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微软和安永联合推出区块链版税支付系统

为帮助软件开发人员等创作者收取版税,微软公司近日宣布将为其开发一款专门的区块链系统,该系统可在多台计算机上创建防篡改记录。

据了解,该项目希望借此简化当前记录跟踪和收集版权支付的过程,而此前这一过程长期依赖中间商来完成。

微软表示,它将首先在其庞大的在线游戏系统中使用这款区块链工具,并与视频游戏巨头Ubisoft等合作伙伴一起合作进行。

但其实,这款技术系统是微软公司与安永公司共同开发的,理论上适用于任何创意产业。

当项目完全部署后,这些公司预计每天可以处理数百万笔交易,并且以按天进行付款的模式代替原有的一次可能需要45天的特许权使用分发流程。这个过程依赖于一种被称为Quorum的区块链技术,也被设计用户保护商业机密。

使用区块链跟踪版权使用费的想法并不新鲜:区块链传播者一直以此为例证明区块链技术的应用可以使社会更加有效率。但到目前为止,解决方案仍然是一个理性的解决方案,部分原因是管理版权和付款设计的难度相当显著。

例如,以音乐剪辑为特色的视频游戏可能会导致不同的版税支付,软件开发人员、歌曲作者、表演者等等。由于某项工作的权利往往是皆存在于买方卖方,因此这项任务会变得更加困难。这样一来,也就意味着谁有权获得付款以及资金的去向尚未明确。

如果微软和安永的合作项目想取得成功,就必须考虑到情况的复杂性,并说服众多创作者及其管理机构加入。由于此前智能合约在完成自动化交易方面的表现,因此上述企业对未来的区块链版税系统也充满了信心。

 

 

Microsoft announced an ambitious plan on Tuesday to collect royalty payments for authors, software developers, and other creators using blockchain technology, which creates a tamper-proof record system across multiple computers.

The project aims to streamline the current process of tracking and collecting copyright payments, which has long relied on a series of middlemen, and which critics say shortchanges creators.

Microsoft says it will begin deploying the blockchain tool in its vast online gaming system, working with partners like video game giant Ubisoft to implement it. But the company says it views the technology, which it designed with consulting firm EY, as appropriate for any creative industry.

“EY and Microsoft designed the solution to serve any industry where intellectual property or assets are licensed to other parties and where the creators are paid royalties based on royalty agreements,” said the companies in a statement.

When the project is fully deployed, the companies predict they will be able to process millions of transactions a day, and replace a royalty distribution process that can take 45 days with one with daily pay-outs. The process, which relies on a species of blockchain technology known as Quorum, is also designed to protect confidential business arrangements.

The idea of using a blockchain to track copyright royalties is not new: Blockchain evangelists have long touted it as an example of the myriad ways the technology can be used to make society more efficient. But so far the solution has remained a theoretical one—in part because of the incredible complexity involved in managing copyright and payments.

A video game featuring a musical clip, for example, could give rise to different royalty payments: the software developer; the songwriter; the performer; and so on. The task is made harder since the rights to a given work are often bought and sold, meaning it is not always clear who is entitled to a payment and where the money should go.

If the Microsoft-EY project is going to succeed, it will have to account for such complexity, and also persuade numerous creators and their management agencies to come on board. The companies appear to believe this will be possible, in part due to smart contracts, which use blockchain technology to automate a wide variety of transactions.

“The scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions makes this a perfect application for blockchains. A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants,” said Paul Brody, EY’s Global Innovation Leader for Blockchain.


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