For decades, the music industry has been struggling to crack down on digital piracy. Despite their efforts to develop an effective and user-friendly digital rights software, they’ve found it impossible to keep up with the ever-evolving methods of digital criminals. Could the blockchain be the answer to the music industry’s prayers?
Let’s start with the basics. Believe it or not, most people don’t really know or understand what the blockchain is. Blockchain is an online record-keeping system that’s like a huge digital spreadsheet. It’s used to track and keep records of things like money, contracts, and other valuable information. The blockchain is made up of a series of “blocks” that are linked together like a chain. Each block contains information about the previous block, and it is stored on computers around the world. When someone wants to make a change or a new entry, all the computers in the chain have to agree on the change before it can be added. It is used to keep track of important information, like money and contracts, in a secure and efficient way. It’s also used to create digital currencies like Bitcoin. By using the blockchain, people can trust that their information is safe and secure.
Like the blockchain, NFT’s are not quite understood by most people. NFT’s are digital assets that are represented on the blockchain. They are unique and cannot be replicated, meaning that they are ideal for digital rights management. A creator can assign a digital asset to an NFT, ensuring that the asset has a unique and immutable identity. This makes it easy to prove ownership, track usage, and protect against copyright infringement.
One of the main benefits of NFTs is that they can be used to protect the artist’s work from being pirated or copied. By creating an NFT and assigning it to a song or album, the artist can ensure that only those who have purchased the NFT can access the original version of the work. This helps to protect the artist’s copyright and ensure that they are compensated for their work. Like physical CD’s and vinyl, NFT’s can be resold, but unlike physical product, the creator gets a slice of any profits resulting from the resale.
As we all know by now, the recording industry attempted to establish a set of standards that would protect digital music files. The SDMI is commonly deemed a failure, however, as TMV guest columnist David Leibowitz (former RIAA top executive) maintains, there is some good that came from the SDMI experience. Too bad the blockchain wasn’t around 20 years ago. If that were the case, perhaps Hilary Rosen, the former head of the RIAA, would still have her job.
The benefits of using NFT’s for digital rights management are numerous. Here are a few of the key advantages:
- NFT’s are a secure and reliable form of DRM.
- NFT’s are a transparent and traceable way to track usage.
- NFT’s are immutable, meaning that they cannot be replicated or altered.
- NFT’s provide a way to monetize digital music through the sale of the token.
- NFT’s can be a cost-effective way of protecting digital content.
Granted, the mass adoption of music streaming services have practically taken over the music industry, record labels are constantly moaning about paltry rates the services pay. That said, can NFT’s be the DRM of the future? Overall, NFTs could be a cost-effective way for the music industry to fight digital piracy, though they are not without their drawbacks. As the technology continues to evolve, it may become more widely accepted and better able to protect artists’ work. For now, it remains to be seen how effective NFTs will be in combating digital piracy, but it is certainly worth considering.