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Mpeg 7 To Include Per-Frame Content Identification 273

Posted by timothy
from the you're-watching-us-and-vice-versa dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NEC has announced that its video content identification technology has been incorporated in the upcoming Mpeg 7 video standard, allowing for each video frame to have its own signature, meaning that even minute changes to the file such as adding subtitles, watermarks or dogtags, and of course cutting out adverts, will alter the overall signature of the video. According to NEC this will allow the owners of the video to automatically 'detect illegal copies' and 'prevent illegal upload of video content' without their consent. NEC also claims that its technology will do away with the current manual checking by members of the movie industry and ISPs to spot dodgy videos."
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Mpeg 7 To Include Per-Frame Content Identification

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  • by drDugan (219551) * on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:03AM (#32152088) Homepage

    I think we should mandate legislatively that all video created should use this technology from now on. TV shows, documentaries, big hit movies, home movies, birthday parties, independent films, security cameras, everything. This way, we can clearly establish ownership of video content in all cases. Anyone who has digital video not maked per frame with ownership should be prosecuted immediately.

    Furthermore, we should mandate that all hardware created in the future, including TVs and cable boxes, computers and everything capable of reading video - all of it should only be able to play video with the new "who owns this frame" technology - otherwise, people might play video that doesn't belong to them.

    And we should include vetting of licensing terms into the hardware system; so that only with the correct license can the hardware play back the video in question.

    And we should impose fully automated reporting systems in hardware that detects and reports tampering to the local authorities. Open up that computer case and put in a non-approved, black market video driver: the machine sends and email to law enforcement. Connect a pirate cable box to your TV, and then your TV immediately stops working, and broadcasts a wireless signal that only law enforcement can detect.

    I think this technology for copyright enforcement should be placed into prosthetics that sits inside the eyeballs of everyone who wants permission to view video. These prosthetic devices could similarly verify the authenticity of videos frame by frame, check for an approved license, and send out signals to law enforcement if pirated video is detected. Approved prosthetics should be compulsory to obtaining permission to view all videos.

    Finally, we should up the penalties for copyright infringement, to instant death - basically we should have our eyeball prosthetics simply explode when unverified video is detected. /s

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by andi75 (84413)

      I would mandate the opposite legislation. Any device that's sold or rented to consumers must also include all contained cryptographic keys in an easily accessible manner (e.g. on an accompagning CD). That way it is guaranteed that consumers can always, and without limitations, accesss the data they paid for.

      • by grantek (979387) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:06AM (#32152608)

        OMG, you must watch kiddie porn!! Witch! Witch! Burn it!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mb1 (966747)

      I'm sure looking forward to the future when I'll be prosecuted by the patent and/or trademark holders of both 'Do Nothing' and 'Do Something' for doing something and/or doing nothing at all.

      Of course, Apple will offer their 'Doing Apple' to give us all some choice - but at the same time will sue anyone trying to 'Do Nothing' or 'Do Something' and not 'Doing Apple'...

    • by secolactico (519805) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:28AM (#32152260) Journal

      And bring back the Clipper Chip!

    • by Kjella (173770)

      ...and Minority Report is ON.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lloyd_Bryant (73136)

      Finally, we should up the penalties for copyright infringement, to instant death - basically we should have our eyeball prosthetics simply explode when unverified video is detected.

      Hollywood is already way ahead of you - they've already developed "Dreck Technology" incorporated into many modern films, which can result in eyeballs exploding without the need for any prosthetics.

      Of course, they didn't do it deliberately...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tumbleweed (3706)

        Hollywood is already way ahead of you - they've already developed "Dreck Technology" incorporated into many modern films, which can result in eyeballs exploding without the need for any prosthetics.
        Of course, they didn't do it deliberately...

        And amazingly, it didn't result in box office losses - Avatar made the most money of any film in history. *shrug*

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)

        Hollywood is already way ahead of you - they've already developed "Dreck Technology" incorporated into many modern films, which can result in eyeballs exploding without the need for any prosthetics.

