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Microsoft Plans on Fighting Piracy Using the Ethereum Blockchain



Microsoft, one of the world’s leading software developers plans on using the transparency of blockchain technology to combat piracy. When assessing the top performers on any software piracy platforms, one cannot miss the likes of Office Productivity Suite, and Windows Operating System. This is one of the many reasons the developer of these two products, Microsoft, works tirelessly to come up with anti-piracy measures.

Microsoft’s research department in collaboration with researches from Alibaba Group and Carnegie Mellon University released a paper where the Redmond-based software giant studied means of bolstering anti-piracy campaigns. The research paper is titled Argus: A Fully Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy Campaigns and it focuses on studying a blockchain-based incentive system that can help keep software piracy at bay.

Why Choose Argus?

From the paper, Microsoft’s new system leans towards making the most out of blockchain technology. Argus is built on the Ethereum blockchain and through it Microsoft can employ a trustless incentive mechanism while protecting the data collected from the anonymous collection of piracy reporters.

The paper stated that they view piracy as a distributed system problem. They further added, “In the implementation, we overcome a set of unavoidable obstacles to ensure security despite full transparency.”

Argus seems like the right tool to employ since it backtracks pirated content to the source with a watermark algorithm explained in the paper. There is a protocol employed known as “proof of leakage” where each report of pirated content employs an information hiding technique. With this in store, only the informer can report the same watermarked copy without claiming ownership of it.

Other Tech Giants Should Follow Suit

In addition to that, there are incentive-reducing protocols in play to ensure informants do not report the same leaked content every time using differing aliases. The report stated, “With the security and practicality of Argus, we hope real-world antipiracy campaigns will be truly effective by shifting to a fully transparent incentive mechanism.”

Users might wonder how the software giant is going to cope with Ethereum network fees but the paper explained that their developers made the most effective use of various 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.”

Fighting digital piracy and protecting intellectual property has turned into a worldwide concern with tech companies looking at divergent avenues for addressing these.

Image courtesy of pxfuel



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