Opinion: How far is the blockchain deposit really “landing”?

Recently, Tao Kaiyuan, the vice president of the Supreme People's Court, published an article in the "Guangming Daily" on the topic of "emphasizing the improvement of the copyright rights system". When it comes to the issue of copyright protection in the network environment, it mentions emerging time issues such as time stamps and blockchains. Caused widespread concern in society. The author wrote in the article: "For the application of new technologies such as time stamps and blockchains in the rules of evidence, the Supreme People's Court is conducting research and will be formulating the "Several Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Evidence of Intellectual Property Civil Litigation" In the process of judicial interpretation, sum up the practical experience and research results of local court trials, and explore and make provisions."

In fact, since 2018, the application of blockchain technology in the field of electronic deposits, that is, the “blockchain deposit certificate” has become a hot topic in the legal circle, and the Supreme People’s Court has also issued The Provisions on Several Issues in the Trial of Cases determine the legal effect of blockchain deposits in the trial of Internet deposit certificates. However, in practice, how the blockchain has specifically landed in the field of legal deposits still has many problems that need to be explored and resolved.

"The first case of blockchain deposit certificate"

Wang Qing, a professor at the School of Information Management at Wuhan University, pointed out that the current blockchain technology update is enough to promote greater industrial reforms, extending from the digital currency field to other areas. This is the current blockchain version 3.0 (referring to the application of blockchain in various industries outside the financial industry, able to meet more complex business logic).

Due to the technical characteristics of decentralization, consensus mechanism and distributed accounting, and the extremely difficult to tamper, the blockchain is considered to have great development potential in the field of intellectual property protection and electronic deposit. However, the application of blockchain deposit and its legal effect are concerned by the society in 2018.

On June 28, 2018, the "First Case of Blockchain Deposit Certificate" was officially pronounced in the Hangzhou Internet Court. In this uncomplicated case of infringement of the information network communication rights dispute, the Hangzhou Internet Court first confirmed the legal effect of the electronic data using the blockchain technology, and clarified the review of the blockchain electronic deposit. The method of judgment, which has a great influence.

In this case, a plaintiff, a company in Hangzhou, in order to prove that a company in Shenzhen issued a copyright-related work, the infringing webpage was crawled on the third-party platform and the source code of the page was identified, and the relevant content was calculated as a hash value. (Hash value, also known as "hash function". It compresses messages or data into digests, making the amount of data smaller, fixing the format of the data) and uploading it into the blockchain.

When the Hangzhou Internet Court tried this case, it not only combined the blockchain technology for the technical principle of data storage, but also based on the legal standards of electronic evidence review, the legality of the qualification of the depository platform, and the reliability of the infringing webpage technology. Sexuality, the integrity of the electronic evidence of the blockchain and other dimensions examined and finally recognized the deposit in the case, and also explained the legal validity of the blockchain deposit.

The Hangzhou Internet Court held that electronic data that is fixed by deposits and other technical means such as blockchain should be subject to an open and neutral attitude for case analysis. Neither the blockchain and other technologies themselves should be excluded from the current new and complex technical means, or their certification standards should be excluded. The identification criteria should be lowered because the technology has the characteristics of being difficult to tamper with or delete. It should be judged comprehensively according to the relevant laws and regulations of electronic data. Its evidence is effective.

On September 7, 2018, the Supreme People's Court issued the "Regulations on Certain Issues in Internet Court Trial Cases" (hereinafter referred to as "Regulations"), and formally recognized the legal effect of blockchain deposit certificates in Internet case evidence. Article 11 of the Regulations states that “electronic data submitted by the parties shall be stored through electronic signatures, trusted time stamps, hash value verification, blockchain and other evidence collection, fixed and tamper-proof technical means or through electronic forensics. If the platform certification can prove its authenticity, the Internet court should confirm it."

Some analysts pointed out that this is the first time that China has legally confirmed the means of evidence-based deposits such as trusted time stamps and blockchains in the form of judicial interpretation. It means that the application of electronic security certificate technology at the judicial level has ushered in an important breakthrough.

In September 2018, the Hangzhou Internet Court launched the first judicial blockchain platform in the country, and the “balance chain” led by the Beijing Internet Court was subsequently put into use.

Blockchain deposits should also prove authenticity

Jiang Yanjie, a partner of Beijing Strategy Law Firm, said in an interview with the Democratic and Legal Society reporters that the blockchain has been widely used in the legal field, such as digital copyright, financial contracts, and network service contracts, especially in digital works. The demand and application of the electronic data fixed deposit business is relatively large. "Because of the development of digitalization, the pain point of the fixed evidence collection of electronic data is largely compensated and fit by the technical advantages of the blockchain."

Jiang Yanjie said that traditional electronic data security services, electronic data itself has tamperable, deletable, and reproducible characteristics, which leads to the possibility of being destroyed, contaminated, and modified when electronic data is directly used as judicial evidence. High, thus reducing the recognition of the evidence for this type of evidence. Even the traditional notary office is limited by technical tools and business limitations. There is no systematic evidence for the collection and certification of electronic data in judicial evidence review, and thus there is no uniform review standard for local judicial authorities.