        Wasn't that invented by Michael Bay?

      • by vegiVamp (518171)
        "Dreck" ? Really ? Means "shit" in german :-)
    • by tool462 (677306)

      Hey, you've got some good ideas! Interested in writing legislation for the State of Arizona? You'd fit right in 'round here :)

      • Re:modest proposal (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JWW (79176) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:42AM (#32153462)

        Actually if we could convince the federal government to be as lax in enforcing IP laws as they are with enforcing immigration laws, we'd be in great shape.

        Its interesting that immigration laws are very very poorly enforced and yet the gov't doesn't really want to fix the situation, but the fact that someone might download a movie and watch it, omg release the hounds!!!

        Everyone in Arizona is getting all up in arms about a law asking evernone to present proof of citizenship papers. In this IP battle, they're consistently asking us to provide proof of purchase papers at every step to view content, and no one in the general public bats an eye.

        But there is one obvious parallel here. In both immigration and IP law the government we're getting is acting exactly how the big companies in control want it to.

    • You're joking, but the media cartels are dead serious. You've pretty much described their utopia.

  • Re-encoding? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:06AM (#32152114)

    Wouldn't that circumvent all this? There are other standards...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Even the thought of re-encoding will result in the subject being terminated. Move along and continue consuming, citizen.

    • Re:Re-encoding? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Zocalo (252965) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:31AM (#32152286) Homepage
      That was my first thought too, but between legislation like ACTA, DMCA and increasing restrictions being placed on Fair Use rights, where they exist at all, I suspect that there is going to be a push to make transcoding a violation of something or other. Yes, it's ridiculous to load a 25GB of files from a BluRay disc onto a portable media player, but you don't *have* to transcode to play the video on the device.

      Of course, the people that are uploading cams and DVD rips to the Internet now are still going to be breaking copyright laws whatever happens, so it's not like the situation is going to change in practice, is it?
    • by Tjebbe (36955)

      I suspect the next step is to try to get device makers not to support any format that does not have MPEG 7. And the one after that to prohibit any that do not, if that's still necessary.

      How many physical dvd players nowadays do not enforce region codes?

    • Re:Re-encoding? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:32AM (#32152718)

      I was more thinking in the line of privacy: if every frame can have a signature added, then every single copy can be "watermarked" and tracked to an individual.

      Otoh, they talk about adding subtitles etc to "completely change the signature of the video". How is that different from the current situation? Thinking of "signature" as MD5 hash or something equivalent. Any change to the file will change it's hash. This part is nothing new.

      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        I was more thinking in the line of privacy: if every frame can have a signature added, then every single copy can be "watermarked" and tracked to an individual.

        I was thinking of privacy, too, but not with regards to content from big media, but rather self-produced content. Based on the description, it sounds like some sort of "original creator" information will also be added to the video.

        With this technology, when you record a video of your child dancing to some copyrighted song, big media will have 100% proof that you were the one that did it and will be able to sue you more effectively.

        The same goes for any anonymous videos of police beating a suspect, etc. Un

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So it sounds like the easy way to upload "protected" content would be a quick transcode with a slightly different bitrate, thereby removing the per frame signature, causing it to be unrecognizable by the automated checker...

  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:13AM (#32152152)

    Where the fuck did MPEG 7 come from? I refuse to accept that I, sitting here in front of my 4 screens with a laser mouse, grazing the internet for Roomba cat videos, have never heard of such a thing.

    And next, MPEG is in the anti-piracy business now? What the fuck?

    Hmmm only 2 expletives up there, good things come in threes. Fuck.

    • by Tukz (664339)

      I'm with you there.
      Unless MPEG 7 have been sneaking around by another name, this is the first I hear of it.

    • Re:First of all.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by squidinkcalligraphy (558677) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:34AM (#32152312)

      MPEG-7 is a metadata standard for multimedia. It is not involved in the actual encoding of the content (like mpeg 1, 2 and 4 are). Basically it attaches a chunk of xml to a timecode. Look up wikipedia if you want to know more.

