[FFmpeg-devel] Stamping videos with info per download

Michael Niedermayer michaelni
Tue May 12 19:49:50 CEST 2009

On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 08:12:28AM -0400, steward at manscat.com wrote:
> First post to this list.
> Please forgive and redirect if this is not the right place.
> Problem: unauthorized distribution of original material.
> Would it be possible for an internet shop to "stamp" a download with
> purchaser information?

I wouldnt do that.

First i wouldnt treat customers like prisoners/slaves

second iam not a lawyer, so iam just guessing but there are privacy
protection laws in some contries that likely make this illegal and the penalty
for that might be a little higher than sharing a song worth a few cents with
ones friends. That of course is unless you have the worlds best lawyers money
can buy (aka you are the RIAA) and hand pick who you sue.

third your customer has a right to sell the movie she got from you, and in
that case, the "stamp" as you call it does not match the owner anymore.

> So that later, if the movie turns up at rapidshare,
> torrents, free sites etc, we would be be able to identify the rogue?

no, the rogue will remove this information, besides she did use a
wrong name to buy from you to begin with.

> Any hints, links, advice much appreciated.

hint: copyright was the correct thing to get authors their cash while making
books/... available to the public when copying was an expensive process.
As copying cost something anyway, giving the author a share is a natural
solution ...

In the digital world this system is no longer a reasonable choice. One can
practically freely give a movie or book to everyone on earth, that no doubt
IS a advantage for everyone compared to a system restricting copying.

The question is not how to make a 500 ton boulder stay on top of a standing
toothpick, nor is it about finding out whos fault it was if the toothpick
breaks or the boulder gets out of balance. The question is just how to update
the rest of the outdated system when the boulder sits solidly on the whole


Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities
are wrong. -- Voltaire
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