Chinese streaming platform implements smart contracts to handle copyright issues


China’s iQIYI — a streaming platform similar to Netflix — is looking to implement Ethereum (ETH) smart contract standard ERC-3475 to handle copyright issues. The news was announced on DeBond’s medium account, who is the developing mind behind the ERC-3475 standard.

iQIYI is China’s largest online video platform, with over 100 million subscribers. The company said it will use smart contracts to “resolve copyright-related issues such as disputes, secondary creations and copyright investment in authors’ works.”

According to the announcement, a special product team was formed within iQIYI to create a chain copyright accounting, and an internal beta version of the system is currently running. A public test of the new smart contract system is expected to go out in the first quarter of 2023. 


DeBond developed the ERC-3475 standard to enable individuals and institutions to create their own bonds and derivatives. However, the ERC-3475 also offers the “Abstract Storage Bonds standard,” which stores on-chain metadata.

In other words, the smart contract allows users to store all additional specifications, including values, transactions, and metadata. iQIYI will leverage ERC-3475 to manage and control on-chain transfers, accounting, and off-chain payments to combat copyright problems.

iQIYI’s piracy issues

İQIYI’s CEO, Gong Yu, gave a speech during an Intellectual Property Protection event on November 2021 and talked about the severity of the problem of stolen content, according to local news sources.

According to Yu, iQIYI detected over 270,000 videos that were plagiarized from the platform’s original series during the platform’s update period from Feb. 14, 2021, to Mar. 7, 2021.

Yu also mentioned another show which first aired on Oct. 15, 2021. Two weeks later, the iQIYI team detected over 11,000 pieces of infringing content from the show.

During the same speech, Yu made three suggestions to combat piracy and protect film and television copyrights. The first and second suggestions advised strengthening internal mechanisms and nationwide regulations to combat piracy crime and collaborating on an international level to tighten the framework.

The third one was about technology, and Yu mentioned that Blockchain could offer a simple and effective solution to all copyright problems. He said:

“Strengthen technological innovation… Use blockchain, DRM, and other technologies to achieve end-to-end technical protection to truly combat piracy from a technical perspective.”


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