The Multimedia Blockchain

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The Multimedia Blockchain A Distributed and Tamper-Proof Media Transaction Framework

Historically, media distribution or content delivery relied on legacy devices like DVDs or magnetic tapes. The currently trending medium for media distribution is internet-based cloud services or p2p (peer-to-peer) connections. As an improvement on this, a content distribution network (CDN) is used. CDNs are a collection of specialized servers that deliver high resolution, rich media to devices over the internet. Cloud-based CDNs are better than internet-based ones as they ensure high performance and availability while keeping low maintenance cost without ownership of the underlying infrastructure. However, media distribution is prone to tampering and piracy. To overcome this, we implement Blockchains to securely deliver content to users.

Blockchain is like a broadcast channel within a group of defined individuals who regulate every transaction and each of them is recorded in a master ledger. An authentication request is sent for any transfer, which must be authorized by a quota to go through. There is little to no chance of tampering as members within the organization have verified it with an entry for every attempt inside the ledger. It is a rapidly advancing technology which uses the concept of open distributed databases which keeps a track of all transactional details in small frames called blocks. All the blocks in the database also called as a ledger are timestamped and linked to the earlier block. This allows for transactions between two entries in an organized, confirmable and permanent way.

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Based on the blockchain technology, a tamper-proof and distributed media transaction design is proposed. Current media distribution technology does not store self-retrievable information of transaction or content modification trails. For instance, digital copies of precious artwork, entertainment, and creative media are shared for various events like exhibitions, gallery collections or for editing media in a production workflow. Original media is frequently edited for false advertisements over social media. In such cases, there is no reliable infrastructure that traces the transactions made to the content. In this paper, a unique watermarking based blockchain infrastructure can help the situation. The watermarking technique consists of two important parts: a) a cryptographic hash that contains transaction trails and b) an image hash that has the original, untampered media content. Any access to the file triggers a reaction in which the watermark is extracted, a part of it goes to a distributed ledger to track transaction history and the other part is used to spot any changes made to the concerned multimedia file.

Blockchain is a decentralized system which conducts business in a decentralized manner, i.e without having been verified by any central organization. In lieu of a central organization, multiple nodes of the block are used to verify and validate the transactions. Blockchain works by chaining or linking the blocks that contain the transaction information and storing them together in a sequential order, thereby earning its name. Not limited to digital currency, blockchain has potential use in transferring of digital content. Other applications include hardware and software wallets, conformity to identity and many other commercial and business transaction management applications.

In the proposed solution, a distributed and tamper-proof media transaction, it combines the concepts of blockchain as well as a self-embedded watermarking algorithm entrusting a mechanism for distributed content-transaction framework and content-integrity by detecting and recovering any corruptive or editing attempt on the original media.

To detect manipulated regions of the tampered image, this method uses a self-embedded watermarking technique. A pseudo-random projection is used as watermark in the place of the original image, embedded with the original image which uses a wavelet-based technology. The comprehensive based image reconstruction method helps in recovering the host image. A signal can be reconstructed by using a set of linear measurements which are reduced and imply sparse representation when compared to a minimal sampling rate. In normal terms, original image is broken down into several samples of low resolution. One of these is randomly picked to be the cryptographic hash for watermarking.

The framework that has been proposed in this paper includes the standard infrastructure of the blockchain technology to satisfy the more complex multimedia blockchain. The frame is divided into two parts; one is Content Preprocessing (to engrave the watermarking) and to register within the framework, and second is Content Authentication. The blockchain technology supports digital transactions which can be decentralized as well as trustless. After approving the transaction, block is then updated into the permanent ledger of the distributed blockchain and broadcasted to every user. These transactions are embedded with smart contracts and information about the users involved. To record all kind of information regarding digital transactions, public information is required. It consists of transactional history, transactions ID etc. and a compressed sensing (CS) sample information so that original media file can be reconstructed. This public information must be etched into the data before distribution. Upon approval of the transaction, the file is distributed, and a copy is kept in a linked content server. Corresponding information regarding the digital transaction is then uploaded in the database server.

Authentication of the media can be realized by examining the watermark itself. This watermark is consisting of transaction ID and CS information of samples provided, so that the original media can be reconstructed. Transaction ID is useful to redeem the detailed information of the transaction from distributed ledger. It can also be used to redeem ownership information, sending and receiving nodes addresses, block address and time when transaction took place, original cost of the media file etc. For the security reasons and to avoid piracy and duplicity, blockchain verifies the media for tampering detection-authentication. Failure of this verification process leads to the result that this media is corrupted and cannot be distributed.

The entire blockchain process is realized faster than its theoretical rendition. It can also be fine-tuned to application specific requirements as streaming data cannot be sampled quickly using the former technique. Nevertheless, blockchain sees its future in a variety of implementations across various disciplines and soon will become the next era in computer security.

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The Multimedia Blockchain. (2019, Jan 22). Retrieved from