      There also exists an MPEG-21, for those interested.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by forkazoo (138186)

      Where the fuck did MPEG 7 come from? I refuse to accept that I, sitting here in front of my 4 screens with a laser mouse, grazing the internet for Roomba cat videos, have never heard of such a thing.

      Dude, you don't even want to know how much your mind is going to be blown when you find out that there is an MPEG-21 already. Yeah, really.

    • Re:First of all.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2010 @03:06AM (#32152438)

      Yeah, this is pretty hilarious, also your comment is a bit misinformed, but I don't really blame you for that, so here's the low down...

      MPEG-7 is a content description standard - that is, it can be used with MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (which includes h.264 quite notably...) to add metadata to the data streams.

      Okay, so now we're talking about an NEC extension to MPEG-7 that they're trying to sell - even though MPEG-7 is largely unused right now. Also, notice I say unused now, implying the standard is done. That's because it is done. MPEG-7 isn't "going" to contain anything - it already exists! This is just an extension to it being proposed by someone who has a new patent and wants to get in the patent pool doubtless.

      Okay, now to address your comment. MPEG has nothing to do with patents or licensing. MPEG = Motion Picture Experts Group, they help design and create video standards, and they're very intelligent people. The people you want to be mad at is MPEG-LA - no relation to MPEG whatsoever except their name. MPEG-LA creates patent pools for "essential" patents and then license them to implementors, distributors, and anyone who they can convince people needs them. MPEG-LA is pretty bad, but compared to some other patent people (look at Via's licensing for AAC...) they're not so bad - first 100,000 units sold don't have to pay royalties, any freely distributed videos don't have to pay royalties. Not saying they're good, but they're just not quite as bad as everyone else out there doing patent enforcement...

      So please, don't blame the kind people a MPEG for MPEG-LA. Blame MPEG-LA themselves, http://mpegla.com/

      Sincerely,
      Your friendly codec developer/implementer

      • by bit01 (644603)

        So please, don't blame the kind people a MPEG for MPEG-LA.

        The MPEG people created a standard without considering the patent impact, including costs both explicit and hidden. That's at least negligent and makes for a potentially poor standard if for no other reason than it can't be freely used.

        Personally, I wish it wasn't so but unfortunately because of the rise of the patent parasites all technical standards have to consider this now.

        ---

        How many million man hours has the advertising industry cost today?

      • by williamhb (758070) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:27AM (#32152920) Journal

        So please, don't blame the kind people a MPEG for MPEG-LA. Blame MPEG-LA themselves, http://mpegla.com/ [mpegla.com]

        It's that blasted media franchising culture again, isn't it! CSI, great. CIS-Miami, wall to wall sunglass gestures. CSI NY, ghastly. MPEG, lovely. MPEG-LA, rubbish. And you just know the next one's going to be MPEG-Hawaii or something equally horrible.

    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Monday May 10, 2010 @03:57AM (#32152592)

      Ah, the friendly folks over at Red Vs. Blue did a public service anouncement about this a few years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvNeHthx3Ng [youtube.com]

      Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch some MP48's on my HHD DVVDD BVD player.

    • Obviously, it's the next version of MPEG. And the one after will be MPEG 11. Sheesh, can't you handle simple arithmetic progressions?

  • by Bonker (243350) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:13AM (#32152156)

    This does bupkiss to aid consumers.

    This does very little to deter 'real' pirates who mockup fake merchandice.

    This does very little to deter downloaders.

    What it does do is try to provide a frame-by-frame signature of video, so if a video's been ripped, they know which copy it was.

    Until, of course, those in part 2 and 3 above start detecting and scrubbing that data.

    Meanwhile, you're going to charge your customers more for a product that's crippled, and therefore inferior to the pirated version.

    It's honestly like you guys are determined to kill yourselves in the most expensive, controversial way possible. May I humbly recommend the Hutchins/Carradine route instead. It's a lot more pleasant and leaves a lot less mess.

    • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:59AM (#32152410)

      What it does do is try to provide a frame-by-frame signature of video, so if a video's been ripped, they know which copy it was.

      Until, of course, those in part 2 and 3 above start detecting and scrubbing that data.

      At least the screeners we download will no longer need to have a modest portion of the image blurred to cover the serial numbers previously used to determine where the video came from.

      So actually, they may be doing the downloaders a favor.

    • by meerling (1487879)

      It's honestly like you guys are determined to kill yourselves in the most expensive, controversial way possible. May I humbly recommend the Hutchins/Carradine route instead. It's a lot more pleasant and leaves a lot less mess.

      Except that it runs the risk of giving the cleaning crew a coronary...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "In related news, the Chairman of Box Networks is being prosecuted for Copyright Infringement. The release of "Last Blockbuster" to P2P networks from team XYZ had the Digital Rights Information of the Chairman imprinted in every frame."

      Would be awesome that the crackers found a way to alter the information in those frames (I realize that it would be encrypted, but a man can dream...).

    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:13AM (#32152638)
      The invisible hand of market forces is slapping the shit out of these companies. I wonder when they're going to realize that it's pointless fighting against it. Adding features that takes away value is no way to win customers. I would LOVE to PAY for an online streaming service, where I have access to all TV shows and movies with any choice of subtitles, and dubbed languages available. So far, since I'm in Germany, I found MaxDome, where I can only watch a limited selection of movies dubbed only in German, no subtitle options. What if I want to watch a movie that's not very well-known? I can either order it from Amazon, or just Google the movie title and stream it.
    • Not sure that would have the desired effect [youtube.com].

      I want a hundred fans, 200 teeny boppers
      I want police protection from 87 coppers
      I wanna go gold even better platinum
      If you wanna be a star you gotta kill yourself, man
      It's the truth step back, take a look around
      Elvis is dead for being fat - 500 pound
      Kurt Cobain's rich as fuck he's buried in the ground
      Jimi Hendrix and his amp still ain't makin' no sound
      Michael hutchence, he's one of 'em too
      Made a hundred million quid dying tossing on the loo

      (...)

      Committing suicide to enhance my career
      It worked for Mickey and Tupac Shakir
      Jesus was nailed up to some wood
      2000 years later and book sales are still good
      I heard in a song suicide is painless
      And it's 80% sure to make you famous
      Wanking with a bag on yer head tied to a door
      That bloke from INXS he knew the score

      - Goldie Lookin' Chain [azlyrics.com]

  • I can't wait (Score:4, Interesting)

    by masterwit (1800118) * on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:14AM (#32152166) Journal

    A new algorithm to crack, Math is Fun! (They don't realize that some of us do this as a passion, no I endorse fully supporting those companies that deserve it, but not everyone does this for piracy, its just a hella lotta fun to crack the reported "uncrackable".)

    Just my take, I love math.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      A new algorithm to crack, Math is Fun! (They don't realize that some of us do this as a passion, no I endorse fully supporting those companies that deserve it, but not everyone does this for piracy, its just a hella lotta fun to crack the reported "uncrackable".)

      Just my take, I love math.

      Which I find curious, considering the number of people in creative industries who are working because they too are driven by a passion and (were it not for minor irritations such as paying the mortgage and eating) would happily do it for free.

      • Which I find curious, considering the number of people in creative industries who are working because they too are driven by a passion and (were it not for minor irritations such as paying the mortgage and eating) would happily do it for free.

        I used to do it for free, before uni (fun and interest), during uni (fun and experimentation) and after uni (worked 5 months on a project, only thing I asked in return was to repay my lunch) until these minor irritations you mention became more pressing forcing me into

  • by bersl2 (689221) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:14AM (#32152168) Journal

    Not even a frickin' press release.

    Is somebody just trying to generate a few cheap click-throughs? A few unique hits?

  • Like is possible to stop a particular set of bits to move from network node A to network node B.

    • Uh, it's not? I'm having a remarkably hard time finding your credit card number here on network node B.

