Intellectual Property protection, it just got a little bit easier...I think!
One of the best and worst things about the internet is the ability to share content instantly with anyone. For unknown artists this was a boost, but for those established artist it was mainly a disaster. It is only now that slowly, step by step owners of IP are, with a good deal of help from their lawyers, regaining economic control over their assets. However, as they do, it is also shutting down some paths to access, which even the artists would like to leave open (a family holiday youtube clip with a nice (but unlicenced) music track may now be unplayable on youtube etc). At the same time, even those artists who made their fame on the internet now have significant revenue leakage from the unauthorised use of their assets. One of the most exciting use cases for blockchain technology is in IP generally and the music industry in particular. In this Harvard Business Review article UK singer Imogen Haep sets out how she has put her music on the blockchain and how this will protect her IP while at the same time provide a revenue stream by the use of smart contracts tied to the use of her music on the blockchain. Any lawyer or other professional advising people on how to protect their IP need to understand this use case and how it may apply to their clients. Gone are the days where simple written IP agreement and the threat of legal action are sufficient, there is now available a much better alternative and it is incumbent on advisors to be aware of this and advise accordingly.