Collusion secure fingerprinting for digital data

Authors: D. Boneh and J. Shaw

The paper discusses methods for assigning codewords for the purpose of fingerprinting digital data, e.g., software, documents, music, and video. Fingerprinting consists of uniquely marking and registering each copy of the data. This marking allows a distributor to detect any unauthorized copy and trace it back to the user. This threat of detection will deter users from releasing unauthorized copies. A problem arises when users collude: for digital data, two different fingerprinted objects can be compared and the differences between them detected. Hence, a set of users can collude to detect the location of the fingerprint. They can then alter the fingerprint to mask their identities. We present a general fingerprinting solution which is secure in the context of collusion. In addition, we discuss methods for distributing fingerprinted data.

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol 44, No. 5, pp. 1897-1905, 1998
Extended abstract in proceedings of Crypto '95

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