Due to the nature of the software business, the Microsoft company is constantly searching for alternatives to combat piracy. Recently its research department announced its intention to combat digital piracy using the Ethereum blockchain, which they consider a safe and reliable option. Microsoft is currently developing a new security system called “Argus,” which is expected to be the first public anti-piracy system, taking advantage of the transparency and decentralization of the Ethereum network.

Microsoft’s Argus system

The document with which the Microsoft research department presents this system consists of 11 pages prepared with the collaboration of the Chinese online commerce giant Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University. The document showed the design, implementation, and subsequent evaluation of the new anti-piracy system. Argus’s goal will be to protect the identity of whistleblowers and enable the affected company to “trace” the source of the pirated content.

The Ethereum blockchain

The Ethereum blockchain is one of the networks with the most incredible connectivity globally; it is why Microsoft decided to select it. Although the Ethereum network currently presents some problems related to its scalability and high transaction fees (due to congestion and high platform traffic), novel proposals, such as the EIP -1559 update, aims to fix these problems.

To solve the Ethereum network fees problem, the proposal presented by Microsoft has optimized some cryptographic operations, as explained by the Microsoft team: “Some cryptographic operations have been efficiently optimized so that the costs of the complaint about piracy (anti-piracy reports) are reduced to the cost equivalent to 14 transactions of ETH on the public Ethereum network, which would otherwise be equivalent to the cost of thousands of transactions”. If the new Argus system is successful, it will boost the use of Ethereum in other sectors.

More effective anti-piracy campaigns

The company claims that with the security and versatility of Argus, anti-piracy campaigns will be more effective and productive globally, especially by changing the incentive mechanism, which will be more transparent. With the Argus system, content that has been pirated can be traced to the source with a unique algorithm, which is a process called proof of leakage. The seal used to “mark” the content will be called a watermark; thanks to this, each content report will have a unique seal to hide the data and make the process simpler, transparent, and versatile.

What do you think about this topic? Do you think this new system will reduce the high rates of software piracy?

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Image by Drawkit Illustrations via unsplash.com under Creative Commons license.


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