Digital Fingerprinting for Multimedia Security and Forensics

"With the development of the Internet and multimedia processing techniques,
the protection of multimedia content has become increasingly important. 
While cryptographic encryption is a powerful tool for access control and
confidentiality protection, the protection usually terminates once the content
is delivered and decrypted.

Digital Fingerprinting is an emerging technology to protect
multimedia from unauthorized redistribution. It embeds a unique ID into each
user’s copy, which can be extracted to help identify culprits when an
unauthorized leak is found. A powerful, cost-effective attack is the collusion
attack from a group of users, where the users combine their copies of the same
content but with different fingerprints to generate a new version. If designed
improperly, the fingerprints can be attenuated or even removed by the
collusion attack."

The research team at University of Maryland led by Dr. Min Wu has
been doing work in this particular field of content protection
technology, looking into different issues such as theory, design,
attacks and counter-attacks (anti-collusion) for fingerprinting.  

Their published research papers are documented at
http://www.ece.umd.edu/~minwu/research/ACC_fingerprint.html and all
papers are downloadable.

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CCP Industry Updates – July





The Philippines: ISDB-T or DVB-T?

The Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is still
indecisive about choosing a digital broadcast TV standard. The NTC is choosing
between Japan’s ISDB-T and Europe’s DVB-T. Digital TV involves a set of
standards for TV broadcasting channel in HD.

The Philippines is still using analog TV signals, yet is on the verge of a
switchover to digital TV. This transition opens up more opportunities in the
marker, especially for transmission provider. “The more channels and other
digital content providers for a market, the pricing would continue to go down.
The cost of the technology itself would go down as demand rises,” Fernandez,
Managing Director of MediaScape, said.

The transition to digital TV is expected to be completed in 2015. However,
Melvin Acosta, member of the NTC’s technical working group, pointed out that
there are many issues that need to be put into consideration. "There are
three challenges. One is the selection of the format from analog, then the
frequency planning, and then the business model to be implemented. 2015 is the
original proposal and so far it’s okay but in the first place there are no
format adaptors in place at all yet," he said.

Both Japan and the European Commission are pushing for the adoption of their
own standard. Japanese officials visited the Philippines to promote the ISDB-T,
while French government officials and executives from broadcasting companies
endorsed the DVB-T standard during a one-day seminar at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon
City. John Bigeni, representative of DVB forum for Asia-Pacific said that the
cost for DVB-T-enabled set top boxes is cheaper than those of the ISDB-T.

The country is also seeing a shift toward LCD TVs which use digital signals
and require installation of set-top boxes, against a steady decrease in the
number of CRT TVs. The price of LCD TVs is going down, making them more
affordable to Filipino buyers. “In 2008, there were more than 100,000 high
definition TVs sold, which could double in the next three to five years,”
Fernandez said.

More information at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20090615-210630/Govt-still-undecided-on-digital-TV-standard
and http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/06/10/09/ntc-choose-standard-digital-broadcast
and http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business5_june11_2009

Time Warner and Comcast to offer
online video subscription

Time Warner and Comcast have agreed to test an online video subscription offering.
The new business model is based on principles designed to adapt the pay-TV model
for a digital media environment. It is known as “TV Everywhere” or “On-Demand
Online”.

The partnership makes it possible for Comcast subscribers to access programming
from Time Warner’s HBO, TNT and CCN networks online free and on-demand. Comcast
will begin a national trial of its “On-Demand Online” service that carries
programming from TNT and TBS networks. The shows will be available on TNT.tv,
TBS.com, Comcast.net and Fancast.com.

“TV Everywhere” will allow any third-party cable, satellite or telco video distributor
to access the online content streams for free as long as they are paying
subscribers somewhere in the distribution channel.

The move, according to industry experts, made cable companies relevant
against the threat posed by the growing market for repurposed streams of TV
programming and movies offered for free online at Hulu.com, TV.com and other
sites. Moreover, with more certain revenue streams, studios would be more
willing to free up rights and offer content to the new site. It could be
potentially a more lucrative model than Hulu owing to the solid subscriber base
for cable companies.

More information at http://www.homemediamagazine.com/electronic-delivery/time-warner-comcast-partner-online-tv-business-model-16172

Argentina tests ISDB transmission for
digital broadcasting

Transmission using Japan/Brazil hybrid ISDB standard for digital
broadcasting is now being tested on Argentina’s local Channel 7. Results of the
trials will be evaluated and decisions will be taken on the possible national
adoption of the standard.

Brazil, an adopter and also eager promoter of Japan’s ISDB, is aiming to
turn it into a regional choice, especially the Japanese/Brazilian hybrid
digital TV transmission standard. Brazil’s Minister of Communications, Helio
Costa, forecasted that the Japanese standard would prevail in South America.
Peru already adopted ISDB. Columbia, however, has chosen DVB, the European
standard.

More information at http://www.rapidtvnews.com/index.php/200906304164/argentina-starts-isdb-test-transmissions.html
and http://www.rapidtvnews.com/index.php/200906254132/brazil-works-hard-for-isdb.html

Nexicon finds new way to tackle online
piracy

Nexicon, the online piracy watchdog, has found a new model to tackle piracy
and hopefully turn it into profit as well. The company now offers alleged
file-sharers of illegitimate/copyrighted materials the chance to settle for $10
per download, be it a song or a pirated movie. If the offender chooses not to
comply, Nexicon will take them to court, where financial charges might get more
serious.

