- Content creators including musicians, artists, and game developers may often find their intellectual property (IP) rights violated by individuals or groups that distribute their content without paying for it. The popularity of peer-to-peer (P2P) programs also enables and facilitates online piracy, making it difficult for creators to track who, how and when their content is unethically/illegally accessed and distributed.
- Creators often find themselves forced to go through intermediaries (aka middlemen) in order to reach a wider market or to receive IP rights protection, which is sold to creators at a premium, which then increases costs to the end-user. Furthermore, digital management rights (DRM) software is not robust enough to withstand hacking.
- As streaming sites gain popularity, especially during pandemic times, their market share of users is large and enticing to creators. Royalties are the main form of revenue for these creators, but access to fair compensation may be muddied by opaque or unclear royalty agreements and a lack of accurate content consumption tracking (such as the number of songs or shows played). Furthermore, the payment ecosystems in the media and entertainment industry are controlled by monopolistic intermediaries, who may delay compensation due to complex or overly manual processes. Sometimes, creators may also suffer from unsecured transactions.
- Online news or media platforms, especially smaller, independent ones, often have trouble with access to optimized, efficient, and affordable micropayment systems. As such, they miss out on the market of consumers who do not wish to commit to a longer subscription, and instead, only make one-off purchases on articles or videos that interest them.
- The nature of blockchain technology allows creators to accurately and securely track the movement of their blockchain-hosted content by verified, paying consumers, and analyze distribution patterns due to its transparency. Unlike DRM software, blockchain is secure, so it would be nigh impossible to ‘hack’ the data to unethically distribute it, thereby eliminating content piracy at its source.
- Blockchain-hosted content allows creators to bypass intermediaries, thus reducing content production costs, and pass the savings on to consumers. This thus increases the attractiveness of paying for content. In fact, P2P programs can actually help to facilitate sales and distribution directly to the end-user, thus increasing revenue share to the creator, whilst their IP rights remain protected.
- ‘Smart contracts’ built on a blockchain and attached to content would facilitate the accuracy, speed, and trust of the royalty system. Clear contract terms can be defined and automatically executed amongst involved parties as well. Content will also be easily and accurately tracked each time it is used, thus eliminating disputes on usage, and fairly dividing revenue amongst creators and stakeholders.
- The implementation of a blockchain-based pay-per-use micropayment system would be more efficient and more cost-effective to implement than existing systems. Content such as articles, graphic art, or videos may be sold on a per-use basis in an automated fashion, thus saving administrative and software costs for the creator.
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