New to IPFS, would love some help clarifying a few things

Morning all!

My name is Sean and I’m just learning about IPFS, Ethereum, and NFT based content today. I work as an audio engineer and composer for media and as NFT’s are starting to revolutionize the music industry I figured now is a great time to learn.

Exposition aside, here are my questions I’d love help on. Sorry if they’re basic!

  • I understand that because adding data to the Etherum blockchain is so expensive we need to use IPFS for content such as music or albums. When I upload a .WAV single or album to IPFS I would receive a hash specific to that content. Now, I read that when I upload that all duplicates would be removed to give a new hash. If someone were to take the album and upload it themselves would that remove the one I previously uploaded and create a new hash? I guess, tl;dr, what is the data protection through IPFS if someone halfway around the world chose to upload a copy of what you already uploaded. Would it be replaced?

  • When using IPFS for NFT content, say I wanted to sell 100 copies of a song or album as an NFT, maybe with a discount code or with a share of copyright to make it more unique. If I understand this right you would attach the hash to the NFT so the person could access/download it through whatever platform, like OpenSea or Bluebox. Would you use the same hash for each 100 or can you only attach the hash to one single NFT?

Hi Sean,

Not quite. First, if you got a new hash then it’s not a duplicate. If it is a duplicate nothing happens. You could think of it as either removing what was there and adding the exact same thing back or simply doing nothing, they’re equivalent. There’s two levels of duplication with IPFS which might be confusing. Globally, over the entire network, there’s lots of duplication. It’s good to have lots of copies on lots of machines. Then there’s locally where there is deduplication. Unfortunately deduplication is probably a misleading term because there’s nothing active about it. There’s never duplication to undo. The data is stored based on its contents so if it’s the same content, there’s nothing to do. It’s like turning on a light switch that’s already on.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by “data protection”. Making distributed copies is what IPFS is all about. If someone uploaded a copy it would receive the same hash because the content is identical and would be indistinguishable from retrieving that hash content over the network.

Not really. It’s like the sound of one hand clapping. If you want to think of something that is replaced with an indistinguishable copy as replacement that’s fine but it’s not really meaningful.

I suspect that you’re taking a more fuzzy view of identical. As far as IPFS is concerned, identical is identical. Not in a semantic, these two things represent the same thing, but these two things are 0 and 1 identical. Like identical, identical.

If they’re identical then they’re not NFTs. The content for an NFT can be copied but the NFT is unique.

Again. You can’t really be more unique. You’re either unique or you’re not.

Thanks, that helped a lot! So for the 100 song example, I imagine you would create 100 different NFT’s and just use the same hash if it’s the same product?

I don’t know much about NFT’s but it was my understanding that an NFT was for a unique digital thing so you can’t have two NFT’s for the same thing, until some idiot gets the bright idea of having NFT Limited Editions where you have a fixed number of the same NFT.

But identical means identical. You could trivially change one bit in an audio file and it would be something different. The recent popularity of NFTs is probably based on their use for laundering money than anything else.

If you want to revolutionize music do something like what Pomplamoose as done. If you’re interested in ripping people off do NFT’s Pomplamoose - Wikipedia

Mmmm, it’s not really ripping people off. There’s a ton of good NFT’s are offering the musical world. Allowing fans to buy copyright shares to, literally, invest in music, tagging music for better performance protection to give artists their share, etc, even YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix are looking into expanding into NFT workflows to better protect content creators and offer more value to clients.

Thanks for your responses, it’s helped clear up a lot!

I’d be happy to have my cynicism proven wrong for once. Glad I could help.