related information of written works, with features for demonstrating the date and time that electronic data was created, leveraging the properties of blockchains to record verifiable information in a difficult to falsify way, and identifying previously recorded works, allowing participants to share and verify when a piece of electronic data was created and by whom. In addition to the creation of electronic data, booting up this system will automatically verify the rights generation of a piece of written works, which has conventionally proven difficult.

How it Works

Technology has made it relatively easy for anyone to share content but management of content is mostly done using conventional means. Organizations or content creators have to do this themselves, hence the need for a more efficient approach for managing copyright-related content.

According to Sony, the newly introduced solution using blockchain technology, has features that make it difficult to alter rights-related information, reveal the date and time a particular content was created and makes it possible for participants to verify the source and time of creation of content. Booting up the system automatically verifies the rights generation of the content.

Sony Global Education has also hinted at a likely commercialization of the newly developed solution, while the Sony Group is also considering new ways to make use of blockchain technology for information management and data distribution in a host of different fields.