      I was guessing they're just trying to stop more of it than they are now, hoping that will mean more money for them. They don't need to make it completely impossible in all cases. Their people come up with a way to detect when someone uploads a clip from the NBC olympic coverage to youtube, and this method will detect it 2 hours faster than their current method, so they can take it down 2 hours faster.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrrudge (1120279)
        Credit card numbers are a bad example as they're a piece of information which is generally transferred securely between two parties who have motive for them to remain private. If credit card numbers were a product which was distributed to many people even one of whom fails to keep them private you would be able to access them on node B.

        Furthermore, if node B has internet access and it's user be sufficiently lacking in morals and know where to look, it's entirely possible that credit card numbers could be
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No, this won't detect anything any faster than before. As has been stated above, the metadata will just be removed (probably automatically) as part of the ripping process. Transcoding would destroy it entirely, so it would have only worked on bit for bit rips of the original stream anyway.

        It's simply another astoundingly stupid and completely ineffective idea for the media companies to waste their money on.

  • I RTFA, and I still wonder what, if anything, changes with this tech.

    Short of some draconian player mandate, how could this possibly matter?

    You can pry my NZB sourced mkv playing laptop from my cold dead hands.

  • by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:26AM (#32152246)
    If I share an MPEG 7 video, the copyright holder can see that it's their video. So I add one space to the Portuguese subtitles, the checksum changes and now they cannot easily see that it's their video. Was piracy stopped or aided?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      this was my first thought as well, you could just create an app to change a single pixel on each frame to a slightly different shade. hell even just re encoding it will change it.

      plus can you imagine the processing power that would be needed to check each frame in every movie being bit torrented? yes yes, i can see now this will definately stop those pirates.....

  • The best part (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:30AM (#32152276) Homepage

    Is that this changes absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    Pirated videos? Invariably re-encoded into something smaller. Bam! Checksum completely obliterated!

    Videos provided by the PR firm, placed on Youtube? Invariably re-encoded into something smaller. Bam! Checksum completely obliterated!

    Videos ripped straight off the DVD or Blu-Ray disc, byte for byte, then redistributed? Data not changed! Bam! Checksum . . . completely intact!

    So as I understand it, detecting an unauthorized video with MPEG 7 means you have to download it, determine what it's actually a video of if the checksum is utterly missing, and then, even if the checksum isn't missing, determine if it was authorized. This differs from the current approach, where you have to download it, determine what it's actually a video of no matter what, and then, despite the fact that it never had a checksum which would probably be gone now anyway, determine if it was authorized.

    Can anyone out there describe a form of copyright infringement that this actually helps detect?

    One that isn't invented for the sole purpose of being detected by this technique?

  • So you alter a small part of each frame and the signature changes. Or alter every single pixel like when you convert/compress to another format such as divx. So how will they track it? Use different human actors for each copy and then you have yourself a trackable system.
    • by bipbop (1144919)
      Different human actors? How silly! You could simply limit sales of each movie to one copy. Much less work!
  • How it works (Score:5, Informative)

    by scdeimos (632778) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:34AM (#32152304)
    • Re:How it works (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rufus211 (221883) <rufus-slashdot.hackish@org> on Monday May 10, 2010 @03:50AM (#32152578) Homepage

      Thanks for the link. That press release is surprisingly technical makes it clear that this has nothing to do with a successor to the MPEG4 codec / container format. It relates to:

      *2) MPEG-7 Video signature tools:
      This is an amendment to MPEG-7 Visual, a standard for content description interface for multimedia content that has been established as an international standard for identification technology of video content, as ISO/IEC 15938-3/Amd.4.

      There currently exist handful of different techniques for creating small signatures (76 bytes in this case) of a video frame. Content companies create sequences of signatures for all their videos and distribute the sequences. Youtube can then create a sequence of signatures for an uploaded file, compare it against all known sequences, and then do whatever with that knowledge.

      The MPEG group is just standardizing on one particular technique for creating the signatures, distributing them, and comparing them. In that case this is something sensable for the MPEG group to do, and isn't really good or evil.

