Paper 2020/1339

New Approaches for Quantum Copy-Protection

Scott Aaronson, Jiahui Liu, Qipeng Liu, Mark Zhandry, and Ruizhe Zhang


Quantum copy protection uses the unclonability of quantum states to construct quantum software that provably cannot be pirated. Copy protection would be immensely useful, but unfortunately little is known about how to achieve it in general. In this work, we make progress on this goal, by giving the following results: –We show how to copy protect any program that cannot be learned from its input/output behavior, relative to a classical oracle. This improves on Aaronson [CCC’09], which achieves the same relative to a quantum oracle. By instantiating the oracle with post-quantum candidate obfuscation schemes, we obtain a heuristic construction of copy protection. –We show, roughly, that any program which can be watermarked can be copy detected, a weaker version of copy protection that does not prevent copying, but guarantees that any copying can be detected. Our scheme relies on the security of the assumed watermarking, plus the assumed existence of public key quantum money. Our construction is general, applicable to many recent watermarking schemes.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
quantum cryptographycopy protectioncopy detection
Contact author(s)
jiahui @ utexas edu
2020-10-27: revised
2020-10-26: received
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      author = {Scott Aaronson and Jiahui Liu and Qipeng Liu and Mark Zhandry and Ruizhe Zhang},
      title = {New Approaches for Quantum Copy-Protection},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/1339},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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