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Blockchain-based copyright protection: a good prospect for an author?

Let’s say you are a creative writer: you write short stories, compose music, or come up with great film scripts. Your work is unique and valuable. Copyright law protects your creativity and ensures that you receive fair remuneration.

But in the digital world, things are different. Your work can be copied and distributed with the click of a mouse. Losing control is a real danger. Is your copyright safe?

Olga Ijtsma, Legal Counsel of “Lex law company”, expert of law, international lawyer explains:

“Blockchain may be the solution. Unlike traditional databases, blockchain is not stored on one central server. Instead, information is transmitted across a network of computers. This makes the system resistant to hacking and manipulation. Blockchain uses cryptography to protect information. This makes it almost impossible to discreetly change or delete data. All transactions on the blockchain are public and available to anyone. This makes the system secure and transparent, like a digital ledger where your work is untouchable.

I want to talk about this because I think it is very important that people who invent or create something are rewarded for it and that their labour is not simply stolen. In this context, blockchain offers interesting possibilities for the future of copyright protection. By preparing properly, you can take full advantage of it!

“How does it work? Let’s say you register your work on the blockchain. This records the date and time of creation. This allows you to prove that you are the original author. If other people can copy your work without permission, you can prove that you are the original author!”

According to Olga Ijtsma, blockchain has a number of advantages. First of all, blockchain is very secure. Unlike traditional systems where all data is managed by one party, blockchain is distributed across a network of computers. This makes it virtually impossible to manipulate or hack the blockchain. As a result, there are no vulnerabilities and your work is optimally protected from theft and manipulation. The evidence is secure. Thus, you will never again have disputes about who is the original author. Blockchain proves this conclusively. Finally, blockchain is transparent because anyone can see the information. Therefore, the system is also transparent and fair.

The legal context of copyright protection using blockchain is very complex. There is not yet a complete guarantee of the authenticity of copyright registration. There is no central authority to verify the authenticity of registrations. It cannot be ruled out that the blockchain can be manipulated to create fake registrations.

However, it is possible to use blockchain to prove copyright. The recorded date and time of creation can be used as proof of authorship.

However, infringers can try to prove that they already own the copyright. They can also challenge the correctness of the registration in the blockchain.

“Legislation is being developed in Europe to regulate blockchain technology. This legislation may affect the way copyright is protected on the blockchain. An example of legislation that may be developed is a regulation establishing authentication requirements for copyright registrations on the blockchain.

This system is still under development, but the potential is huge. We are likely to see more and more copyright applications in the coming years. The digital world is changing rapidly. Immerse yourself in blockchain and keep a close eye on the regulations related to it. Read online, attend seminars or talk to experts. You’ll be able to protect your work and ensure your creativity is fairly rewarded.

Consider registering your work. This will protect your creativity and maintain control over your work.

In Europe, each European country has a national office responsible for copyright and intellectual property issues. The following can be highlighted among them: HM Land Registry in the UK, Benelux Intellectual Property Office (BBIE) and Buma/Stemra in the Netherlands, Deutsches Papent -und Markenamt (DPMA) in Germany, which deals with patents, trade marks and designs. While copyrights are granted automatically upon creation, the DPMA provides information and resources.  In Spain, the Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) handles patents, trademarks and designs.

Blockchain legislation in the US continues to evolve, with various states and federal agencies adopting and regulating blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Various bills are being considered in Congress to create a clearer legal framework for blockchain.”

Over time, it will become clear whether blockchain technology will become a new complementary tool for confirming authorship, disposition and control over the use of works, or whether it will replace the existing copyright system.

REFERENCES

1) Blockchain: what is it?/Internet source: https://www.consumentenbond.nl/veilig-internetten/blockchain/

2)Blockchain and intellectual property: a good combination?/Internet source: https://www.dirkzwager.nl/kennis/artikelen/blockchain-en-intellectuele-eigendom-een-goede-combinatie/

3)Rijksoverheid van Nederland/ When do I use an electronic signature? Internet source: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/digitale-overheid/vraag-en-antwoord/wat-is-een-elektronische-handtekening

4)Blockchain and Smart Contracts in the Recording Industry, Nicolas Neysen , Submitted 15/02/20, 1st revision 25/03/20, accepted 10/04/20, European Research Studies Journal Volume XXIII, Issue 2, 2020, pp. 174-185

5) European Commission/ Legal and regulatory framework for blockchain, shaping Europe’s digital future / internet source: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/regulatory-framework-blockchain

6) Intellectual property NL point, I-depot / https://www.intellectueeleigendom.nl/i-depot/#:~:text=What%20is%20a%20i%2Ddepot,time%20time%20and%20date%20existed.

7) Tekst & Comment Intellectual Property, mr. K.M.L. Bijvank, dr. S.J.R. Bostyn, S.C. Dack, mr. F.C. Folmer, eighth edition, Wolters Kluwer, pp. 64-68, 95-99, 25/09/2023

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