Consumer Strategies for Deterring Illegal File-Sharing Using Digital Serial Numbers

The Digital Watermark Alliance (DWA) released last month the results of a survey it commissioned. The purpose was to evaluate what the impact of using Digital Serial Number (DSN) would have on piracy. Digital Serial Number embeds through watermark a unique identifier of the device that rendered the content. This allows to trace back the origin of an eventual leakage.

The answer is obviously that it would have an effect. About half of the responders admitted that they would stop file sharing. This is probably not a surprise for anybody.

A more interesting output is the reasons why about half responders would not stop file sharing.

– I don’t download enough to be caught.
– The online community will remove DSNs.
– DSNs will not be enforced strongly enough to make a difference.
– My downloading would remain the same as a statement of principle.
– The BitTorrent community can avoid sharing files with DSNs.
– The risk is worth it.

The document also highlights that DSN is deterrent only if users are aware of it.

The document is available here.

PS: THOMSON is member of DWA.

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