Dish Networks Wants to Develop a Blockchain Anti-Piracy System

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated September 27, 2021

Dish Networks, the US-based TV provider, owner of Sling TV, and the notorious anti-piracy entity is back in the spotlight. According to recent reports, the media company wants to develop a blockchain-based system that would help fight piracy online. The system would enable other anti-piracy entities to join in, access it, and use it for the management of their content and the determination of what belongs to whom. In fact, Dish has filed a patent application for this blockchain-based anti-piracy system on July 9, 2018, and which was just published by the US patent office.

The description of the system talks about a software or hardware facility that is co-used by content owners to assert the ownership of content so that websites and services can quickly identify copyright-infringing user uploads. Each piece of content will be assigned a unique code for identification in the form of a watermark, or any other appropriate type of fingerprinting technology. Thanks to the proposed blockchain facility, the identifiers will be linked to items in a database where owners have access and jurisdiction to update the information. Each action of this type would be considered a blockchain transaction, benefiting from the confirmation process that underpins these systems.

Dish is going for an open service that will be decentralized, secure, and easily accessible, and this makes perfect sense. There are so many services and rightsholders out there, so creating a single system that would help everyone stay on the same page is crucial. However, while this system looks great in theory, we have never seen one in action so its effectiveness remains a question. If Dish manages to bring this project to fruition, pirates will immediately begin processing various methods to override or trick it, which is hard to do on blockchain systems. Still, we have many steps to be taken before we can evaluate it safely.

Dish Networks has been prosecuting pirate IPTV platforms and resellers since last summer, targeting IPGuys, East IPTV, SET TV, and Easybox IPTV. The firm is among the entities that have been hit the hardest by the cord-cutting trend, and instead of making a transition to the evolution of the market that is streaming technologies, it is investing resources in prosecution of copyright infringement actors. While requesting damage compensations is one way to make money, pirates are often elusive. All that said, Dish’s upcoming blockchain could be used for generating well-needed revenue too.

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