The Japanese tech giant Sony recently filed an application for a patent to use blockchain to store their digital rights data.
The patent application was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, April 26, and it quickly gained considerable attention. In it, Sony explained that current digital rights management (DRM) solutions "may not be very reliable and rely on one unique point of failure. If the rights locker provider or system goes out of business or otherwise fails, the user loses all the acquired content," particularly if those DRM solutions rely on interoperability.
The company could want to leverage blockchain in order to store required identification data to make sure users could watch the products they buy. The application was filed both by Sony and its subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The application even specifies movies as an example of how they could use the system. More pointedly, Sony mentions its UltraViolet cloud digital rights locker as a particular way the application could be used.
In the patent, Sony breaks down their proposed system further. Sony would receive a public-key enrollment request. Users would then go through the verification process to ensure that the user has a private key to match the public key. The user ID is generated through that public key. Finally, "generating and delivering the rights blockchain having a genesis block including the user identifier to the use" the patent application noted.
Concurrently, a "DRM computer system would verify the rights in the blockchain and then decrypt the media when needed. This computer system can take different forms, including a "DRM agent" residing on a user's device, according to Sony.
Other Recent Sony Patents and Investments
Sony has also recently invested in an AI-based ride system, allowing the tech giant to potentially redefine yet another tech sector. The technology produced in that investment would give five separate taxi companies the ability to use AI in order to manage dispatches and predict the demand for cabs at certain times.