The role of the blockchain in publishing: a few interesting projects
Blockchain

The role of the blockchain in publishing: a few interesting projects

By Michele Porta - 1 Sep 2019

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 The media and publishing industry is increasingly approaching the blockchain world. While on the one hand large companies are using blockchain technology to improve their supply chain, on the other, creative industries are using it to increase the responsibility of reporters and to attempt the removal of the trust factor.

The blockchain in publishing and media

With the advent of digitalisation, the publishing industry has been forced to actively combat the problems of plagiarism and copyright infringement, particularly in the last two decades. Moreover, it is often very difficult to determine who is the original or first creator of any work.

Blockchain technology could finally be a solution to these types of problems in the publishing industry. Everything that is recorded on public blockchains is immutable and can be viewed by anyone.

Similarly, during the publication of an article, a book or any other literary work, the identification of metadata can be uploaded by the author on the blockchain so as to certify the precise moment when the work begins. Any updates made by the author will then be recorded on the blockchain and available for public viewing.

The use of smart contracts

A smart contract can also be programmed to run the task of controlling the entire blockchain in search of very similar works.

In the event that another identical content is found, the author will be denied exclusive copyright on the work in question. If the smart contract cannot find another copy of the work, the creation will be considered unique, granting the author full and exclusive rights over the work.

A further example may be the verification of the presence of fragments of plagiarism in a given piece of journalism. The program could analyse all written material that has been stored on the blockchain and will identify any plagiarised content.

If a publishing house wanted to publish a book available on the blockchain it could pay the original creator a commission in order to use the content. Being an automated system, the fee can be predetermined by the author of the work and deposited in a wallet in the form of specific digital tokens.

Blockchain technology could also easily simplify the tedious and lengthy procedure for obtaining permission to reuse original content.

Some projects for blockchain publishing

Po.et is a shared ledger that records the metadata of the authors of any original digital content. In describing their infrastructure, the platform’s developers stated:

“Po.et wants to transform the publishing industry by creating an immutable and distributed ledger for creative works”.

Mediachain.io is a peer-to-peer platform for sharing information between applications and organisations that uses blockchain technology.

Amino Pay aims to address the problem of falling revenues in digital advertising by using blockchain technology to verify the views of ads and managing payments between agencies, creators and publishers.

Finally, the New York Times, a well-known American newspaper, aims to combat misinformation and fake news through the use of Hyperledger Fabric.

 

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