Alex ordeig blockchain institute and technology

Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. In Blockchain networks involving multiple applications, the quality of service of an application is affected by the transaction ordering. For instance, upon issuing payment transactions, users of an application would like to be notified quickly on the transactions approval. The application can be a financial institution such as a bank , sharing the blockchain with other such applications and is represented by a node.



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Regulating Blockchain


This article examines the potential and limitations of blockchain technology and blockchain-based smart contracts in relation to copyright. Copyright has long been enforced through technological means, specifically Digital Rights Management. With the emergence of blockchains, many are now predicting a new era regarding the administration and enforcement of copyright through computer code. The article introduces the technology and related potential and limitations while stressing its capacity to act as a form of normative ordering that can express public or private objectives.

Law and technology have a complex relationship. Technology shapes legal development, while it is also shaped by law. The unfolding of copyright law confirms these dynamics as its development and enforcement have always been closely inspired by the technological state of the art. Footnote 1 With the emergence and sophistication of blockchain technology as well as blockchain-based smart contracts, some now perceive a new wave of technological transmutation on the horizon that could have a lasting influence on copyright law.

Indeed, it is suggested that these technologies could provide new mechanisms for the management of intellectual property rights that could even take the place of current paradigms. Copyright law has long leveraged the power of computer code to create binding norms for those that engage with related enforcement systems.

Footnote 2. DRM and generally the technological enforcement of law, spurred by digitalization, datafication, and the online availability of copyrighted materials as well as ubiquitous computing, is transforming our understanding of law. Footnote 3 DRM can in certain scenarios be used as a behavior-constraining force given that computer code can enforce existing legal and contractual rules ex ante and in a more efficient manner.

At the same time, technology can also be relied on to circumvent existing legal protections. Footnote 4 DRM has been denoted as an additional layer of paracopyright Footnote 5 constraints or technological self-protection — effectively creating a normative regime that can diverge from that designed by lawmakers. DRM as a matter of fact essentially may annihilate legally recognized protections such as exceptions and limitations in the EU and fair use under US copyright law.

Footnote 6. As these problematic aspects of DRM attract wide consensus, blockchains and blockchain-based smart contracts are ever more frequently portrayed as the saving grace capable of using technology to enforce copyright law in a better and more balanced manner. Yet this depends on how these technologies are and will be designed. In this paper we provide an early examination of this area.

Before introducing blockchain and blockchain-based smart contracts we chart the impact of digital rights management on copyright law taking into consideration the regulation provided for by international copyright treaties. These treaties opened up a tension between public and private ordering in the copyright law domain that has been replicated in national legislations.

Examples will be taken from the US and European legal regimes, as they are influential illustrations of regional and national level implementations of international copyright law. Thereafter we provide an overview of the expected uses of blockchains and blockchain-based smart contracts as an alternative to current forms of DRM.

The article will follow two main paths. Firstly, we will build on the experience gained so far with DRM systems to explore the delicate interplay between public and private ordering in blockchain environments.

Whereas this is an important tension in copyright law, it also assumes a broader significance. In particular, we consider regulation of TPMs — de lege lata — and highlight — de lege ferenda — the need for legal rules to be technology neutral. We explore this point providing some general reflections on the implications of using code as a means of legal enforcement.

Secondly, while looking at the prospects of application of blockchain technologies in the copyright domain we evaluate them particularly in relation to supporting an efficient and transparent administration of copyright and neighboring rights. In the last decades of the 20th century the information society triggered the dematerialization of copyrighted materials through digitalization while in the early 21st century datafication has reached a tipping point.

This has not been without influence on copyright law. Footnote 7 Digital assets can, in principle, more easily be copied, mixed and shared. At the same time the dematerialization of copyrighted materials has made them more broadly accessible. This has led to a retreat of law in favor of private ordering and self-enforcement as the private sector has used the normative force of code to make it express its own interests and goals, sometimes to the detriment of public policy objectives.

