With the TTS, even the most demanding music distribution models are facile operations.
Build your online merchandising model and make it happen with the security and customer-relationship management technologies integrated into the Trusted Transaction Server. Are you ready to answer the demands of media consumers and deliver full-fidelity digital versions of your media online?
Customers sign up and choose the content that they want at your online store. The Trusted Transaction Server delivers content in a hardened DOWNLOAD PACKAGE (DLP) – a fuss-free cryptographic container that keeps all but the authorized user with his own account key from accessing it.
With that package you can deliver liner notes, pictures, Web links and individualized promotional materials that are attached through Giovanni’s SecureChannel watermarking system, fun stuff that can only be accessed by the licensed consumer, rewarding and thereby promoting authorized use.
For supply chain auditing, you can download unwrapped out-of-chain media files and trace its authorized sales route through the secreted Forensic Watermark that you placed in them before distribution to consumers or your online retailing partners. Downstream distributors and fulfillment houses can be audited with ease. They’ll know no act of piracy will be shielded by anonymity when Giovanni is travelling with your content.
Typical deployment scenario as played out by the consumer, the working server and, finally, the copyright holder.
TTS organizes a commerce environment in which security and copyright protection are maintained at every step in the process and at every lifecycle stage of the content – even if it is captured at the sound card or through analogue pick-up.
Here we describe the typical deployment scenario as played out by the consumer, the working server and, finally, the copyright holder.
With the TTS, even the most demanding media distribution models are facile operations.
The core of Blue Spike’s Trusted Transaction Server architecture is the use of the SecureChannel as a value-added component to new media formats. SecureChannel is an auxiliary channel through which all of the members of the production and distribution chain can communicate with individual consumers.
The architecture of the Trusted Transaction Server ensures that only the consumer holding the appropriate account key will be able to access SecureChannel goodies. This reinforces compliance with copyright by delivering added-value experiences to those who keep their part of “fair use” and “first sale doctrine” bargains and keep their authorized copies to themselves. The content the bargain and keep their authorized copies to themselves. The content SecureChannel carries will be the inducement for consumers to use a system that gives them entirely new ways to enjoy their music in trade for removing their ability to redistribute music at will.
What can be packed into the SecureChannel? Let’s imagine:
The progeny of the Napsters of the world cannot all be sued out of existence. The white market will, at some point, have to provide a better, easier and more engaging alternative. Imagine the power and utility of media objects like songs that are animated, through watermarking, to provide new services, new opportunities and an entirely new level of interactivity through SecureChannel technology.
In comparison, black-market offerings would appear as exciting as a Pong game to a 17-year-old Quake junkie. Yeah, right, it’s free. So? With Blue Spike’s SecureChannel watermarking system, the content itself becomes a persistent and recursive marketing instrument that directs the consumer to other new online experiences, products and services at your Web site. After its purchase, a song used to have no further economic value. Now it can be a marketing partner, full-time and forever at the service of your company.
Your Online Auditor
Today, the biggest threat to the multimedia industry remains professional piracy of packaged media. Since every CD or DVD disc manufactured represents a perfect replica of the master copy, content owners are currently unable to determine whether a selected copy is authentic or has been illegally duplicated. Also, with the anticipated future success of electronic content distribution, content owners need a way to establish ownership over each digital copy. Blue Spike’s secure forensic watermarks allow both packaged media and digital downloads to be easily authenticated.
A Giovanni forensic watermark is embedded into a signal, providing information on its owner and its origin. Giovanni’s forensic watermarks are integrated and repeated at random locations within the content, making it difficult for potential pirates to detect and ultimately alter or remove.
That essential functionality provides enormous power to the creators and their distributors who want to keep their customers and channel partners honest. A forensic watermark used in a digital download can uniquely identify content’s authorized user, providing a powerful disincentive to casual, pass-along piracy. More importantly in its commercial aspects, the content owner can use a secure forensic watermark to verify that content was distributed by the appropriate channel and delivered to the proper destination.
The same analysis for application of digital watermarking or similar applied steganographic techniques enables uniqueness to be attributed to software applications, documents and value-added information outside of the entertainment and media industries. Medical information, insurance documents, evidence in legal proceedings, all represent important verticals for the application of Blue Spike’s Giovanni forensic watermarks.
A digital watermark is, in essence, a hidden message, within a digitized image, video or audio recording. The watermark is integrated into the content itself, so it requires no additional storage space. It can contain any information that the party writing the watermark cares to embed into a given work. Practically speaking though, space is at a premium, so the embedded message is usually quite small, often a short number. However that identifier can be mapped to any other kind of information – the composer’s name, the studio musicians who recorded his composition, or the name and e-mail address of the consumer who purchased a copy of the recording. Unlike a traditional watermark on paper, which is generally visible to the eye, digital watermarks can be made invisible or inaudible. They can, however, be read by a computer with the proper decoding software.
Digital watermarks make it possible to “establish responsibility” over copies of a given work in the digital domain. The lack of “audit trails” is the most compelling barrier to online commerce for digitized works of art and music. Pirated music and videos can be traded anonymously among parties that do not know each other through online indexing and copying suites like Napster, Gnutella and Freenet. Recovered copies of works pirated through these systems do not reveal anything about the parties that are trading them.
