Russian Copyright Holders to Create a Blockchain-based Platform for Intellectual Property Rights

News and Analysis

A blockchain-based platform for intellectual property management first announced in Russia in late 2016 may be released by efforts of Skolkovo Foundation, banks, a handful of Russian universities and societies for collective management of rights.

The list of parties, according to Russian business publication Vedomosti, includes Skolkovo Foundation, the Russian Authors Society, the Russian Copyright Holders Union, the Russian Intellectual Property Organization, the Higher School of Economy, St. Petersburg National Research Institute for Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, the Research and Development Institute for Economic Strategies and New Age Bank.

Spokespersons for said organizations have confirmed they plan to establish an association though the final decision requires approval from their respective governing bodies.

“We want to use the universal platform IPhub to host a place where information on various intellectual property items like copyrights, patents, trademarks etc. could be accessible,” says Maxim Proksh, the intellectual property advisor for Skolkovo’s chairman of board.

According to Maxim Proksh, IPCHAIN will be a service providing information on usage of any relevant item. All authors and copyright holders will be able to place their objects there and determine the scope and ways of their utilization. This, however, would require developing a data exchange standard so that other copyright holders could connect their systems to the platform.

IPCHAIN will employ blockchain technology to ensure provision of all information on all objects, the way they’re used in the digital environment, and transfers of rights. In the future, the platform may feature a rights exchange as blockchain would enable tracing the objects and registering deals involving them.

“In digital economy, the institution of intermediaries is being replaced by digital platforms ensuring digital interaction between users and content creators,” says Andrei Krichevski, the head of the RCHU and the RIPO. “A year ago, our partners from Skolkovo and the Ministry of Education and Science and ourselves started developing a concept and a technological base for a blockchain-based transactions network for intellectual rights. Today, we’re close to implementing this concept in real life.”

Alexander Blinov of Warner Music Russia believes that IPCHAIN might be very interesting for the publishing business. According to him, Warner will place its catalogue in IPCHAIN.

Meanwhile, Russia’s ministry for education and science concedes connecting the state system for civil design and research works to IPCHAIN. According to Sergei Matveyev, the head of science and technology department at the ministry, this could enable prioritizing the results of research and development by using ‘humanless’ technologies, instant transactions with smart contracts, and fast marketing of scientific findings.

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