Decentralizing Attribution Using

Successful management of copyright is integral to an academic repository. Attribution, citation and licensing all depends on clear terms of use as outlined in an archived item’s metadata. Decentralizing attribution using and blockchain technologies is an effective method to achieve this.

Current Implementations use centralized methods to store copyright and licensing terms and these terms can be easily changed or manipulated at any time. What is needed is an trusted, immutable ledger of timestamped items, stored in a way that is accessible to all.

Decentralization becoming the norm

As we move assets and metadata to decentralized systems such as IPFS, Swarm and OrbitDB, we will also migrate licensing to, a decentralized solution for content ownership. Copyright and licensing can be tracked and attribution easily determined because is an open system. Either manual or, in the case of KnowledgeArc.Network, automated methods can be utilized to verify ownership of assets on the distributed archive.

So how will be integrated with KnowledgeArc.Network? Because assets will be stored on a decentralized system such IPFS, a hash will be used to identify the asset uniquely. This asset’s hash, along with associated metadata, will be stored in a decentralized database, currently OrbitDB, and the owner will “sign” both the asset and the metadata. Both the asset hash and metadata will be pushed to, where it will be timestamped by the distributed licensing ecosystem, and a hash will be returned, identifying the copyrighted material. This hash will be stored against the item’s metadata, again utilizing OrbitDB.

What about immutability?

Items can change over time. However, assets on the blockchain are truly immutable. Even if the same asset changes, it is recognized as two separate pieces of data on the blockchain. Therefore, an item which changes will be linked with its previous versions and will be issued a separate hash.

One of the main features of both ecosystems is the ability to use each platform’s native token to carry out various tasks. In the future, we envisage a crossover of incentivization across both platforms using various methods of exchange. Because both’s native token POE and KnowledgeArc.Network’s ARCH both utilize ERC20 tokens, various platforms exist which allow for easy conversion of one token to the other. Potentially, users will not even need to be aware of what token that they are using, simply that a small cost or other incentive is required to carry out a particular task. provides KnowledgeArc.Network with another piece to the puzzle of decentralized archiving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *