Hangzhou Internet Court adopts blockchain to curb online plagiarism

The court has introduced a new blockchain-enabled tamper-free method to present copyright evidence in court


The Hangzhou Internet Court has announced that it will be adopting a judicial blockchain system that will accept evidence of copyright disputes to combat online plagiarism.

Local Chinese media outlet, Xinhua, outlined that due to the rise of internet users – there are now a reported 800 million users in the country – and online businesses, internet-related disputes have increased.

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

With the new blockchain-based security tool, Hangzhou Internet Court hopes to offer writers a security blanket when publishing content online. "Writers publishing their work online can easily be 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," the media outlet reported.

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Blockchain is a secure evidence storage tool and a tamper-free option due to its decentralized and open distributed ledger technology.

Wang Jiangqiao, a judge at Hangzhou Internet Court, said that with the blockchain tool "all digital footprints stored in the judicial blockchain system – authorship, time of creation, content and evidence of infringement – have legal effect".

Prior to the new offering, writers would screenshot and download content as evidence, "which was hard to gain legal recognition as the process was not credible enough," Jiangqiao added.

"Hangzhou is home to many, if not most, online writers in China" and has three internet courts – in Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou to handle copyright disputes.

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