Chinese Judge Allows Blockchain Authenticated Evidence in Court
June 28, the Hangzhou Internet Court has made a public pronouncement on a case involving a dispute over the infringement on the copyright of disseminate information over the Internet. It is also the first time for a court to confirme the blockchain-based electronic data can be used as evidence in legal disputes.
In this case, the plaintiff, a local media company Huatai Yimei handed in the screen-captured images of web page and text to prove the unauthorized usage by a Shenzhen-based technology company. Through a blockchain powered third party evidence deposition platform named baoquan.com, the infringe images, website source and other evidence have ben ecoded. Baoquan also uses the bitcoin and factom blockchain to hash provided content and store compressed packages contains all these evidence on a distributed network.
Based on the idea of adopting an open and neutral approach to the emerging technology, the Hangzhou Internet Court finally decided that, the blockchain-based electronic evidence deposition can be legally viable on a case-by-case basis.
“As a decentralized database, blockchain has characteristics of openness, distributed, and cannot be tampered with. It also has the advantages of low cost, high efficiency, and high stability, which can be legally viable as an electronic evidence deposition depending upon the circumstances. In this case, the usage of a third-party blockchain platform that is reliable without conflict of interests provides the legal ground for proving the intellectual infringement,” commented by the Hangzhou Internet Court official.
In this case, whether blockchain can be used as a legal method to determine the authenticity of evidence as a traditional notarization service use to be a primary question in this case. In order to maintain an open and neutral stance on the usage of blockchain in analyzing individual case, the court has ruled that evidence authenticated with blockchain technologies in legal disputes.
The court indicated that:
“We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable.”
Even though the media content has been taken down at a later stage, the court ruled that the evidence stored on the blockchain is significantly valid and the the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff.