Microsoft combats Content Piracy

by baaaawz

Microsoft combats Content Piracy using Ethereum

In order to develop a more effective decentralized reward system to combat content piracy around the globe, Microsoft is developing a blockchain-based system (ETH) built upon Ethereum technology. Can this venture pay off in the long run?

Reporting pirated Content on Blockchain gives Bonus Ethers

Blockchain technology has the potential to help Microsoft’s strategy to combat content piracy.

In recent years, researchers from Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University have been conducting research into the development of fully transparent incentive systems for anti-piracy campaigns, leading to the creation of the new Ethereum-based anti-piracy program, Argus.

According to Argus, the platform proposes a decentralized incentive mechanism aimed at rewarding and automatically rewarding people who report content piracy, such as film, image, etc. In order to solve the problem of transparency of a system, Blockchain should protect the privacy of data collected as well as offer transparency of the system.

Digital Watermarks and Fee Optimization with Argus

With Argus, a new digital watermark called proof of leakage can be applied to protected content, making it easy to identify pirated content and trace its origin. The researchers said this watermark is extremely resistant to the following types of attacks:

We assume that the watermark cannot be compromised without significantly reducing the value of the content. Existing work has shown watermarks to be resistant to external attacks in some areas. For example, an image watermark can protect against attacks such as splitting, sampling, filtering, and image compression.

Given the high transaction costs of Ethereum, does it make sense to choose Ethereum as the underlying infrastructure from a technical standpoint? A team of researchers from Argus explains that several operations were optimized by the team:

(…) in this way, the cost of reporting a hack is reduced to a cost equivalent to sending about 14 ETH transfer transactions to execute on the public Ethereum network, which would otherwise correspond to thousands of transactions.

Argus, which was developed by the IT giant Microsoft, demonstrates that Microsoft hasn’t abandoned blockchain technology that allows it to solve real problems with a transparent system without intermediaries.

Why it is Important to combat Content Piracy

It is extremely clear that what people are allowed to do with content that they have purchased is very defined by law. Generally, when you purchase content, you are allowed to listen to, play, read, and use that content for personal use.

In other words, if you purchase a work, you don’t get the right to copy, share, trade, let others download it, or make money off of it. That would be similar to buying a movie and then charging people to see it.

A person who tries to copy software or digital content without the permission of the content creator is committing a crime. The act is no different from stealing the same program from a computer store.

Whether you took a copy of a copyrighted document from a friend, downloaded a copyrighted document illegally from the internet, or purchased an identical copy from someone selling a counterfeit; it is still theft.

Pirated Software is Dangerous

The majority of illegal software downloads contain a variety of dangerous viruses, spyware, and other malware. The malware that is hidden inside cracked software is a threat that can steal information from the computers of the victims once the software has been downloaded and installed by the user. There is even a risk that the malware may spread further, making the issue much worse.

Malware nowadays tends to be very clever and hides its presence quite well. As a result, you may not even be aware that your machine has been compromised. During the time that you continue to use your device, you might not realize that it has become infected, although it has been for a long time.

Cracking Sites distribute Malware

Furthermore, it is also worth noting that websites that distribute cracked software are another reason to be suspicious. It is generally necessary to search for sites that specialize in cracking if you want to download cracked software. It is already illegal for them to be operating these sites in the first place. Therefore, they have little motivation to keep their users from being harmed by their services.

In some cases, cracking sites will display popups or redirect you to other sites that can harm your computer. This exposes you to risks such as adware infections and ransomware.

Quality of Pirated Content is Bad

You cannot be sure that the software you are downloading will work when you download it illegally. The majority of companies take steps in order to prevent the piracy of their software. Therefore it is quite possible to find that a piece of software is never going to work at all. In others cases, it may work for a while and then eventually cease to work.

Similarly, cracked software won’t offer updates. This means, that you will not be able to upgrade to a new version of the program that has new features. Further, the fact that you will not be receiving security updates is even more concerning. It is normal for the company responsible for a piece of software to issue a fix as soon as possible when a security vulnerability is found within that piece of software.

It is important to keep in mind that if you continue to use the software without updating it, you might have even more security threats. You should be aware that hackers are able to exploit vulnerabilities in the software on your machine to gain access to all sorts of data.


If Microsoft combats content piracy using Ethereum, the Ethereum Network will be used even more. This could bring even more good news for everyone whos trades in Ethereum. You should make sure to hop on the train before it’s too late and start to buy Ethereum. The Price of Ethereum may go up by a lot in the next months. 

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