Microsoft Launches Blockchain Solution to Help Creators Get Paid

The blockchain technology has proved to be useful in far more areas than just cryptocurrency trading. It is being used or introduced in many fields, including crime-fighting, as a tool to help combat child trafficking in Moldova, analyzing creditworthiness of fruit and vegetable retailers in Kenya, and much, much more.

Tech giant Microsoft and London-based multinational firm Ernst & Young (EY) have launched a blockchain solution in a bid to assist creators in getting their well-deserved royalties and protecting their rights.

EY is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and is a member of the “Big Four” accounting firms. The other three are Deloitte and PxC (both headquartered in the UK), and KPMG, based in the Netherlands.

Testing

In an aim to ease the expensive and extensive processes in content rights and royalties, Microsoft, together with its game publisher partners, is deploying the project within the gaming sector first.

Namely, Ubisoft, a game publishing giant, and a Microsoft gaming partner are currently testing the technology.

“We are always looking at how to leverage emerging technologies in all facets of our business. The opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties is truly exciting,” Loic Amans, Senior Vice President, Finance, and Strategic Planning at Ubisoft said.

After the completion of the testing period, if it proves to be successful, the solution is planned to be implemented across all industry branches that require licensing of intellectual property.

The project

When the project implementation begins, the publishers and distributor partners will sign up on the blockchain platform and accept business terms and conditions through a smart contract.

As explained by Vitalik Buterin, the 22-year-old programmer at Ethereum, a smart contract is a computer protocol in which an asset or currency is transferred into a program, “and the program runs this code and at some point it automatically validates a condition and it automatically determines whether the asset should go to one person or back to the other person, or whether it should be immediately refunded to the person who sent it or some combination thereof.” The blockchain also saves and copies the document, which gives it a bit more security and permanence.

What this all means for content creators is that, when a consumer purchases content online or in a store, the blockchain will record the transaction, and the amount or royalties will be decided upon on the basis of the smart contract. Both publishers and distributors will be able to check all relevant data at any time.

The underlying network is created using the Quorum protocol, Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure, and blockchain technologies.

Once its implementation begins, the network will be able to process millions of transactions daily.

Strengthening trust and transparency

The process is designed to increase trust and transparency between industry participants, decrease operational inefficiencies in the rights and royalties management, eliminating the requirement for the expensive manual process of royalty calculations and partner reviews.

What’s more, the project will give almost real-time visibility of all transactions to the participants in the network and allow them to react to market needs more quickly and more efficiently due to having a well-timed, better knowledge about the material being bought.

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