Jiang Yanjie said that blockchain deposits have many advantages over traditional deposit methods. First of all, due to the interconnected platform model, depositing certificates is more convenient. Because it is a systematic tool-based deposit method, the deposit is more efficient. At the same time, the cost is greatly reduced. In addition, due to the technical irreversibility and irreversible modification, the evidence of blockchain fixed electronic data is highly credible.

However, although blockchain deposits have many natural advantages in the field of electronic deposits, this does not mean that the blockchain deposit will be recognized by the court.

Jin Wenyu, a lawyer at Shanghai Jinmao Law Firm, said that although the Supreme People's Court issued relevant regulations to remove the barriers to the blockchain as evidence at the legal level, it should be noted that this does not mean that as long as it is a blockchain The court will recognize the validity of the certificate and “prove its authenticity”. The court only uses the blockchain deposit as a form of evidence. If the blockchain deposit certificate is wrong or the authenticity cannot be verified, the court will still not determine its validity.

In addition, the blockchain is used in the field of legal deposits, and there are many shortcomings and problems.

Jiang Yanjie said that the "carrying" ability of the blockchain has a high degree of credibility in technology, but the evidence is from "take" to "save" to "letter" is a whole, and the content of the certificate on the chain is electronic Data, it can not directly confirm its objective reality, because both ends of the chain as before the chain of forensics and the standard of credit after the chain is an indispensable part of the evidence, not the blockchain "save" certificate A ring can be used for judicial proof.

From the perspective of the main body of deposit certificate, if the operating entity of the blockchain deposit certificate is a third-party company, and for the purpose of profit, it will inevitably involve the issue of “interest influence” and “interest conflict”, which should be taken seriously. In addition, the existing blockchain technology in the development of the public chain, chain alliance chain itself has incentive verification mode and node quality issues, but also bring the risk of untrustworthy deposits.

Jiang Yanjie believes that in terms of legal regulation, the relevant departments have not yet unified the blockchain technology credibility standards and deposit certificate business norms and the corresponding evidence proof force review operation guidelines. This is also a major issue facing the development of blockchain.

Jin Wenzhao said that at the moment, blockchain deposits still have inefficiencies in processing data, and the blockchain approach will generate a large amount of data redundancy and difficulties in verification by many data providers.

Blockchain deposits should be further "landed"

From the "Provisions on Several Issues in Internet Court Trial Cases" that have been implemented, to the judicial interpretation of the "Several Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Evidence of Intellectual Property Civil Litigation", the status of blockchain deposits is becoming more and more important in judicial practice. emphasized.

Jin Wenzhao believes that the introduction of this series of regulations and judicial interpretations shows that China's judiciary has an open and accepting attitude toward new technologies and new applications. To a certain extent, the judiciary is eliminating worries for the development of new technologies. The development of blockchain deposits is also significantly accelerated.

In March of this year, the Beijing Internet Court revealed that as of March 22, 2019, the online collection data of the “balance chain” had reached more than 3.3 million. In addition, due to the cross-chain depository model, the actual corresponding evidence file may reach tens of millions of orders.

At the beginning of May 2019, the Hangzhou Internet Court released a set of data: As of the end of April 2019, since the Hangzhou Internet Court launched the judicial blockchain platform, the mediation withdrawal rate of intellectual property dispute cases has increased from 82.3% to 95.3%.

In addition, on May 22, 2019, Hangzhou Internet Court, Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, Suzhou Intermediate People's Court, Hefei Intermediate People's Court, Ant Block Chain Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. signed the "Yangtze River Delta Judicial Chain". Letter of Intent for Cooperation, announcing the construction of the Yangtze River Delta judicial chain based on the Hangzhou Internet Court Judicial Blockchain Platform, and creating a judicial level trust mechanism of “full process record, full link credibility, and full node witness” to promote the Yangtze River Delta Regional Justice Integrated development.

Regarding the development prospects of blockchain deposits, Jiang Yanjie believes that the data confrontation in the digitalization process of the whole society has become more and more prominent, and blockchain deposits as a credible technical means for data depositing must be a trend. Needless to say, only its development path and model needs to explore innovation and be cautious.

Jiang Yanjie said that to solve the problems encountered in the development of blockchain deposits, the blockchain deposits will be “landed”. At the technical level, the development of blockchain depository platforms must be a variety of “Internet+” technologies. Superimposed development, should make full use of the composite application of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other technologies, in order to truly solve the pain points of electronic data storage. At the policy level, it is necessary to have strong support and intervention from state agencies to make breakthroughs in technical standards and credible norms, and to minimize the possibility of technical misappropriation or monopoly business conflicts under the profitability of the depository platform. In addition, in the field of business in this field, third-party depository companies and other entities should break through the shortcomings of profit and interest, and optimize the system modules of the Internet court and common courts in the model (data interaction, node verification, visual trustworthy Show, etc.), the process actively promotes strict and uniform forensic operation specifications and the issuance of guidelines.

Jin Wenzhao believes that blockchain deposits cannot be “certified for depositing certificates” and forcibly create application scenarios. In order for the blockchain deposit to really land, the data should be made normal through blockchain storage. "That is, when one day our data in daily applications would have been stored through blockchain technology, then the district Blockchain deposits are really real."

Source: Democracy and Legal Times

Author: Zhuang Daytona