Blockchain technology allows us to accomplish many great things that seemed impossible just a few years ago and we have only scratched the tip of the iceberg, in terms of technological potential. But, don’t be mistaken in thinking that only developers and Bitcoin startups are eyeing blockchain technology. Content creators are eyeing the blockchain technology developments as well.
22HERTZ – Industrial Rock
Depending on your musical preferences, you may or may not have heard of a Canadian industrial rock band called 22HERTZ. If you haven’t, do not worry, as you will find out more about them during this article. What makes them relevant to this story is because 22HERTZ will be encoding copyright claims of their brand new single into the blockchain.
Time for a small musical history lesson, shall we? 22HERTZ has been around for a few years now, and the band released their first album in September of 2013. The album is called “Detonate”, and contains a total of nine tracks. Even though this was the band’s first official album release, 22HERTZ also released the “Is This Real” EP in July of 2011.
The album release in 2013 was deemed a success and the band looked to the future by working on a new single. In order to make the new single at least as successful as their previous releases, 22HERTZ reached out to Yoad Nevo, who would be in charge of mixing it together. Unfortunately, for all parties involved, they hit a snag in the road when it came to issuing the copyright for the new single.
When we talk about the music business, there are many things going on behind the scenes that most people will never find out about. Issuing copyright to a song is one of those hurdles that needs to be tackled, as it is a performer’s main source of income. 22HERTZ creator Ralf Muller set on a path to issue copyright to the new song in a proper way. This is where blockchain technology comes into the picture.
Encoding Music Copyright On The Bitcoin Blockchain
One of the things we all learned from looking into this topic is how Canadian copyright in the music industry works. The way things work over there is as follows; you pay CAD$50 per song to issue copyright on it, and you will get a certificate in the mail with the title and the artist/band on it. That is all. As you can imagine, most music performers are not happy with this system, as it will most likely not hold up in court when trying to claim ownership of the music itself.
Even though Ralf Muller is not versed on the intricate working of blockchain technology, he does see the benefits of using such a tool for claiming copyright ownership. Instead of adding a few additional megabytes to the blockchain, the band creator decided to hash the copyright claim and attach it into an OP_RETURN function. In doing so, the data can be passed to the Bitcoin blockchain without creating additional bloat.
“Other databases might be more efficient to store non-currency data but are not as secure as the Bitcoin blockchain with all the petahash of power the network has. Once you encode a hash in the OP_RETURN and block upon blocks get written on top, it is impossible to go back and change anything. This, to me, is incredible.” – Ralf Muller told the media.
Not Their First Venture Into Bitcoin
Do not be mistaken in thinking this decision was taken on a whim. 22HERTZ has been accepting Bitcoin payments on their online store for quite some time now. In fact, you will get up to 50% discount when paying in Bitcoin for any of their items. And, to prove a point, the band also has a comparison between Bitcoin and Paypal payments up on their website.
According to Ralf Muller, it is only a matter of time until more bands start adding a Bitcoin payment option to their online store. Before that can happen, however, people need to be educated properly on the difference between Bitcoin and the existing infrastructure. It takes time to spread valuable information such as this, especially when we have to compete with sports and reality shows for attention.
Whether or not we will see more content creators follow the example of 22HERTZ remains to be seen, but it creates an interesting precedent for future use. Bitcoin Core developers are not too keen on the idea itself, however, as they feel there are less costly and more efficient ways of storing this type of data elsewhere.
Images courtesy of 22HERTZ