In a partnership with ‘big four’ consulting firm Ernst and Young (EY), Microsoft have launched a blockchain content rights platform to manage the licensing process, and potentially become the world’s biggest enterprise network.
The intellectual property (IP) of content, generates millions of transactions per month, aggregating to billions of dollars in royalties to be paid out to content providers such as authors, song writers, production houses, software developers and others.
EY’s Global Innovation Leader, Paul Brody said:
“A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners, and licenses can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants.”
The first test subject will be with the giant games publisher Ubisoft. By integrating confidentiality agreements across the various entities, it aims to eliminate costly rights disputes that often occur within the gaming industry.
Loic Amans, Senior Vice President, Finance & Strategic Planning at Ubisoft said:
“The opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties is truly exciting.”
Currently, the royalty distribution process takes 45 days and is managed manually offline by intermediaries, which can be a costly and time-consuming process for creators and content providers.
With the launch of this blockchain platform, Microsoft and EY aim to significantly transform the content rights management value chain, by cutting out the ‘middlemen’ and reducing the payment period from 45 days to just one.
Microsoft explained that the network could have far-reaching applications, across any industry in which intellectual property is licensed and subject to royalty contracts.
Once fully operational across further sectors, Microsoft and EY expect the solution to handle millions of transactions per day with thousands of royalty partners, to become one of the world’s largest enterprise blockchain systems.
The use of blockchain technology for the management of content rights is not new ground, as reported by BCTECH REPORT back in April this year, Sony began piloting a solution for digital rights of it’s vast entertainment empire.
Furthermore, three of the world’s largest content management players, the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM) and PRS for Music, announced that they intend to build a shared decentralised database for collecting, updating and tracking musical work metadata in real-time.