  • MPEG-7 is not a video standard. MPEG-7 is a content description standard, developed starting in 2002, and without a phenomenal deployment. Having the ability to add metadata at the frame level would be a great boon to video editors, but from reading the article I have no clue what MPEG-7 has to do with their digital signature scheme, or why they think Yet Another Digital Signature Scheme will achieve what all of the previous Digital Signature Schemes have so obviously failed to.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:39AM (#32152342) Journal
    The secret sauce proprietary algorithm in the (puff piece) TFA sounds like a file verification mechanism, in the vein of CRC, hash verification, and friends. Which is odd; because the problem of keeping digital data reasonably uncorrupt is a serious one for Big Storage type outfits, and archivists; but it hasn't been much of a concern for team content. What they've wanted is watermarks, "traitor tracing", and all that. Now, a good verification algorithm is a terrible watermark algorithm, and vice versa, period. Verification algorithms are supposed to freak out if so much as a single bit has been twiddled. Watermark algorithms are supposed to be robust against common forms of tampering and re-encoding.

    So, what's the deal?

    1. It could be that "PC Authority" has been handed an NEC press release, and can't even handle the challenge of regurgitating it properly. In which case, any speculation based on the details of TFA is pointless, if TFA is so much commercial word salad.

    2. It could also be that PC Authority is reading the NEC release more or less correctly; but the release was just blitzed out by some PR flack, and they lack the context. This is, in fact, an integrity verification technology, designed to work quickly on video streams, that will be included in some future standard, as an obscure convenience to future editors and producers and archivists who will have to deal with 10,000 hours of MPEG7 video in OMG-4k-Super-def-3D, and need to know, fast, if any of it is getting munged. It would be a super boring, highly specific part of the spec, of basically no interest to the general public; but it could be more or less true as described.

    3. And here's the sinister conspiracy theory: Where do file integrity verification and DRM come together? If, and only if, planned devices are "default deny, play signed content only". If your Blu-ray2 player simply refused to play anything that isn't a wholly unaltered copy of a commercial release, the otherwise absurd(as noted above) notion that an integrity check algorithm can serve as a piracy deterrent becomes true... It wouldn't stop cammer kiddies from playing altered copies on general purpose PCs, if those are still alive; but making "blessed only" a condition of the licencing agreement for future STB-type devices would basically kill the unsophisticated pirated disk market(barring hardware hacks on specific devices, or really stupid mistakes in media design).
    • by Protoslo (752870) on Monday May 10, 2010 @03:14AM (#32152462)
      The truth seems to be a variation of #1: the writer at PC Authority didn't actually read the press release (alternative hypothesis: did read the release, and is not only innumerate but moderately mentally retarded), but rather made up speculative, mostly incorrect bullshit based on a blog reporting on a blog reporting on...a blog reporting on the actual press release. Like a fucked up internet game of telephone where the original source was there for the picking but still willfully ignored.

      The secret sauce [nec.co.jp] actually fingerprints video frames in a way that is invariant against most common alterations, including reencoding, analog capture, and hard-subs. Minor changes to the video...will leave the signature largely unaltered. No more manual checking (or keyword-search DMCA mailings?) for copyright violations.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thanshin (1188877)

        The secret sauce actually fingerprints video frames in a way that is invariant against most common alterations

        Finally, a post that actually informed me of something, with a decent link.

        OTOH, the system seems too fragile to resist any simple attack directed towards it. So if this ever gets enough attention, several tools will be created to specifically destroy the blueprint.

    • barring hardware hacks on specific devices, or really stupid mistakes in media design).

      Stupid mistakes like making the next gen disc media format even less versatile than the first gen, when fewer and fewer people are interested in the diminishing advantages to newer media formats, and streaming/downloaded videos are on the rise?

