Alibaba Patents Blockchain System That Spots Music Copycats

Granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 21, the process as described by the Chinese e-commerce giant addresses one of the recording industry’s major issues – protecting the copyright of music tracks – by hosting and vetting that content on a blockchain.

Alibaba has patented a blockchain-based means of vetting the originality of songs.

One validation node and multiple music library nodes comprise the blockchain. The validation node performs “originality analysis” on a music track to evaluate how similar its tune, tempo and other factors such as lyrics and beat are to other tracks in the library.

This data is published to the blockchain and summarized in a second vetting report that also includes a similarity ratio. Ultimately, the process yields a recommendation on the track’s originality from a plurality of nodes.

Alibaba claims this method of song vetting could help stymie copycats whose meddling with the files skirts existing copyright safeguards, including hash coding music files to prove their authenticity, by stealing the sound itself.

“Currently, there is still no platform that can be used to perform a similarity analysis on musical works to identify plagiarized or imitated” songs, Alibaba wrote. That hole is wide enough for copycats to conceivably exploit.

Blockchain-based originality analysis can “alleviate” the problem, Alibaba said. It also universalizes the solution, as music libraries from around the world can all act as distributed nodes.

Alibaba envisions smart contracts running the originality reports in one iteration.

“The smart contract is executed with less human intervention and advantageous decentralized authority, and fairness of the music originality analysis behavior is further improved,” it said.

250M Pieces of Digital Content to Be Copyrighted on Ontology Blockchain

Blockchain platform Ontology announced a partnership with social creator platform OGQ to use the Ontology blockchain to ensure copyright protection for content created through the platform.

OGQ allows users to upload and sell unique digital content including emojis, memes, fonts, music, and videos.

The partnership will see 250 million instances of digital content being uploaded to the Ontology blockchain.

Ontology partners with social creators on copyright

Since launching in 2011, OGQ has attracted 14 million creators who have uploaded 54 million pieces of digital content to the platform. Digital assets uploaded to the blockchain will also be purchasable in exchange for tokens using Ontology’s OEP-4 token standard.

“One of the greatest challenges for digital content creators is the ability to maintain copyright over their work,” stated Ontology co-founder Andy Ji.

“Through our partnership, 250 million pieces of OGQ digital asset content will be housed on the Ontology public chain, ensuring the copyright is fully protected and users are rightfully recognized,” he added.

Blockchain-based copyright precedent

Ji told Cointelegraph that over 200 cases have recognized copyright pertaining to data uploaded to distributed ledger technology (DLT).

“There are already many such cases in China, including large internet companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent,” he said, “Initial estimates suggest that more than 200 cases should be supported by blockchain for copyright evidence.”

OGQ blockchain business developer Jess Eun gave Cointelegraph an overview of how the copyright platform monitors for infringements.

First, content undergoes pre-detection for copyright infringement or duplication usage in order to establish that the content uploaded by each user is unique.

Eun states that “a third party that is publicly respectable or government-backed” is engaged in the process, adding that “OGQ’s copyright protection scheme is backed both by Ontology as a third party technical partner and the Korean government via Korean Copyright Council under the [Universal Content Identifier (UCI)] project.”

Afterwards, OGQ plans to engage domestic partners to conduct ongoing monitoring for copyright infringement, while providing global coverage through Google vision API and Tineye API.

Alibaba patents DLT copyright system for music

Firms operating with DLT appear to be making moves to develop copyright solutions, with Alibaba receiving a patent in the United States for “blockchain-based music originality analysis” techniques on April 21.

The system comprises a network of nodes comprising a blockchain-based music library integrated with a ‘validator node” – which examines scores the originality of music on the basis of several musical criteria including melodic composition, tempo, lyrics and percussion. Alibaba applied for the patent during May 2019.

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