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Hangzhou Internet court adopts blockchain to protect copyright of online literature

Updated: Dec 10, 2018 Xinhua Print

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HANGZHOU — Writers publishing their work online can easily by hurt by piracy and it is hard to safeguard their legal rights due to difficulties collecting evidence. But an Internet court in East China's Hangzhou now has a solution.

Thanks to blockchain technology, the integral process of work circulating in cyberspace can be extracted for writers to use as evidence in court.

Writers used to resort to screenshots and downloaded content as evidence, which was hard to gain legal recognition as the process was not credible enough, according to Wang Jiangqiao, a judge at the Internet court.

On the other hand, notarial procedures and hiring of professional lawyers push up the costs of seeking justice, he said.

But blockchain guarantees that data can not be tampered, due to its decentralized and open distributed ledger technology. Therefore, all digital footprints stored in the judicial blockchain system -- authorship, time of creation, content and evidence of infringement -- have legal effect, Wang said.

Hangzhou is home to many, if not most, online writers in China. A total of 107 famous online writers have signed contracts to create works in a "writers' village" in the city's Binjiang District.

China has set up three Internet courts in Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou to handle Internet-related cases. The country's 800 million Internet users and booming online business have led to rising number of Internet-related disputes.


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