Legal and IP News

S Korea’s CJ Group unit launches blockchain for music copyright

music copyright

Yesterday, South Korea’s CJ OliveNetworks launched a blockchain digital copyrights system. CJ OliveNetworks is the IT division of Seoul’s CJ Group which has $62.9 billion in assets.

Music has two separate sets of copyright. One is for the song itself, and the other is for the music composed of its underlying elements like beats, instruments etc. This makes it challenging to manage copyrights and process royalty payments.

CJ OliveNetworks’ blockchain platform will record music usage history in advertisements, promotional videos and other broadcast content. This will provide stakeholders such as music producers, broadcasting agencies, copyright holders and copyright associations with greater transparency to process royalties.

“It is very important to have a system that ensures fairness and transparency among copyright stakeholders. Blockchain-based copyright management system will greatly contribute to improving the copyright management process,” said Kim Eung-do, head of DT Convergence Research Institute at CJ OliveNetworks told local media house Future Economy.

The platform has been developed using Amazon Managed Blockchain hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It also leverages data mined by AWS Elemental MediaConvert, which identifies the different sounds used in broadcast content. The company said as AWS hosts both the services it will significantly reduce operational costs and time.

Launched earlier this year, Amazon Managed Blockchain uses Hyperledger Fabric and soon plans to incorporate Ethereum.

A similar project is being run by Japan’s Sony, which uses blockchain to verify copyright of written works. The novelty is that the blockchain can check even parts of the written text. This is similar to the CJ OliveNetworks’ project, which applies blockchain to manage rights to pieces of music.

Meanwhile, last year Chinese search engine Baidu launched a copyright protection blockchain for images. The project expands on Baidu’s existing picture library where photographers can add content for licensing. And EY and Microsoft collaborated for a games royalty blockchain project.