Footnote 8 DRM systems are a paradigmatic example of this tendency. DRM refers to software and hardware that defines, protects and manages rules for accessing and using digital content text, sounds, videos, etc. Footnote 9 The first model of DRM was put forward in the late s in the form of a system for controlling the distribution and use of digital material that expressed rules in machine-readable form.

Footnote 10 These systems have been particularly appealing to the media industry to enforce copyright and neighboring rights protection. Footnote 11 DRM systems have evolved over time and can be used in various domains for different purposes. Footnote 12 In recent years, for example, the appeal of DRM for producers has been amplified in digital markets by the fact that the datafication and connectivity has extended DRM even to interconnected analogue products. As the Internet of Things progresses and copyright protectable software and databases Footnote 13 become embedded in a wider range of goods the effect of DRM systems in economic and social processes may be pervasive.

Footnote DRM has been designed with the aim of giving right holders the broadest possible control over digital content in self-enforcing related terms and conditions of access and use. Footnote 15 For instance, DRM has been intended to support publishing and selling electronic books, digital movies, digital music, interactive games, computer software and other objects distributed in digital form.

Footnote 16 Policies and business models of right holders are expressed in license agreements that leverage the exclusive rights recognized by copyright and neighboring rights to determine the rules of use of digital material. Contractual terms and conditions are translated into DRM architecture that concretely define how content can be used by third parties and restrict use possibilities accordingly.

Footnote 17 Although there is no standard model of a DRM architecture, DRM solutions typically include a reference policy or business model and technical components for managing content to be protected; creating and managing licenses that specify the rules for consumption of content; tracking usage of content to ensure this is in line with license rules; and submitting packaged content for management by the DRM architecture.

These components are also supported by a number of security services. The expectations on these services include guaranteeing the integrity of licenses, protecting content against tampering, authenticating consumers before protected content can be accessed, and safeguarding sensitive data at rest and in transit. These services are implemented to defend against attacks to DRM protocols, against DRM client software, and the software and hardware used to store and render the protected content.

Relevant components of DRM systems are technological protection measures TPMs and rights management information RMI , which are both the subject of international copyright treaties. The different types of TPM all seek to provide an effective protection mechanism through which content owners may manage the use of their subject matter and access to it by third parties. TPMs can be as simple as a password system, which provides the entry of specific symbols to access a particular subject matter, or more sophisticated, capable of monitoring all conceivable uses of a work.

Footnote 20 The most widely used TPMs are encryption, digital watermarking, copy control, fingerprinting, access control, authentication key management and other restrictions, all of which enforce conditions upon the users of digital subject matter. RMI is information that identifies content protected by copyright or neighboring rights, the rights owners in such content and the terms and conditions of use associated with it.

It may provide the basis for user services, such as information accompanying a radio broadcast that gives right holders track and purchase details about particular songs. The WIPO Treaties protect all such RMI: information about works, phonograms and performances, as well as the identification of authors, phonogram producers, performers or other right holders.

Protection also extends to information about terms and conditions of use of content. This may be either details of a license already granted or information about how and under what conditions a license can be obtained.

RELs are technical languages that have specific syntax and semantic vocabulary rules for expressing what kind of uses are permitted, forbidden or obligatory. Footnote 22 These computer markup languages express a number of permissions such as to stream, copy, delete, modify, embed, execute, export, extract, annotate, aggregate, install, backup, loan, sell, give, lease, play, print, and display in relation to a file.

RELs are normally used to express rules contained in the license agreements. DRM systems are variegated and their architectures are made up of many hardware and software components which are mostly proprietary and often not interoperable. Footnote 24 Interoperability of hardware and software is necessary, for example, for users to enjoy digital content from different devices.

