A friend of mine is being accused for theft and the only evidence for that is a video camera of a nearby shop where he just passed normally. The time on the video matches. He says it's a set up. The court needs evidence that a video with such low quality can be changed (the time in the corner of the video). Is this something that is easy to change and are there any reliable sources that talk about this?

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    I would also point out though that it doesn't really make sense that a neighboring store would provide footage with altered time code. Why not go to that store and ask if you can verify it is the footage they provided and verify if the clock on their camera is correct. – AJ Henderson Dec 18 '14 at 15:05

I'll assume the time code is at the top or bottom of the video, and off to one side. In simple video-editing software (like Adobe Premiere or even the free Apple software iMovie), an editor could zoom in on the shot to crop out the timecode.

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At this point, though, the editor would have to create a fake timecode and lay it over the top of the video convincingly. Once that was done, the editor would save the video as a new file which would appear nearly the same as the original but with a new timecode.


The easiest way would be to simply add a timecode to video that doesn't have one. If you had a clean video, it's super trivial to add something to it. It would be quite a bit harder to alter something if there was already timecode put there (unless cropping would work like BrettFromLA suggests), but it could also be argued that the clock was also simply wrong on the camera.

Your best bet is to have a video forensics guy look it over for signs of manipulation and have them act as an expert witness.

  • The thing against nobody can complain is corruption in the court and police. In this city criminal is the number 1 problem. Most of the criminals are protected by the government (city stories) and the court need way better results to reach the contry average. That results in vast of wrong adjudicated cases. (A Comp.Science spealist already said that it's 'almost impossible' to change the video - we believe he's payed to say that). It was not a clean video. The idea of @BrettFromLA is great. If the size of this video and other clips differ, it means that the video clip is cropped! Thanks! – PlayItCoolowski Dec 19 '14 at 15:33
  • Oh wow, if a computer scientist said it is "almost impossible" to change the video, they are full of crap and outright lying. Besides, a computer scientist is in no way remotely qualified to make that kind of claim anyway without other credentials. The best bet is still to find the original then. – AJ Henderson Dec 19 '14 at 15:36

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