Microsoft plans to use Ethereum blockchain to fight piracy

Numerous economic sectors have already discovered the advantages of using the blockchain as a way of securely validating transactions. Governments and banks are already studying how to bring the system into their networks, while artists and content creators use NFTs to guarantee the authenticity of products. With companies that depend on intellectual property, the service is essentially promising.

Now, Microsoft seems to have an eye on this technology to combat the feared and so infamous piracy. In partnership with Alibaba Group and Carnegie Mellon University, in the United States, Microsof Research Asia produced an article describing the creation of Argus, a transparent anti-piracy system that uses anonymous reports transferred over the Ethereum network.

This is an outline of how the Argus project works (Image: Reproduction/Microsoft)

The security mechanism can track pirated content straight from the source with a corresponding “watermark” algorithm. Also called “leak proof”, each content report involves a procedure to verify and identify information, in order to identify the owner of the leaked software, after all, no one can have two copies with the same watermark.

Want to catch up on the best tech news of the day? Access and subscribe to our new youtube channel, Canaltech News. Every day a summary of the main news from the tech world for you!

There is also a system of safeguards to prevent a single informant from reporting the same leaked content repeatedly and under different names. In other words: even if someone manages to break a cryptographic code to distribute pirated software, the company would be able to stop the spread.

New way to deal with piracy

Argus is premised on changing traditional methods of combating illegal practices because it does not rely on external reliability mechanisms. As the blockchain system is inviolable, if the transaction was made by the engine, there is an extract that proves it.

According to the consortium, the operating cost of the system is infinitely lower and simpler than traditional models, even with the fees of the Ethereum network. With the blockchain, the new system has been optimized and can run about 14 transactions to produce a piracy report, while the old model would require thousands of similar operations.

The Blockchain system allows unique and monitorable operations between sender and receiver (Image: Playback/Pixabay)

As Microsoft, with the security and practicality of the new system, the company believes in a more effective system to combat unauthorized software, which can reduce the company’s million-dollar losses per year. Windows and the old “Office Pack”, now called Microsoft 365, have been big victims of worldwide piracy for at least two decades. Although developers are always looking for new ways to ensure the safety of programs, “pirates” manage to circumvent the rules.

For now, everything is just experimental studies, so it is too early to say when the technology will reach the public. The only certainty is that this is a path of no return, capable of solving most of the company’s problems.

Will Microsoft products finally stop being piracy leaders with the use of the blockchain?

Source: Microsoft (1.2)

Did you like this article?

Subscribe your email on Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.