However, as Netflix fully relies on the Widevine DRM provided by Google, Footnote 27 it recently announced that devices that are not Google certified or have been altered will no longer work with the latest Netflix App. Footnote 28 As a result clients visiting Netflix with a device which is not fully interoperable with Netflix-streamed content cannot enjoy movies from that device.

This scenario is just one example of how DRM incompatibility can hinder the enjoyment of digital subject matter. Indeed interoperability and compatibility among different DRM systems depends on licence agreements between IT companies and standardization processes of DRM components.

Footnote 30 However, establishing shared standards in the DRM domain has proven to be difficult. Footnote 31 The various existing proprietary DRM systems are often non-interoperable for at least two reasons. Firstly, companies have preferred to follow market strategies that have been aimed at not sharing some technologies with competitors. This can be seen as the consequence of incentives which strive to establish the dominating, rather an interoperable, standard and benefit from the fruits of such a monopoly or at least market fragmentation related to network externalities and lock-in effects.

Footnote 32 Secondly, the diversity of digital content to be protected e. At the same time, it has been noted that, if the content industry had incentives to allow that balance among control and flexibility, then it might have incentives to develop an interoperable DRM standard, as interoperability is an important dimension of flexible use.

DRM is an early example of how computer code can be leveraged as a means of public as well as private ordering. On the one hand, these measures give expression to elements of the copyright law regime, meaning that they are a code-based enforcement mechanism of legislative provisions providing right holders with exclusive rights. Authors should be rewarded for their work as a means of incentivizing creativity, whereas knowledge should also be openly available. Footnote 37 As a consequence, despite recent legislative trends aimed at extending the scope and duration of copyright protection, Footnote 38 most national copyright systems recognize that copyright protection ought to be balanced with human rights, such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of research and education, access to information and the right to participate in the cultural life of community.

Footnote 39 The most important limits to copyright protection reflecting that balance include: that protection is guaranteed only if works are original; protection covers only the expressive form and not the content; the first sale doctrine and the exhaustion principle; that exclusive property rights can be subject to compulsory licenses; that exclusive rights are extinguished after a certain number of years when the subject matter of protection falls into the public domain; and copyright permitted uses such as exceptions and limitations.

On the other hand, DRM is a form of private ordering as the private sector has largely used these mechanisms to implement its own objectives, sometimes resulting in the disregard of legal protections such as limitations and exemptions or even in the creation of a factual exclusivity over digital subject matter not eligible for copyright protection. Footnote 41 DRM can indeed neutralize limits enshrined in law. Furthermore, in a mass-contract situation which is the normal situation in the entertainment and culture digital market licensors can model terms and conditions in their own favor, limiting the rights of the licensee to use the subject matter of protection.

Footnote 42 Moreover, contractors in mass-markets cannot negotiate the terms of the license with the licensor individually, which has led to overly restrictive conditions. With regard to copyright permitted uses, the example of academic publishing is emblematic.

Footnote 44 Some publishers have converted to an e-only business supply, meaning that print versions are no longer available. Academic authors often grant publishers exclusive rights; therefore, publishers are the single source of academic subject matter and can limit use activities contractually and technically, including uses that are permissible based on statutory limitations or fair use.

Also, right holders offering e-books can restrict the number of times a book can be copied or printed. Alternatively, they can prohibit all copying even if the original purchaser agrees to delete their own copy.

Footnote 46 Under such conditions it is impossible to transfer the e-book to third parties without transferring the reading device itself. In this business model, the exhaustion doctrine or first-sale doctrine , which allows a book, movie or music that is legally purchased to be passed on to any third party without infringing copyright law, is challenged.

These examples illustrate that private ordering by code enhances the potential for abuse or misuse of an artificially created factual exclusivity. At the same time these examples also highlight that law sometimes struggles to keep up with digitalization.

Going back to the example of the exhaustion doctrine or first-sale doctrine , Footnote 48 these rules mainly reflect the widely accepted rationale of addressing the inherent contrast between exclusive rights in works and neighboring rights, and the free circulation of legally acquired goods. Exhaustion and first-sale doctrine rules were developed in a technological and economic environment in which the enjoyment and circulation of copyright-protected works presupposed their incorporation in physical carriers.

