Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2008/243

On the economic payoff of forensic systems when used to trace Counterfeited Software and content

Yacov Yacobi

Abstract: We analyze how well forensic systems reduce counterfeiting of soft- ware and content. We make a few idealized assumptions, and show that if the revenues of the producer before the introduction of forensics (Ro) are non-zero then the payoff of forensics is independent of the overall market size, it declines as the ratio between the penalty and the crime (both monetized) goes up, but that this behavior is reversed if Ro = 0. We also show that the payoff goes up as the ratio between success probability with and without forensics grows; however, for typical parameters most of the payoff is already reached when this ratio is 5.

Category / Keywords: foundations / Counterfeiting, piracy, forensics, economics

Date: received 29 May 2008

Contact author: yacov at microsoft com

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Version: 20080603:011452 (All versions of this report)

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