Blockchain Solution For Copyright Launched By EY And Microsoft

Blockchain, News | June 21, 2018 By:

Consulting firm EY and tech giant Microsoft have announced a new blockchain solution for content rights and royalties management.

The new rights and royalties management solution aims to streamline the current process of tracking and collecting copyright payments, which has long relied on a series of middlemen. The solution is designed to enable increased trust and transparency between industry players, significantly reduce operational inefficiencies in the rights and royalties management process, and eliminate the need for costly manual reconciliation and partner reviews.

While the solution will initially be deployed within gaming with Microsoft and its game publisher partners, it aims to serve any industry where intellectual property or assets are licensed to other parties and where the creators are paid royalties based on royalty agreements.

The solution’s underlying network is built using JP Morgan’s Quorum blockchain protocol and Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies, and implements confidentiality of agreements across entities. It also has embedded smart contract architecture to enable accurate and real-time calculation of each participant’s royalty position.

Game publisher Ubisoft, known for publishing games for several acclaimed video game franchises including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Tom Clancy’s, is collaborating with EY and Microsoft on this initiative.

“We are always looking at how to leverage emerging technologies in all facets of our business,” said Loic Amans, Senior Vice President, Finance & Strategic Planning at Ubisoft. “The opportunity to collaborate with EY and Microsoft on blockchain use cases in the domain of digital contracts and royalties is truly exciting.”

Microsoft said it will deploy the solution with interested gaming partners in a phased manner. Once fully operational, the rights and royalties blockchain network is expected to encompass thousands of Microsoft royalty partners and process millions of transactions per day.

“Deploying this blockchain solution will allow us to efficiently manage high volumes and automate processes, while at the same time improve partner satisfaction and enhance compliance,” said Grace Lao, General Manager of Finance Operations at Microsoft. “Smart contract technology is far more flexible and scalable than any prior solution for managing business agreements. We look forward to deploying this solution across our gaming ecosystem and exploring additional blockchain applications for other finance processes at Microsoft.”

Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader, said that the scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions makes this a perfect application for blockchains.

“A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants,” Brody said. “By deploying this on Microsoft Azure, we believe this will be highly scalable across thousands of royalties and content partners.”