Nexicon monitors BitTorrent swarms and other file-sharing networks and
records the IP addresses of sharers of copyrighted work. The monitoring
software would then send an automated email to the ISP linked to the identified
IP address, requesting the email to be forwarded to the alleged infringers. The
email offers a settlement of $10 per download within a period of time,
otherwise legal action will ensue.

Nexicon has also recently founded the Video Protection Alliance, a form of
partnership with several porn studios to track down and force settlements from copyright
infringers.

More information at http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1431918/nexicon-automates-threats-filesharers and http://torrentfreak.com/automated-legal-threats-turn-piracy-into-profit-090628

Computer manufacturers comply with
Chinese government’s Green Dam – Youth Escort plan

The Chinese government has recently required all computers shipped to the
country to be pre-installed with content filtering software called the Green
Dam – Youth Escort. The government said the mandatory inclusion was aimed to
block pornography and other content deemed inappropriate for children.

Acer and Sony, two major computer makers, have indicated that they will
comply with the new law, despite concerns that the software might potentially
damage the PCs as it contains security flaws.  Other PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard (HP)
and Dell seem to be waiting for a diplomatic fix.

A spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
(MIIT) said that installation of the software can be delayed for those PC
manufacturers who are not yet ready to bundle it with their computers due to
heavy workload. MIIT now allows PC makers to delay the installation according
to their actual situation.

China is an enticing market, with 14% of the world’s PCs are sold and the
market will likely to account for 16% of sales in 2012, according to research
firm Gartner.

More information at http://www.cecc.gov/publications/commission-analysis/chinese-government-requires-censorship-software-to-accompany
and http://www.chinatechnews.com/2009/07/01/10066-miit-installation-of-green-dam-can-be-delayed-for-unprepared-manufacturers

Update on the Australian government’s
Internet content filtering system

The Australian government is currently testing its Internet content
filtering system, which involves a mandatory filtering program that would block
access to “refused classification” material. The “refused classification” is
determined by a government-run ratings agency that will screen out content such
as child pornography and deviant/abusive sexual behavior etc. An optional
filtering tier will allow families to block access to legal pornography found
online. The problem is the system will probably rule out video games too.

Video games with violent content will have to be altered in order to be
legally sold in the country; otherwise they will be marked with “refused
classification.” The mandatory filtering system will potentially block access
to downloadable games if they don’t qualify for the rating.

The ratings board examines the link upon receipt of complaints and will rate
the content and add the reported link to the database, and if it falls under
refused classification, it will be blocked, a government official
explained. 

The Australian government has had past measures such as legal threats to
enforce a similar regime, and the filtering system is the latest attempt. The
plan raises questions about freedom of speech, cost for implementation and
efficacy.

More information at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/06/australian-net-filter-to-block-video-games-too.ars

Widevine provides DRM solution for iPhones

Widevine recently announced that Synchronous Communications has become a
licensed reseller of Widevine DRM and Adaptive Streaming for the Apple iPhone.
Synchronous Communications provides IPTV DRM technology to Chunghwa Teleco, one
of the largest IPTV service operators and the exclusive distributor of the
iPhone in Taiwan.

The Widevine DRM solution helps Synchronous Communications to apply wide
range of business and usage models for the iPhone. The services include mobile
PVR downloads, purchases, rentals, subscription services and offline playback.
The content protection technology helps deliver content securely and
legitimately. 

More information at http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Widevine-NASDAQ-AAPL-1010361.html

ION Media launches over-the-air
mobile DTV broadcast

ION Media recently announced the launch of over-the-air mobile DTV
broadcasts in New York City and Washington, D.C. The launch marks an expectedly
lucrative terrestrial datacasting service.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, a consortium of broadcasters and
manufacturers promoting over-the-air mobile DTV standard, previously announced
that tests for the standard, voted on by the ATSC, would commence in Washington
D.C.

Other participants in the tests are Fox Television Stations’ WDCA-DT, Gannett
Broadcasting’s WUSA-DT, NBC Universal’s WRC-DT, PBS’ WHUT-DT and MHz Networks,
Sinclair Broadcast Group’s operated WNUV-DT and National Datacast, a subsidiary
of PBS.

About 80 stations nationwide have signed up
to test mobile DTV signals. Four TV stations in Atlanta and Seattle will become
model stations for technical research and development of device
interoperability.

More information at http://www.ionmedianetworks.com/press/ion-media-networks-launches-digital-broadcast-tri?id=164

India’s DTH market to enjoy steady growth

RNCOS, an industry
research firm, has forecasted that the Indian DTH (direct-to-home) market has a
lot of market potential for growth, based on past performance with subscriber
base of more than 12 million and total number of TV homes at around 130 million
in 2008.

The DTH subscriber base
is expected to enjoy 30% growth rate during 2009-2012. DTH services are
attractive to Indian consumers with audiovisual digital quality, interactive
features and real-time recording. Companies are also offering cheaper service
packages with more affordable services at lower fees which could attract more
customers.

The report identifies
and analyzes both success factors and existing issues with the Indian DTH
market, and also gives a future outlook.

More information at http://www.prlog.org/10267748-india-set-to-see-rapid-growth-in-dth-subscriber-base.html

 

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