This could be the future of DRM.
I’m not going to get into blockchain 101 here, but the gist is, blockchains are hugely secure- they rely on peer to peer contributions to be made to a public ledger, except once something has been added to it, it cannot be changed unless the entire peer to peer network spontaneously decides to change it. Which obviously is an impossibility.
This resistance to tamper-ability is what makes them central to, for example, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. And now, it sounds like Sony has filed a patent that implements a blockchain based digital rights management solution, too. And, to their credit, it sounds like it would actually be a good one. Their patent filing reads “conventional [DRM] solutions may not be very reliable and rely on one unique point of failure. If the rights locker provider or system goes out of business or otherwise fails, the user loses all the acquired content”. Essentially, a blockchain would mean your ownership of a product would be linked to you forever- even Sony cannot alter that. In fact, it also adds a mechanism for transferring of ownership of your digital content- which is the one area that digital content has a clear disadvantage versus physical goods.
Of course, as with all patents, this may never come to pass- but if it does, Sony might have stumbled upon inarguably the best implementation of DRM there might be from a consumer perspective.