Prototyping blockchain models for the book publishing industry to deliver rights management, royalties and audience engagement

Mark Ryan, Nicolas Suzor, Kylie Pappalardo, Arthur ter Hofstede, Suriadi Suriadi, Michael Adams

The Australian book publishing industry, a key copyright industry, continues to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. Disruption in copyright industries is encouraging new relationships between producers, authors, and audiences. Blockchain technologies present an opportunity to decentralise and open up production processes in ways that could radically enhance access to culture while creating new avenues for commercial exploitation and new incentives for production and distribution to a wider range of actors.

This project engages book publishers and authors in an experiment to create a collection of short stories underpinned by smart contracts that encode rights management, distribution incentives, and author royalties. In so doing, the project will examine whether the needs of the Australian publishing sector can be adequately addressed by existing blockchain models, and whether the process can be simplified using a higher level language to encode the operation of smart contracts.

Funding / Grants

  • IFE Catapult, $63,000 (2018 - 2019)