Custos uses cryptocurrency bounties to harvest deep data from the dark web. A great application of this is to detect leaks of digital media files, even while they are still circulating in the dark web. Media companies pay us to protect their valuable content against piracy, and to rapidly detect the sources of leaks in their distribution networks.

Custos first applied its patented blockchain technique to protect pre-cinematic copies of feature films (“screener copies”) that are sent to reviewers, academy members, and collaborators. When a screener leaks, it cuts the lifetime revenue of a movie by an average of 19%. Depending on genre and territory, 20%-60% of feature films are pirated before cinematic release. With Custos’ technology, clients have virtually eliminated screener piracy. Custos has protected more than 129,000 screener copies of 3,400 different feature films.

The technology applies just as well to over-the-top video streaming, ebook distribution, master file protection in the film and publishing industries, confidential document protection, and broadcast audience analytics. Custos is raising capital to fund expansion into these markets.

What makes Custos’ approach unique, is the use of cryptocurrency bounties that are embedded directly into each copy of a digital media file, using forensic watermarks. The bounty is a “security deposit” which, while intact, proves that the media is still within the intended recipient’s control. If a media file is shared, anyone in the file sharing community can extract the bounty from the file as reward, instantly identifying the original infringer. In this way, a hard problem in media security (detecting infringement) is effectively outsourced to the file sharing communities themselves.