Paper 2000/004

Combinatorial Properties of Frameproof and Traceability Codes

J. N. Staddon, D. R. Stinson, and R. Wei


In order to protect copyrighted material, codes may be embedded in the content or codes may be associated with the keys used to recover the content. Codes can offer protection by providing some form of traceability for pirated data. Several researchers have studied different notions of traceability and related concepts in recent years. "Strong" versions of traceability allow at least one member of a coalition that constructs a "pirate decoder" to be traced. Weaker versions of this concept ensure that no coalition can "frame" a disjoint user or group of users. All these concepts can be formulated as codes having certain combinatorial properties. In this paper, we study the relationships between the various notions, and we discuss equivalent formulations using structures such as perfect hash families. We use methods from combinatorics and coding theory to provide bounds (necessary conditions) and constructions (sufficient conditions) for the objects of interest.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Unknown where it was published
frameproof codestraceabilitytraitor tracingcombinatorics
Contact author(s)
dstinson @ uwaterloo ca
2000-03-07: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {J. N.  Staddon and D. R.  Stinson and R.  Wei},
      title = {Combinatorial Properties of Frameproof and Traceability Codes},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2000/004},
      year = {2000},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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