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Microsoft Fights Piracy by Using Ethereum Blockchain

Godfrey Benjamin   Aug 17, 2021 17:45 2 Min Read

American technology giant Microsoft is building a transparent incentive platform to help and boost the fight against piracy. 

Presented in a research paper published on its website, the platform dubbed Argus, an Ethereum based tool, will work to reinstate the transparency and adequate reward for those making piracy reports.

Over time, the lack of proper incentivisation has stirred a plunge in the efficiency of the anti-piracy measures. The measures being adopted are also often questioned due to a large absence of transparency, a situation that is compounded with the inadequacy in data protection for all involved in the anti-piracy fight. The introduction of Argus and the efficacy of blockchain technology will help stem these challenges.

Argus in Operation and Gas Fee Workaround

As described in the research paper titled “Argus: A Fully Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy Campaigns,” the Microsoft team and its partners said Argus would work through aiding the backtracing of pirated content to the source with a corresponding watermark algorithm.

The protocol also called the “proof of leakage,” will see each report of the leaked content succeeded by an information-hiding procedure. By doing this, only the informer can report the exact watermarked copy without actually owning it.

The entire reporting process on Argus leads to generating a lot of transactions. However, whistleblowers may want to shun the system if the gas fee becomes so high. To combat this, Microsoft said it has worked on the Argus system too:

“Effectively optimise 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.”

The efforts to boost the piracy fight through blockchain complements the prior applications of the technology to solve real-world music-related pirates. Alongside the latest Microsoft efforts to fight piracy, US Television Network provider, Dish has also developed new systems to help fight piracy.


Image source: Shutterstock

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