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Sony Develops Blockchain Rights Management System

October 15, 2018

Sony has developed a rights management system for digital content that utilizes blockchain technology. This new system is based on Sony and Sony Global Educationís previously developed system for authenticating, sharing, and rights management of educational data, and additionally features functionality for processing rights-related information.

Blockchains create networks where programs and information are difficult to destroy or falsify, and are well-adapted for the free transfer of data and rights. Those traits give blockchains many potential uses across a range of services including finance, merchandise distribution management, and the sharing economy, and blockchains are expected to bring about even more innovative services in the future. At present, they are also used in public P2P network transactions, primarily involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Today, advances in technologies for digital content creation allow anyone to broadcast and share content, but the rights management of that content is still carried out conventionally by industry organizations or the creators themselves, necessitating a more efficient way of managing and demonstrating ownership of copyright-related information for written works. 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. Furthermore, the system lends itself to the rights management of various types of digital content including electronic textbooks and other educational content, music, films, VR content, and e-books. As such, Sony is contemplating possible uses in a wide range of fields.

Sony Global Education is continuously carrying out technological development and prototyping towards the use of blockchain technology in the educational field. This newly developed system can be utilized to manage educational materials and other forms of content used in the field of education, and Sony Global Education is considering its possible commercialization as a service.

Sony Group is also considering innovative ways to make use of blockchain technology for information management and data distribution in a host of different fields. Through the technological development and commercialization of blockchains, including with this new system, Sony will continue exploring the possibilities that blockchain technology holds for Sony Groupís diverse and wide-ranging business domains.

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