Researchers develop new digital rights technology

Researchers at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering have developed a new digital rights management technology that they said will help organizations better protect multimedia content from unauthorized copying and distribution.

The technology works by embedding a unique ID or "fingerprint" on individual copies of multimedia content. The tool features special codes designed to withstand so-called collusion attacks that occur when multiple users conspire to electronically steal and distribute copyrighted material, said K.J. Ray Liu, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Clark School.

In such attacks, copyrighted material such as an unreleased movie might be stolen and pieced together from multiple copies in an attempt to dilute or erase the original digital identities associated with each copy, said Liu.

"If you can find 100 people to collude together, you can reduce the fingerprint by 100 times, and nobody will be able to identify" the source of a particular leak or copyright infringement, he said.

The digital fingerprint code developed by the University of Maryland is designed specifically to resist such attempts at dilution and allows content owners to trace sources better than with other digital rights management technologies, said researcher Min Wu, an assistant professor at the school.

"A lot of the existing technology cannot really reduce the effects of collusion," she said. "If multiple users generate one version, we can tell you all those who contributed to it."

The digital fingerprints can be applied to images, video, audio and documents such as digital maps, according to the researchers. It can even be used to protect live multicasts such as pay-per-view events.

Already, several companies have expressed interest in the technology, Liu said. Among them is Sony BMG, which recently sparked a firestorm of controversy over its use of a digital rights management technique that was later found to be a security risk and forced Sony to recall millions of its music CDs.

"Sony is very interested in this and has donated over US$120,000" toward equipment for a multimedia lab, Liu said. Others that have expressed interest include Hollywood studios and the U.S. Department of Defense, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?