Existing systems, new languages: prototyping blockchain models for the book publishing industry to deliver rights management, royalties and audience engagement

This project will develop a new collaboration between a transdisciplinary research team and publishing partners to prototype blockchain publishing systems and explore a high-level abstraction language for smart contracts.

The Australian book publishing industry, a key copyright industry, continues to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and digital disruption is encouraging new relationships between publishers, authors, and audiences. Blockchain technologies present an opportunity to decentralise 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.

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. It will examine whether existing blockchain models adequately address the Australian publishing sector’s needs, and whether the process can be simplified using a higher level language to encode smart contracts.

Funding / Grants

  • Institute of Future Environment’s Catapult Project Funding

Chief Investigators


Other Team Members

Arthur ter Hofstede Suriadi Suriadi Michael Adams