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Hangzhou Internet Court Uses Blockchain to Help Online Writers with Copyright Protection

China’s first court specializing in Internet-related cases announced on December 6 that over 100 Hangzhou-based online writers has joined the judicial blockchain platform to protect the intellectual property of their original works from cyber theft, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

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In September, Hangzhou Internet Court launched the judicial blockchain platform which aims to increase credibility across all court procedures of generating, storing, distributing, and using electronic data. It has multiple trusted nodes including notary offices and judicial appraisal agencies. To date, 12 million pieces of data regarding electronic contracts, digital rights and financial information have been stored on the blockchain.

The judicial blockchain platform which is designed to be immutable, tamper-proof and decentralized can help track and verify literary works, efficiently reducing the difficulty in identifying the author in the digital world and obtaining evidence about copyright infringement.

Online literature market is exploding on mainland China with more than 400 million readers and around 14 million author accounts created by the end of 2017. With the popularity of online literature which features quick release, fast dissemination, wide audience and great influence, online authors find they have fallen victims to the growing copyright infringement, and traditional dispute resolution is costly, time intensive and complex.

The advent of the disruptive blockchain technology offers them a good way to protect their legitimate rights and interests.  107 well-known online writers at China’s first cyberspace writers  village in Hangzhou have signed agreements to join the the judicial blockchain platform.

Hangzhou Internet Court, formally incorporated in August 2017,processes cases purely through the web and typically deals with cases including internet copyright infringements, e-commerce disputes and contracts signed over the internet. It has become the country’s first to accept electronic evidence authenticated with blockchain technology in a copyright infringement case in late June.

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