About the Trimark Anti-Piracy Solution

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 9, 2007
Updated • Jul 19, 2013

I first read about Trimark at the Torrent Freak blog. This new anti-piracy solution targets websites and the Usenet by scanning the contents for serial numbers that have been implemented into music files. An identified serial number would lead to the owner - the person that purchased the music - who will be held reliable for the damages caused by the spreading.

The article did not contain information about the technology behind Trimark other than that the "identification code maintains it’s integrity, despite copying or ripping." This is a very bold statement and I personally don't think that such a system will be possible unless they implement it in music that can be purchased in digital form only.

Trimark assumes that users who spread music are purchasing it before they spread it. While this might be true for the occasional P2P user this does not hold true for the big release groups. They get their stuff directly from the producers, the factory or a retail store without a possibility to be identified.

Several cases speak for themselves where music albums have been found on P2P networks weeks or even months before the official release date.

Let us suppose they release Trimark and integrate it into all digital mp3's that are sold:

  • This does not bother the release groups who spread the music albums way before anyone else gets their hands on them.
  • This does not bother users who rip audio CDs and make them available on P2P.
  • This does not bother users that record Internet radio and share it.
  • This does not bother the users who know about Trimark.
  • This does not bother downloaders at all.
  • The main target as I can see it are the users who do not know about Trimark and upload some of their purchased songs to the Usenet. I'm not able to estimate the number but I personally do not think that it will be such a large amount of users.

I can only come to the conclusion from what we know about Trimark that the system will be highly ineffective. As always, the only users that are found this way are the ones that are not informed about this new system.


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  1. OLIRC said on June 10, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Nope Dante. No years of experience in this field other then i had music been stolen from cars several times so it’s not completely unbelievingly.

    Of course if we talking about millions of music tracks then you’re busted in court.

  2. Dante said on June 10, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Sigh… another armchair lawyer. Years of experience in this field I see. The court will listen to that particular argument. Than note that your music has been “consistently” stolen and posted on the Internet. Guess what will happen next?

  3. OLIRC said on June 10, 2007 at 11:45 am

    What if you get your music stolen because you left your player in a car for example? Nah can’t say that this “Trimark solution” stand a chans in court because everyone will state that they got their music player stolen so eat that Trimark!

  4. Dante said on June 9, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Anyone stupid enough to buy overpriced Apple products, like the iPod and pay for iTunes gets this embedded into their music. But than nobody ever said Apple users had any IQ larger than their shoe size.

  5. gnome said on June 9, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Lovely post ;)

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