These doctrines were essentially connected to the circulation of physical goods such as, for example, books, records, etc. However, the digitalization of content has changed the modes of circulation and enjoyment of works. Footnote 49 In this regard it has been questioned whether exhaustion rules are a better way to grant the effective operation of this area of law and businesses related thereto, creating a balance between the interests of the right owner and those of society users.

Some have recently argued that economic and legal challenges to these doctrines in the digital context provide a foundation for reconsidering exhaustion rules, suggesting that other areas of law might help in finding the abovementioned balance in the digital environment e.



Kelly Alexander

When we meet strangers for the first time, it is natural to have a lack of connection, but through connecting on common ground, trust becomes established. Transparency becomes the norm, and the best memories are those experiences that we can recollect and trace back with the utmost clarity, even down to those awkward and not so fun moments. Traditionally, both the creditor and debtor each keep their own ledger of their business transactions. Blockchain transactions come with an additional public receipt that reflects this transfer of funds. Essentially, a transparent receipt with verified details is provided to the entire network.

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Blockchain Foundations

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Governance in Blockchain Technologies & Social Contract Theories

alex ordeig blockchain institute and technology

Current interest in blockchain indicates we may be in the early stages of the greatest Information Technology transformation in any of our lifetimes. However, this potential revolution faces much greater obstacles than prior revolutions. These are self-defined libertarians, even anarchists, who fight the status quo. Meanwhile, mainstream blockchain development at the moment is being conducted by big financial institutions and their technology suppliers. Rather than fighting the status quo, these companies define it.

For the Internet of Value Mary C. Lacity Foreword by Don Tapscott 7 x 9, pages paper September

Chapter 3: The universal Turing institution

Non-fungible tokens have gained traction in the art world, where artists and creators are using the digital assets to create closer connections with fans and collectors. The idea of building a creative community around a product is not unfamiliar to beverage brands. After all, generations of beverage aficionados gave us the concepts of the bar, the tea house and the coffee joint. As brands increasingly take to the digital world to increase their exposure, many beverage companies are now experimenting with NFT technology to build interest around their products. Budweiser , for instance, recently signed a deal to mint collectible tokens, as have Bacardi, Fountain Hard Seltzer and the Robert Mondavi Winery. Three new L.


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A long time in the making, this new book declares a simple and important truth: Blockchain has achieved platform status. The future of the digital age and the novel technologies it offers — artificial intelligence, digital identity, internet of things, distributed energy, autonomous vehicles, quantum computing and more — will be built on a blockchain foundation, because without a secure and decentralized blockchain core, the promise of these emerging digital technologies will never be fully realized. The first era of the digital age spanned the rise of mainframes, minicomputers and the internet. We are now entering a second era where digital technologies permeate everything and every business process. We are all familiar with how innovations such as machine learning, robotics, drones, cryptocurrencies, distributed ledgers, 5G, additive manufacturing, virtual reality and synthetic biology are reshaping the social and economic landscape. However, when all is said and done, it is the intersection of three of these — artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things IoT — that will be most crucial.

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Here are the savviest higher education IT leaders, bloggers, podcasters and social media personalities you should follow. Chatbots assist people daily with everything from ordering pizza to dealing with customer service issues. Whether it's navigating the admissions process or scheduling classes, universities have embraced artificial intelligence to streamline student interactions and offer timely support. Rather than blindly searching the internet for information on colleges, students could be asking chatbots their questions. Students can ask questions about general topics such as financial aid or issues more specific to the school they are inquiring about via text, Facebook Messenger and email.

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Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. The invisible politics of Bitcoin: governance crisis of a decentralised infrastructure. De Filippi, Primavera Loveluck, Benjamin.


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  3. Dall

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