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 First book 'copyrighted' using Blockchain
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James R. Davis
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Posted - 02/03/2015 :  8:09 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend                        Like
This was published last night with a title of: "Bitcoin Book 'The Age of Cryptocurrency' Permanently Recorded on Blockchain".



In previous discussions on this site we have talked about how the Blockchain is destined to become *THE* ledger for the recording of not just Bitcoin transactions, but for transactions involving title, deeds, COPYRIGHTS, art, and even fiat currency ('Tethers'). This is the very first demonstration of those assertions.

Though not technically a 'copyright', what the ledger entry proves is that the book hash did not exist prior to the book and its entry being recorded in the Blockchain and that the only person who has control of the book is that person whose digital signature can transfer control of it via the Blockchain.

[Edit: Corrected the last paragraph. JRD]

scottrnelson
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Posted - 02/03/2015 :  8:59 AM
Okay, this brings out a question that I've had for a while.

Let's suppose that everybody starts using bitcoins and doing other things with the blockchain. Let's say 200 million Americans are averaging ten transactions per day. At what point does it get overwhelmed both due to limited storage capacity and limited compute power?

Is there already a plan in place to deal with either of these issues?
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James R. Davis
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Posted - 02/03/2015 :  10:42 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
The blockchain as it exists now can handle seven transactions per second. Over the past year the transaction volume has been only about one transaction per second, but that has been growing rapidly. It is expected to take years before this transaction rate limit will be approached, but it is CERTAIN that the upper limit must be increased by a factor of 1,000 in order for the Blockchain to be able to compete with other technology.

For example the Visa network can handle several thousand transactions per second already - and experiences a large percentage of that capacity demand.

The Blockchain limit exists because a block (created every ten minutes) was designed to not exceed 1 megabyte.

The Bitcoin developers have been working on enhancements that change the design of the block such that it can be unlimited in size.

Furthermore, the majority of transactions are actually 'off-blockchain' - that is, they are transactions recorded on separat, 'internal', blockchains that, in turn, provide summary transactions to the blockchain itself. For example, bitcoin exchanges, where a huge volume of bitcoin transactions occur - buying and selling between exchange members - keep track of those transactions on its own 'books', but when any transaction from the exchange involves a non-member, that transaction is 'on-blockchain'. So, if an exchange member withdraws bitcoins (transfers them to a wallet outside of the exchange), that transaction is part of the blockchain.

In other words, transactions that are internal to an organization are not listed in the blockchain as they are private and of no importance outside that organization. As an analogy, what difference does it make to you whether my money is in my left-font pocket or the wallet that's in my right-rear pocket - it's still my money as far as you are concerned. The fact that I became owner of that money (and how much) as a result of a pension payment from IBM is recorded and when I spend it at my local gas station is also recorded as 'external' transactions, but the fact that I moved some of it from my wallet into my pocket is not.

Still, you bring up a good point - there is currently a limit to the capacity of the blockchain in terms of transactions per second. That limitation is well understood and plans are in place to significantly lift it.
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Cash Anthony
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Posted - 02/04/2015 :  7:32 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
quote:
what the ledger entry proves is that the book did not exist prior to its entry being recorded in the Blockchain and that the only person who has control of the book is that person whose digital signature can transfer control of it via the Blockchain.


I don't understand the first part of that sentence.

The book could exist, and copyright would attach already, before anyone attempted to "register" it by noting its existence in a blockchain, yes?

Copyright attaches as soon as the work is created and becomes fixed in a tangible medium. Where in the publication process would you see a blockchain that proves ownership being "attached" to the book for the first time? Is it like getting an ISBN number?

So long as the buyer didn't care one way or another whether it was recorded earlier in this system, there's no requirement that it has to be...just as a buyer of land today can waive getting title insurance that protects him from a fraudulent transfer, even if it's not smart.

Under this kind of transaction tracking, the author, as the initial owner of the rights, would have to race to protect the work before it had a blockchain associated with it by someone else. The author could lose all his rights, if the chain determines that transferable rights exist only when the first register entry occurred -- if someone else got there first. If the work is to be sold in a global market but it's not a high end item at first, it's possible only the 5th or 6th owner would decide to register it so that it would show up from then on. Yes?

If it's up to the author or publisher to get the creation of the work registered (as it is now), you could have the same kind of "race to the patent office" where various people are all claiming to be the author (seen more often in music and games today, I believe). So this would become another step in the process of establishing ownership, which might be frequently skipped by the originator. Or maybe I'm just looking at the transition period, before this becomes the only way certain items are sold.

If the rights to a literary work are going to be carved up by the buyers, i.e., movie rights to one, foreign rights to another, etc., then each one of those transactions which refer to the original work would also be added to the blockchain, yes? But doesn't the chain of ownership get longer and longer, branching out as the diverse parts are resold and resold? I guess it's the transparency part that I'm trying to understand here.

What does a buyer get to know, this way, that's irrefutable? Would every item sold have to have a companion microchip put in it? Is there a way to tag the item and search through a blockchain to see what every related entry refers to?

Also -- where would the buyer find out how many parts the book was broken into for purposes of sale, and who owns which rights now? At present you can track through the Copyright Office records to see the ownership records of any important work.

Sounds like the amount of information the system has to bear becomes unwieldy before too long. Maybe that's only because almost everyone I know right now has a book in the works. :)


Curious minds want to know, before the future overtakes us
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James R. Davis
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Posted - 02/04/2015 :  8:30 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
This was not a copyright attempt. It was a proof of concept - that something other than bitcoins can use the blockchain.

I overstated what this was about. Clumsy.

The actual copyright function is beyond me.

Until version 2.0 of the blockchain becomes a reality, where identification information CAN be included, the blockchain really can't be used for things like copyright recording. I suggested that in the topic called 'colored' coins'.

A 'colored coin' will actually be recorded as only 1/100,000,000 (one satoshi), which cannot be divided at all. [Though bitcoins can be divided into 100,000,000 pieces, they are NOT unique - they are just quantities. Thus, fungible. But 'colored coins' are not fungible. Clearly theymust be trackable individually.]
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