Jerry Brito on Bitcoin and Copyright


Public Domain

Bitcoin is at root a decentralized public ledger, and what it allows for the first time is the transfer of digital property from one person to another without the need for a central authority like Redigi. The Bitcoin network allows one to transfer tokens called bitcoins, and to date these tokens have been used to represent money. But there's no reason they could not represent a particular instance of a song or a book or a movie. Particular music files could be associated with a particular user's public Bitcoin addresses and encrypted in such a way that the user's corresponding private key is needed to play the songs. Selling, lending, or giving away a song or a book would be as simple as sending it to someone else's public address. At that point, writes Jerry Brito, only recipient's private keys can unlock the file. And this would all be cryptographically provable, without requiring trust.