Chinese courts to use Blockchain to help protect writer’s copyright

In yet another intriguing use case, writers in Hangzhou’s special ‘Writers’ District’ now have a new copyright aid: distributed ledger

Posted 19 December 2018 at 8:17am by

A special court set up in city of Hangzhou, China to help writers fight plagiarism is being allowed to speed up digital justice by allowing users to verify their identities with Blockchain – either with a government-issued ID or through their Alipay account.

The idea: save time and reduce overhead costs for citizens, says Chinese state media.

Specifically, thanks to Blockchain technology, a work circulating in cyberspace can be extracted for writers to use as evidence they actually wrote it and have rights to sales – a process replacing a much clunkier older system, whereby they had to offer screenshots and downloaded content as evidence.

And as Blockchain guarantees that data can not be tampered, due to its “decentralised and open distributed ledger technology”, says China, all digital footprints stored in the judicial blockchain system – authorship, time of creation, content and evidence of infringement – will now have full legal status.

This was recognised as inefficient in terms of gaining legal recognition as the process was not credible enough, Wang Jiangqiao, a judge at the Internet court, who is also quoted as promising that the court will accept filings and cases electronically and is even expected to rule online cases via livestream.

For some reason, Hangzhou is home to many, if not most, online writers in China: a total of 107 famous online writers have signed contracts to create works in a “writers’ village” in the city’s Binjiang District.

China has set up three Internet courts in Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou to handle Internet-related cases, as the country’s 800 million Internet users and booming online business have led to rising number of Internet-related disputes.