      Then again, blu-ray 1 seems to be gaining ground so slowly, it might not matter at all what is in blu-ray 2. I know few people with TVs that will show much of a difference between blu-ray and DVD, fewer people who have bought a blu-ray player, and no one who has boug

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      tl;dr
      I'm just sick of this shit.
      I'll vote pirate party. If it doesn't contain the madness, it will at least add some madness to my liking.
  • Terrible reporting (Score:3, Informative)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:44AM (#32152370) Journal
    Press release [nec.co.jp] Let's see - 1000 hours of video = 3.6 million seconds = 108 million frames (30fps). Not 104 billion.

    The signature is just 76 bytes. But a "home class PC" is 3GHz according a to a footnote. Perhaps the reporter could have read the original press release.

    This stores the difference in luminance between subregions of frames. No idea why this needs to be encoded in the video itself. Seems that all a pirate needs to do is tweak things adequately so the signature changes. And I don't quite see how detecting changes is a feature. Surely you're trying to detect things remaining the same...
    • by ElKry (1544795) on Monday May 10, 2010 @03:53AM (#32152588)
      And that's what it's supposed to do.

      If you read http://www.nec.com.au/News-Media/Media-Centre/Media-Releases/NEC-Develops-Video-Content-Identification-Technology-that-Detects-Illegal-Video-Copies-on-the-Internet-in-a-Matter-of-Seconds.html [nec.com.au] , you may notice that most people got this wrong, horribly wrong. This technology is aimed at accurately (they claim a 96% detection rate) detecting copies of the same video, whether they have been re-encoded, had subtitles added, or come from an analog source (cam, etc).

      The fact they mention ISPs and video hosting means that what is at stake here is the claim that "it's too expensive / impossible / whatever" to filter a video uploaded to youtube, or to megavideo, or generally speaking sent via your friendly ISP. By (supposedly) defeating this claim, they expect to make companies accountable for what the users share on their websites / lines / etc, as it becomes computationally trivial (or so they claim) to identify it - hence the mention to the 3Ghz single core home PC, something no company can claim not to be able to afford.

      I could have responded to any other slashdotter that got it wrong, but I chose you because of your last sentence, which I would have expected people would ask themselves before blindly believing anything they read. I know, I must be new here.
      • Perhaps it would have helped if the press release had called it a digital watermark instead of a signature. One is supposed to be resilient to changes and to allow the author to claim that they created the original material. The other should break under any changes and is used to attest that the material is unmodified.

        When a company uses the wrong name for their product, some confusion is understandable.

  • by syousef (465911) on Monday May 10, 2010 @02:44AM (#32152372) Journal

    Can it detect me refusing to watch...and finding better things to do with my time than either listen to a bunch of anti-piracy propaganda, or risking 5 years in jail every time I circumvent it?

    Keep freaking going. You wanna brainwash my kids? Well every anti-piracy disclaimer I have to sit through with my kids as they grow up, I'm going to explain that uncle Disney is so concerned with his cut that he's calling you a thief and making you wait 10 minutes and watch lies equating crimes to one another that are different. Every time they want to use a tune or video snippet in a school project I'm going to explain that we can't do that because it's not worth risking going to jail or selling our house to explain to a judge that we believed it was fair use or paying thousands of dollars in extortion money. Every time they hear about a film or tv show coming out overseas months before it does here in Australia, I'm going to point out that I'd love to buy them a copy but we can't break the law and the studio refuses to sell it to me until later and for much more money. Every time a DVD store rents us scratched DVDs I'm going to point out that no one is allowed to back up them up and that the reason that we can't have more is that the DVD store is too busy taking advantage of us to care about whether or not we can actually watch the DVDs (Seriously I just had 5 out of 10 childrens DVDs - weekly movies - scratched to hell and some with cracks on their spindle have major glitches, refuse to play etc and all the DVD store would do is buff the CDs and give the same broken DVDs back - of course they didn't play)

    Keep going till you have no customers you greedy cheap exploitative pigs.

  • If I'm recording / ripping, then I'm making my own original source. And I would imagine a re-encode to a codec like divx would strip the info. So what's the point?

