May 17, 2021

No happy ever after for Disney pirates

In its action to tackle piracy, Disney has been granted a new patent that aims to prevent early piracy leaks of its collection of movies and TV shows. The patent named “blockchain configuration for secure content delivery” will basically allow Disney to prevent pirates from making copies of new movies and distributing the content. To do this, Disney will use a blockchain, which is a secure and encrypted database shared by parties in a distributed network that records, verifies and stores any transaction, as a means to identify a single source of truth.

This patent is targeted at reducing interception of Disney’s new releases to cinemas and theatres.

Disney already has some anti-piracy measures in place, such as having a watermark on its content sent to theatres, but this is only to track the piracy: it has no preventative effect and only helps Disney to track down and tackle pirates after the event. Disney believes that this technology will allow it to prevent pirates from being able to access the new releases, and they should be unable to open the blockchain and obtain the content.

The patent will allow the blockchain configuration to verify that the content has reached its intended destination, making it nearly impossible for a movie to play before it arrives at its destination and is unlocked by the proper recipient. Other features of the patent include Disney’s ability to track the number of times a movie is played. This is, in effect, an automated auditing mechanism within the blockchain configuration, which will prevent the under-reporting of showings by theatres to reduce their payments for the content (as some theatres operate on a per-showing payment basis opposed to an unlimited license for a set amount of time).

Disney has long been at the fore of the fight against digital piracy, and it will be interesting to see how effective its new blockchain technology is in carrying that fight forward.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or

Posted by: Megan Walker in: Digital/Tech, Patents

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