A method of comparing two multimedia documents includes a three-step registration process. Each document is analyzed to extract concrete or abstract single medium or multimedia elements (meta-segments) from the document. The meta-segments are categorized to identify categories of information in the document. Then, a meta-identifier is produced for the document from the information that identifies the contents of the meta-segments. After registration, traces of the multimedia documents can be compared, without requiring the entire contents of the multimedia documents to be compared.

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