  • by Protoslo (752870) on Monday May 10, 2010 @03:02AM (#32152426)

    The firm touts the efficiency of its algorithm, saying that a bog standard PC can search through 1,000 hours video in just one second. Quite what the firm's definition of a "home-class" PC would be interesting to know as we can't quite figure out how even a dual core 3GHz box can go through the 104 billion checks for 1,000 hours of video in a mere second.

    1000 hours of video has close to 104 million frames; that would yield around 60 cycles per frame on a dual core (i.e. old) box.

    The innumeracy of the author aside, what does this technology even do? Apparently altering the video, even minutely, will alter the "signature." Much like...CRC-32...very cutting-edge. We should name this startling development; I nominate the word "hash." Stupefied by the summary and the "article," I turned to the actual press release [nec.co.jp] to find out what the technology really (purportedly) does.

    1. Accurate detection of copied or altered video content Video signatures are extracted for each frame based on differences in the luminance between sets of sub-regions on a frame that are defined by a variety of locations, sizes, and shapes. Video signatures represent a unique fingerprint that can be individually detected frame by frame. This technology is capable of accurately detecting video content with that was created with such editing operations as analog capturing (*3), re-encoding (*4) and caption overlay (*5), which was conventionally very difficult to detect.
    ...
    4. Compatibility with home PCs By designing a compact signature size of 76 bytes per frame, the storage memory required for the matching process is minimized. As a result, a home-class PC (*8) can match approximately 1,000 hours of video in 1 second.

    It turns out that a home-class PC ("A single core CPU with 3GHz clock speed was used for testing purposes. Signatures were stored in the main memory.") is able to match 1000 hours that have already been hashed in a single second. No doubt it takes considerably longer to actually calculate the signatures. The power of the algorithm is that when the video is altered (in human-recognizable ways) the signature doesn't change much. Ah, things are starting to actually make sense. The truth is (surprise!) the opposite of the linked phrase in the summary.

    This technology may allow automated, accurate matching of copyrighted video on youtube or other video sites...who cares? That is already being done, only less accurately. The law would have to change rather drastically for it to be mandated that everyone includes correct hashes in their MPEG-7 video. That is hardly necessary--I'm sure someone will spare the cycles to hash the videos and inform content owners. Like they do now...only better. Maybe next time we can all have fun panicking about the "FaceRecognition descriptor" [webstore.iec.ch] (only the TOC/summary is free) instead. Really, the 76-byte signature is just an implementation of the metadata schema for MPEG-7. The algorithm should work for any format, however (otherwise it would be rather trivial to evade!).

    The only interesting thing I have learned is that NEC's algorithm uses robust, compactly representable edge detection (maybe) to compare short clips of video with extremely high accuracy; yay, computer science. All of this escaped Lawrence Latif, author of TFA (such as it is), who didn't see fit to RTFA himself before he started blogging his paranoid fantasies as fact. I wonder just who the "anonymous reader" that submitted the summary was?

  • At what point is a work a new derived work. If I were to alter every single frame with my own signature, does that mean it is a new work?
    It's like dealing with fractals. How long is a coastline/how much is original work. You could say that since every single frame has changed it is new. Or you could say that since only 1 percent of each frame has changed it is original.

    • by Sowelu (713889)
      Er, I think that if even the tiniest part of the original remains, that it's by very clear definition a derived work...
    • At what point is a work a new derived work.

      Just imagine what a judge or a jury would think.

      To a judge, intentions are important. A judge doesn't look at a problem like a computer would.

  • Does this mean that when I make a backup copy of a DVD to a web-based storage system (which should be perfectly legal imho), that my ISP will block me automatically?

  • Stick your DRM music, video, game, application bullshit where the sun doesn't shine. I've had enough of broken "protection" systems and restrictions on what I can do with what I own, and yes I do own that copy of the movie which I bought.

    I'm off to read a book.
  • owners (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jDeepbeep (913892) on Monday May 10, 2010 @09:42AM (#32154506)

    According to NEC this will allow the owners of the video to automatically 'detect illegal copies' and 'prevent illegal upload of video content' without their consent.

    If I bought it, that owner is me.

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