Microsoft revealed via a recently published paper that they have been looking into a blockchain-based incentive system to boost their anti-piracy campaigns
Written in conjunction with researchers from Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University, the paper titled “Argus: A Fully Transparent Incentive System for Anti-Piracy Campaigns” focuses on the transparency aspect of blockchain technology. “Argus” will look to allow for a trustless incentive mechanism, while protecting data collected from the open anonymous population of piracy reporters.
The paper explained, “We see this as a distributed system problem”, going on to note that, “In the implementation, we overcome a set of unavoidable obstacles to ensure security despite full transparency.”
Using a watermark algorithm to backtrace pirated content, only the informer will be able to report the same watermarked copy without actually owning it. This is also named “proof of leakage” where every report involves an information-hiding procedure.
Incentive-reducing safeguards are also present in the system, which are aimed at stopping the informer from using various pseudonyms to report the same content multiple times.
“With the security and practicality of Argus, we hope real-world antipiracy campaigns will be truly effective by shifting to a fully transparent incentive mechanism.”
They also noted the need to optimise several cryptographic operations “so that the cost for piracy reporting is reduced to an equivalent cost of sending about 14 ETH-transfer transactions to run on the public Ethereum network, which would otherwise correspond to thousands of transactions.”
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