News / Middle East

DNA Science Tracks Video Pirates

Films are marked with genetic codes to deter thieves

A genetic code for every film or video could make it easier to find bootlegged copies and prosecute criminals.
A genetic code for every film or video could make it easier to find bootlegged copies and prosecute criminals.

Multimedia

Audio
Rosanne Skirble

A Tel Aviv University engineer has developed a tool to put the brakes on video crime.

Illegal DVD sales and movie downloads cost the U.S. economy as much as $20 billion a year in lost business, jobs, wages and taxes. With more than 16 million downloads, the sci-fi thriller "Avatar" was the most pirated movie of 2010. It was also the top box-office hit of the year.

Alex Bronstein, who collaborated with a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University, says video-matching could help track pirates. The technique mimics the technology used to map the human genome - to detect pirated video clips.

"The idea is to represent videos as sequences of some letters over a visual alphabet, and find common subsequences in different genetic sequences," says Bronstein.  

The way it works is that an invisible grid would be applied over the produced film or video turning the footage into a series of numbers or its unique "genetic code."  Once a film has been sequenced, producers and copyright holders can scan the Internet for suspected illegal downloads. Bronstein says the technique is effective even when features like color and resolution have been altered, commercials added or scenes edited out.

"For example, you can record your video with a camcorder from a cinema screen and still the resulting genetic code of the recorded sequence will be very similar to what original video contained."  

Inspecting large databases for illegal videos produced in multiple formats is time consuming and labor intensive. Bronstein says video-matching can automate the process with greater accuracy. "We do it a much finer grain, in a much more robust way."   

That means illegal sites can be more quickly identified and shut down. Bronstein says his team has begun to commercialize the technology with a video indexing service. "You can upload your video clip, ask this service to index it and compute the video genome out of it. And, then once you have it, any other video you send to this service can be identified as one of the videos already existing in the database."  

Avatar was produced in 3-D, which filmmaker James Cameron had argued would make the movie pirate-proof. Alex Bronstein says video-matching is more likely to ensure that Cameron's next blockbuster will not top the list of most pirated films.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid