Microsoft blockchainbased system pirates

When a copy is reported for piracy, the license of the source is changed to “accused” and the system provides the reported source’s owner with an option to send an “appeal”. However, if no evidence of ownership is provided, the status changes from “accused” to “guilty”.

Argus is an open and transparent system. As such, the company has also incentivised a way to prevent any abuse on the “informer’s” side. If a pirated source is reported many times from the same IP address but under different names, the bounty is decreased significantly. In turn, this will stop volunteers from using their authority unjustly.

There are multiple checks that the anti-piracy system depends upon to make sure that it’s open and transparent and ensure that no malicious accusations are made either.


’s cloud technology.

Nivaura, a UK financial technology firm that uses Azure, successfully registered, cleared and settled two Principal Protected Notes (PPN) linked to the FTSE 100 – one through the traditional clearing infrastructure and a second using an open public blockchain.

PPNs are an investment that guarantees the amount you invest but can also provide a profit if the value of the underlying asset rises. The issued instruments were two-month pound-denominated notes paying a coupon of up to 13% per year based on the performance of the FTSE 100 index.

Avtar Sehra, Chief Executive and Chief Product Architect at Nivaura, said that using the Ethereum blockchain will be cheaper for companies launching investment products as it reduces the need for middlemen and costs associated with post-trade registration, clearing and settlement.

The ID2020 alliance is targeting the people who lack fundamental rights and services such as voting, healthcare, housing and education that are tethered to legal proof of identification.

This week, Microsoft detailed what it has learned from its own exploration of blockchain as well as from its partnership with ID2020; as a platform for a new open ledger ID technology, the company plans to use its existing cloud-based Microsoft Authenticator application, which already enables multi-factor authentication for business and consumer customers.

Microsoft plans to work with other companies and industry groups to enable its “self-sovereign digital identity platform,” according to Patel.

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“Today, the Microsoft Authenticator app is already used by millions of people to prove their identity every day.

It theoretically works with various media types including images, audio and software.

That said, it’s unclear how effective it will be. The researchers “assume” that the watermarking technology deployed is tamper-free, which isn’t always the case today.

All in all, it’s intriguing to see blockchain technology used to improve the rather old-fashioned piracy reporting campaigns. This idea isn’t completely new, however, as the South African company Custos came up with a similar idea years ago.

Microsoft’s research notes that Argus is superior to Custos’ solution as it can assess the severity of piracy and the strength of accusations.

As a result, current configurations do not prevent piracy”, the company explains.

Disney argues that by implementing a secure blockchain-based system, the distribution process can be more tightly controlled. Among other things, it will make it impossible for a movie to be played before it arrives at the intended location.

“In contrast with previous configurations, the blockchain configuration verifies that the content is received at the intended destination prior to allowing playback of the content at that destination”, the patent reads.

The system can also be configured with other anti-piracy features.

It theoretically works with various media types including images, audio and software.

That said, it’s unclear how effective it will be. The researchers “assume” that the watermarking technology deployed is tamper-free, which isn’t always the case today.

All in all, it’s intriguing to see blockchain technology used to improve the rather old-fashioned piracy reporting campaigns. This idea isn’t completely new, however, as the South African company Custos came up with a similar idea years ago.

Microsoft’s research notes that Argus is superior to Custos’ solution as it can assess the severity of piracy and the strength of accusations.

This openness is currently missing from BSA-style reporting mechanisms.

“Industrial alliances and companies are running anti-piracy incentive campaigns, but their effectiveness is publicly questioned due to the lack of transparency. We believe that full transparency of a campaign is necessary to truly incentivize people,” the paper reads.

Piracy Bounty Hunting

The article is full of technical details. We don’t strive to provide a full summary but, simply put, Argus is a transparent system built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows people to anonymously report piracy in exchange for a bounty.

Pirated content is traced back to the source through a unique watermark that corresponds with a secret code.

The patent in question, titled “Blockchain configuration for secure content delivery”, focuses on distributing content to movie theatres.

This is a vulnerable process where pirates with the right connections can make copies during or after delivery.

There are already several security mechanisms in place to prevent leaks from happening.

Theatres must adhere to strict rules, for example, and movies are all watermarked. Nevertheless, Disney believes that this isn’t sufficient to stop pirates.

“Such security mechanisms are often reactive rather than preventative. For example, watermarking configurations insert a watermark into content to track piracy after the piracy has already occurred.

The required creation of the asset and money registers and delivery versus payment settlement of the instrument was performed on the Ethereum public blockchain network.

“What we’re showing is you can use open public infrastructure for regulated financial instruments, which is a very critical step, because from the earliest stages we’ve always believed public infrastructure is a viable way forward for particular instruments that don’t necessarily have high volume secondary markets,” Sehra said at last year’s launch. “As cryptocurrencies or tokenised fiat-currencies become a more accepted form of payment mechanism it will lead to an increasing uptake in using public blockchain infrastructure for registration, clearing and settlement of the securities.”

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger that can be added to but not modified, making it very secure.

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.

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