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From healthcare to fintech, Blockchain technology is disrupting every sector as we know it. Thanks to its digital ledgers, transparency and trust can become a norm, especially in industries where fraud is rampant. 

The music industry is no different. And now Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has earned a US patent for a blockchain-based system that will examine the originality of music therefore unmasking plagiarists.  

Having received the patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office on April 21st, the firm aims to launch a blockchain platform which would comprise of a validation node and multiple music library nodes. Describing the operation of the platform in the patent application, Alibaba said that the validation mode would analyze the originality of songs by examining a song’s tempo, tune, and lyrics. After which it would compare it to other songs in its vast catalog of tracks to check for a match. This data would then get summarised on the blockchain in a vetting report that includes a similarity ratio. Eventually, the process generates a list of recommendations on the track’s originality depending on the majority of nodes.

Alibaba claims using blockchain for song vetting could help protect originality and prevent copycats from defying the copyright safeguards by stealing music. In the current environment, copycats are able to exploit the copyright rules. “Some people attempt to claim copyrights on musical works obtained by simply changing a music name, or slightly changing a music score, or simply joining several existing music scores,” Alibaba said in the statement. 

“Currently, there is still no platform that can be used to perform a similarity analysis of musical works to identify plagiarized or imitated songs.”

This Blockchain-based originality analysis can help “alleviate” the problem of music plagiarism, Alibaba said. It also can be used globally as music libraries from around the world would be a part of the distributed nodes. 

Additionally, Alibaba expects that smart contracts can run the originality reports in a single iteration. 

“The smart contract is executed with less human intervention and advantageous decentralized authority, and fairness of the music originality analysis behavior is further improved,” it said. “The smart contract is executed with less human intervention and advantageous decentralized authority, and fairness of the music originality analysis behavior is further improved.”