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Dish Network Files Patent for Blockchain-Based Anti-Piracy System

One of the largest U.S. television providers has filed a patent application for a new "anti-piracy management system" that uses blockchain to enable owners to track how their content is being used.

Dish Network's application to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office outlines a system that allows owners to embed an identification mark into the content's code that can be stored and regularly updated using a distributed ledger. Published by the patent office Thursday, Dish says the proposal can better monitor and enforce ownership rights, alerting platforms to when content is used without permission.

According to the filing, one of the main problems with online streaming is it has become increasingly difficult to combat content piracy. There are simply too many distribution platforms for content owners to effectively monitor. Although unauthorized content can be quickly taken down once identified, it has usually been viewed millions of times by the time they've done so.

Dish Network's anti-piracy system, which was originally filed in July 2018, would use blockchain to embed ownership data, owner's name and contact information, for example, into content that can only be uploaded and updated by the owners themselves.

The idea is it provides distribution platforms with an incorruptible reference point to ensure all published data is correctly authorized. As well as acting as a means to more efficiently check copyright, the system can also help platforms enforce ownership rights and take action against publishers who have used content without permission.

It's unclear whether Dish Network's proposed anti-piracy system would work on its own blockchain or on a pre-existing platform.

The system allows uploaders to purchase content directly from the owners. A featured exchange facility means users can pay owners in either fiat or cryptocurrencies, and in return receive unique identity tokens, which authorizes them to use the content. ...

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