In math we trust – China cyberspace writers’ village joins judicial blockchain platform

For cyberspace writers in China, Hangzhou might be the dreamland. That is so not only because of its enchanting natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and - of course - the healthy Longjing tea, which are all good things for writers’ creative incubation. But, more importantly, by hosting the first “cyberspace writers’ village (hereinafter referred to as 'the Village')” and having the first Internet Court in China, Hangzhou provides an effective one-stop service to safeguard the writers’ legitimate rights. 

The cyberspace writers’ village

Launched by the Chinese Writers’ Association on December 9, 2017, the China cyberspace writers’ village recently celebrated its first birthday, proudly: in just one year, 107 cyberspace writers became “villagers”, 24 newly created literary works were adapted into movies, TV series, comics or mobile games, and the accumulated copyright royalties reached Chinese Yuan 381 million (approx. EUR 49 million). In many ways, this conglomerate of talent boosts the developments of cyberspace literature and the allied industrial chains. 

China’s first Internet Court

As the very first Internet Court in China, the Hangzhou Internet Court (hereinafter referred to as the Court) was set up on August 18 2017 to handle the large number of internet-related disputes in a more efficient and budget-friendly manner. It has jurisdiction to handle certain disputes that shall be accepted by a basic people’s courts in Hangzhou in the first instance. They include, inter alia, copyrights disputes, online shopping contracts disputes, financial loan contracts, and the small loan contracts which are both signed and performed on the internet. 
Home page of the Hangzhou Internet Court
The internet-related disputes are often trans-regional, yet involve rather small amounts of money. It is essentially for these reasons that traditional offline hearings could be costly for the parties involved and for the courts as well in terms of time, money, and judicial resources. To address that, the Court implemented some key solutions: 

- On April 2, 2018, it introduced the “asynchronous trial”, which allows parties to upload documents, arguments and responses asynchronously (within a defined period), which has halved the average trial period to 41 days. 

- Starting June 28, 2018, it allows evidence authenticated with blockchain technology – In Huatai Yimei v Daotong Technology, the Court, for the first time in China, confirmed the validity of blockchain technology adopted in evidence deposition. 

- On June 29, 2018, the first e-evidence platform went live – Now, by clicking the “platform of evidence” on the Hangzhou Internet Court’s website, one can find the site of “judicial blockchain” where the standard-compliant evidence deposition can be easily done. 

The Xinhua News reports that by the end of October 2018, the Court had heard 14,233 cases and closed 11,794. 

Consociation: Village + Internet court

On December 6, 2018, the Court announced that the China cyberspace writers’ village had joined the judicial blockchain platform. This association makes sense, as the judicial blockchain platform is especially suitable for digital copyright protection. 

In a nutshell, the blockchain technologies help to keep track of the writers’ integral process of creation together with the circulation of the work in cyberspace. As digital footprints, the information regarding the authorship, the time of creation and the possible infringements will be well stored as chain nodes. Gradually, the writers will no longer need to suffer (that much) from the time-consuming evidence-collecting and the costly justice seeking. 

Brief remarks

Blockchain technology, for all its merits, is not (that) new. This Kat believes that even before all the above-mentioned Courts’ nice initiatives, parties could submit any forms of evidence they preferred, which of course could include the blockchain-related evidence. In other words, China does not suddenly give the green light towards blockchain authenticated evidence nor does it give a total and unconditional acceptance. The blockchain evidence, as a type of electronic data, must fulfill the legal admissibility requirements on evidence in general, with no exception -- the Chinese courts retain an open and neutral stance in this sense. 
In math we trust – China cyberspace writers’ village joins judicial blockchain platform In math we trust – China cyberspace writers’ village joins judicial blockchain platform Reviewed by Tian Lu on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 Rating: 5

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