Video`s DNA could check piracy

Israeli researchers have developed a novel technique to track video piracy and nip it in the bud.

Updated: Dec 22, 2010, 16:08 PM IST

Washington: Israeli researchers have developed a novel technique to track video piracy and nip it in the bud.

The technique is "video DNA matching". It detects aberrations in pirated videos in the same way that biologists detect mutations in the genetic code to determine an individual`s family connections.

Alex Bronstein of Tel Aviv University`s Department of Electrical Engineering, with his twin Michael, as also Ron Kimmel, has developed the solution to stop video pirates - treating video footage like DNA.

"It`s not only members of the animal and plant kingdom that can have DNA," says Bronstein who was inspired by sequencing tools used in bioinformatics labs, according to a Tel Aviv statement.

"If a DNA test can identify and catch criminals, we thought that a similar code might be applicable to video. If the code were copied and changed, we`d catch it."

Of course, video does not have a real genetic code like members of the animal kingdom, so Bronstein and his team created a DNA analogue like a unique fingerprint that can be applied to video files.

The technology employs an invisible sequence and series of grids applied over the film, turning the footage into a series of numbers.

The tool can then scan the content of websites where pirated films are believed to be offered, pinpointing subsequent mutations of the original.

Video piracy occurs on a massive scale, causing the global film industry and the US economy loss of billions of dollars annually.

Production companies know their only hope in recouping stolen content is by automating the process. "Video DNA" can provide a more accurate and useful form of this automation.

IANS