Honey, They Factomized My Books!
Blockchain technology can be the solution for ensuring copyrights
The capabilities of blockchain technology beyond what it provides for bitcoin has been documented on this site. A recent post about a company named Factom showed how this company is able to use blockchain technology to store a permanent record of a non-bitcoin transaction on the blockchain.
Factom is one of many companies that is utilizing the power of blockchain technology for various business applications.
It has created a technology that provides for the easy recording of transactions on the blockchain that can provide a way to add permanence to record keeping and other applications.
One of these applications is the storage of business records. The need to create reliable records for business purposes has been a need for businesses for centuries. These records include business transactions, such as notary services and recording title information.
Peter Kirby, CEO of Factom, feels that he has the blockchain based solution to this need. “A business is basically just a big stack of records,” says Kirby.
His company has created a way in which the blockchain can now permanent record those records. Utilizing the blockchain for this type of capability is a compelling aspect that is driving new companies and startups looking to applications with the blockchain technology.
What About "Blockchain Bloat"?
However, this is also the problem with many technologies that are building tools for the blockchains.
Loading the blockchain with an extraordinary amount of data is known as “bloat” and it’s a concern since the bitcoin blockchain was really meant to record financial transactions, not to permanent store business records.
The compelling feature of the Factom system is that it does this with its own system in conjunction with existing blockchain technology.
This addresses the “bloat” concern as the Factom technology is a proprietary system that allows it to Factom perform functions such as notarizing and storing lots of documents using only a small number of bitcoin transactions.
Factom recently showed off this capability by recording the entire Guttenberg library (29,000 books) into the blockchain using its proprietary system.
Read about the process as reported on this site, here.
Solving the Copyright Concern?
The Gutenberg library exercise is impressive but I needed to put this technology through a true business case. To me, one of the compelling aspects of Factom is a technology that can not only revolutionalize the notary process but how it can impact the copyright process as well.
For me, placing an article or a book on the blockchain can protect the copyrights for authors, as it will allow for the permanence of a document with a time stamp. Through the factom process, this record can be accessed and prove the validity of copyright to protect the author's ownership of their content.
I may be showing my age but I still remember the days when ensuring one’s copyright involved sending a sealed envelope of one’s document through the mail and saving it to prove its validity from the time stamp placed on it from the US Postal Service.
Yes, that’s how it was done in the day, believe it or not.
So, I reached out to Peter Kirby and asked him to prove his technology by Factomizing the four books that I published. After Factom went through its initial beta process, Kirby had his developers place my books onto the blockchain using the Factom technology.
The Factom technology is a great example of the ventures that are proceeding to take advantage of blockchain capabilities. It will be exciting to watch how this company and other ventures working on the blockchain technology will proceed. Along with their progress will come the changing of how we do business today.
NOTE: I’d like to thank Factom and Peter Kirby for this and also note that I own Factoids, which is their native cyber currency that they sold through a recent crowdsourcing fundraising effort.