dailymail.co.uk reports that secret ‘watermarks’ record details of every person who pirates a music or TV file to give to police
New technology that tracks the details of every person who illegally downloads a file could wipe out video and music piracy, researchers say.
Experts from Australia’s Deakin University and Japan’s Aizu University created the breakthrough watermarking technology which leaves a trail identifying every user who has illegally distributed a file.
Lead researcher on the project, Deakin University’s Yong Xiang, said unlike previous watermarks his do not compromise the quality of the original audio.
His new technology is also unable to be tampered with, unlike previous versions which allowed watermarks to be tampered with when people edited audio files.
The improved watermarks would enable music distributors to identify the source of leaked contents and pass them onto police, providing irrefutable evidence of content misuse in support of legal action.
‘What we did was to enable music file owners and relevant law enforcement authorities to use a secret key to extract the watermark data from the watermarked multimedia object,’ he said.
Globally, 95 per cent of music downloads are illegal.
In Australia, around 2.8 million people download music illegally via file sharing networks.
Wanlei Zhou, head of the School of IT at Deakin, said the technology could also be used to stop TV and movie piracy.