Does NFT constitute digital publishing? How to do compliance?

For related applications of NFT, most of them are now understood from the perspective of economics and finance, and they believe that it represents an irreplaceable token. Irreplaceable is an economic term. You can use it to describe things like furniture, song files, or computers, which are not interchangeable with other things. The team has always been worried about whether NFT applications will be excessively financialized, so they try to explore different aspects of NFT applications and re-understand NFT related applications from the perspective of digital publishing .

1. Does NFT constitute digital publishing?

Regarding what is digital publishing, there are many domestic definitions of this, and there is no unified understanding. However, the concept of digital publishing is generally not used in foreign countries. It is generally called digital content industry or digital content management, etc., which is accepted by most people. The concept is “digital publishing refers to the use of digital technology to edit, process, copy, or distribute content. The published content exists in the form of binary codes and there is no physical copy of the publishing activity.” (Xu Lifang, Liu Jinhong, Cong Ting, “Introduction to Digital Publishing” “).

Take “NFT+artwork” as an example, which uses the underlying technology of the blockchain to use ERC-721 and ERC-1155 on Ethereum as the main technical standards to edit, process, copy, or distribute artworks. The Greek algorithm performs binary encryption and stores it in the block. For copying, readers should be easier to understand. For distribution, according to the provisions of the Copyright Law, the right of distribution refers to the right to provide the original or copy of a work to the public in the form of sale or gift. Therefore, distribution can be simply understood as selling or The way of gift is to provide the public with the original or copy of the work . Therefore, the author believes that the application of NFT is obviously different from digital currency, and it has indivisible characteristics. If “NFT+artwork” meets the final criterion of “no physical copy survives”, it can be evaluated as digital publishing. .

2. NFT and digital copyright protection

When it comes to digital publishing, one has to talk about digital copyright protection. What can NFT bring to digital copyright protection? In fact, digital copyright protection technology is not very advanced , which has always been a problem in China’s digital copyright protection. China’s digital copyright protection technology mainly relies on DRM technology. On the one hand, many technology industries and scientific research organizations have developed their own DRM copyright protection systems. However, works protected by different DRM systems cannot achieve format compatibility, and there are technical barriers, resulting in work resources. On the other hand, the function of the existing digital copyright protection technology is simply to control the illegal copying and dissemination of works, which can no longer meet the needs of comprehensive protection . The backwardness of technological protection has opened the door to infringements.

The NFT decentralized system can make data storage more secure, production records can be traced, and behaviors more transparent. The autonomy of the consensus mechanism will make the system more standardized, and its special indivisibility also makes it more relevant. It has weaker financial attributes than FT applications such as digital currency. As a new type of technology, NFT combined with digital publishing may be a solution.

First, the aspect of copyright certification. The application of the technical features above NFT in the copyright certification of digital works allows the system to prove the time and attribution of copyright registration through the time information recorded on the time stamp of the generated block, allowing users to know any item in the digital publishing blockchain database The real-time status of copyright records and works are tracked, and the attribution of copyright is traced.

Second, the supervision of copyright transactions The supervision of copyright transactions through NFT mainly uses asymmetric encryption technology to ensure content security. When this technology is used in copyright transactions, it only needs to replace digital currency with encrypted data of digital content to realize peer-to-peer copyright transactions to ensure that the content cannot be tampered with. At the same time, the transaction information is absolutely transparent and open to ensure the transparency of copyright transfer.

The third aspect is the infringement certificate. In the process of judicial rights protection, the unique hash value can be used as a basis to trace back the blockchain to find the initial section of copyright, and then use it as evidence in determining copyright ownership disputes or infringement litigation, and it can also upload data when infringement occurs. To be used as evidence of infringement in the blockchain.

At the same time, NFT technology has certain limitations in the application of digital copyright protection.

The first is the lack of corresponding technical standards . The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China issued the “Blockchain Technology and Application Development White Paper 2016” in 2016, which provided an official interpretation of the concept of blockchain technology. There is a certain distance between the standards for blockchain-like applications and the formulation of standards for different application scenarios. Secondly, the copyright protection written in the form of smart contracts in the NFT may be incompatible with the current copyright-related laws .

3. NFT digital publishing compliance issues

At present, the protection of digital works is applicable to copyright protection. They all follow the same laws and regulations and are collectively referred to as “One Law and Six Regulations” , including the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Implementation Regulations of the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Regulations on the Protection of Computer Software, and the Copyright Collective Management Regulations, “Regulations on the Protection of the Right to Dissemination through Information Networks”, “Administrative Measures for the Payment of Remunerations for Broadcasting Sound Recordings by Radio Stations and Television Stations” and “Regulations on the Implementation of International Copyright Treaties”, as well as relevant digital copyright protection laws and regulations promulgated at various levels. The content related to digital copyright protection in the above laws all put forward adaptive regulations for digital copyright protection. For example, the “Copyright Law” stipulates that the copyright protection of digital works should be applied to the information network dissemination right of the work. Therefore, Sister Sa’s team believes that for digital publishing in the form of NFT, the above-mentioned requirements must first be met .

At the same time, in order to reduce their own risks as much as possible, Sister Sa’s team suggested that the relevant standards of digital publishing should be used as an important reference For example, digital content description standards: ONIX for Books standard and learning object metadata, etc.; digital content organization standards: uniform resource locator (Open URL) and information retrieval (Z39.50) application service definitions and protocol specifications, etc.; digital content publishing Standards: ePub format standard and electronic publishing general format standard (IEC 62448-2009), etc.

Finally, although NFT has the characteristics of decentralization and trustlessness, and can trace the infringement of specific nodes, in fact, the technology cannot identify the real identity. This may provide convenience for pirates, and those familiar with NFT can completely infringe in a covert manner through technical loopholes. Ordinary users edit and dub the video after downloading it, re-encrypt it and upload it, and the short video also changes due to changes in the data content. Since the re-edited content is encrypted and the perpetrator is anonymous, this kind of infringement will not be easily discovered at all. (From: Cao Yang, Bo Jun: Blockchain technology and copyright protection of Internet music works). Therefore, Sister Sa’s team suggests that those with strong strengths, based on the identification of anonymous participants and the confirmation of work information , can try to establish a credit database relative to the official digital work transaction field , and seek cooperation with copyright collective management organizations. (For example, related copyright associations) and relevant administrative supervision departments to verify relevant information, exchange materials, and transaction information, and simultaneously record the verification information on the chain to reduce their own criminal risks.


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