Blue Spike’s definition of “digital watermark” and Giovanni® watermarking technologies further address the fact that the information embedded, essentially the watermark message, is independently invaluable to the content because it is used to establish responsibility for the work. Subsequent post-production copies of it that are licensed by distributors, agents and consumers can all be marked with identifying information that ties a given copy to an identifiable party. Consumers can participate in online music trading schemes, but not without revealing their complicity in acts of piracy. Likewise, out-of-channel music files can be traced back to distributors and fulfillment houses that are responsible for their distribution.
Anything a publisher deems useful can be encoded (The limits are the size of the target media and the size of the data to be encoded). Watermarks can be tailored to downstream users as a class, including information that can be used to enhance the playback of a piece of music on special equipment. Or they can be written to include any kind of consumer data, enabling the kind of one-to-one marketing schemes that are more easily animated online than any other medium. Our advice is that watermark information relate closely to distribution channels of the content to be watermarked and subsequently distributed.
No, although the debate regarding how universal any digital watermarking system may be is now taking place.
Besides the debates within the content business on Digital Television, copy control techniques initiated by legislative pressures such as the Hollings Bill and several other bills introduced in Congress, it is clear the technology of watermarking suffers most from misguided expectations that any one implementation can handle several even conflicting purposes.
First, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), an ad hoc industry group whose membership included Blue Spike and companies from the consumer electronics and recorded music industries, roughly defined a digital watermarking specification to protect recorded music that is vended via digital music distribution. (Players using the SDMI-specified watermark system had been introduced in 2000.)
Still, technically speaking, the specification SDMI defined for digital watermarks only addresses the file header and watermark payload that are set into music files, really strings of bits that will be queried by special chips in consumer players that will use them to control copying and playback of copied songs.
SDMI was unable to objectify a decision, though Blue Spike was the only statistically-inaudible system, as per SDMI’s own analysis. Blue Spike also had the smallest computational footprint while not being successfully hacked during the HackSDMI effort. We do not believe that digital watermarks are immune from attack but do believe the a key-based watermark is the most appropriate application for efforts such as SDMI. In fact, HackSDMI was originally initiated by Blue Spike as a condition for its participation within SDMI. We submitted over 130 hacks, with approximately 12 reported successes from the HackSDMI oracle, though our friends in the pure academic community seemed to capture most of the press.
For the audio industry, Giovanni watermarking software uses a variety of methods for enabling support for any identifier. For instance, the Industry Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) can serve as a baseline for watermark data, allowing for approximately 100 bits per message. The audio industry seeks to encode at a rate of at least one watermark message per 7 seconds, while mastering efforts may require only between 4-5 watermarks per track.
What must be understood are the trade-offs between the quality of the watermark, or rather its inaudibility, and the application in which it is used: automatically readable watermarks for radio monitoring and secreted forensic watermarks to source tag DVDs are two very different deployment scenarios, each with their own trade-offs in security and robustness.
For the still image industry, no standard currently exists.
We believe existing files are best used as watermark messages. An observation: watermark messages may not exceed 100 bits (12 characters) for the vast majority of commonly available images on the Internet. In commercial transactions the 12 characters would likely be a credit number or invoice number to establish responsibility for the paid copy. Unique 32 bit identifiers can easily be generated to serve practically any commercial transaction event.
For audio, probably a few seconds, depending on the signal. Still, that is enough to hold a watermark in a sound snippet of a song used for an advertisement – or appropriated by a musician for his own recordings. For still images, the target image should be at least 100 x 100 pixels in order to hold a complete watermark.
In general, any data that has zero tolerance for error, such as software in executable form, cannot currently be watermarked. Any additional information added to these kinds of data objects would cause users trouble. CPUs require that exact instructions be fed to them in order to process the data properly.
Alternative methods for watermarking such data have been patented by Blue Spike. These processes are designed to provide for watermarking security in software products. While Giovanni static software watermarks may encode licensing information, for example, dynamic approaches retain semantic relationships with the original unencoded software for tamper resistance. These implementations have further ramifications of watermarking a piece of content with its player hidden in the content itself. Instead of needlessly increasing the number of proprietary players, Blue Spike offers a “player-per-copy” approach now prevalent in content protection schemes.
Predetermined keys may be generated to create permanent associations between data, whether structured or unstructured, namely, the file formatting, and the generated key. Less computational complexity vis-a-vis traditional encryption is acheived. Authentication without traditional encryption techniques is an additional benefit. Registration and authorization for several on-line and off-shelf software and services benefit from Blue Spike’s proven innovation in this area. Several areas of application deployment has resulted in market successes. These approaches focus on the issue of software’s “functional value” instead of the “aesthetic value” used to guide content-based watermarking. When time is the constraint, especially competing for the attention of the market, even a little obscurity can provide, well, necessary.
Please see Blue Spike Patents
Giovanni is a complex technology, one that has bridged disparate technological fields to produce a wholly new form of custody instrumentation. Some of its functionality is not immediately obvious even to those familiar with Digital Signals Processing or cryptography. Herein, a FAQ to answer some of those questions that have been raised again and again by those encountering Giovanni for the first time.
We believe that the market for audio is characterized by far higher reproduction quality standards and turnover of product than any other commercial media market. It is also the first successful market for digitized media. Some offhand examples: the low cost and low barrier to entry for musicians, the predominance of expensive, high-fidelity audio equipment, the vastness of broadcast opportunities, and the passive nature of the media.
Establishing a watermark technology for audio could provide a demanding benchmark for the level of quality that can be established because of the highly demanding nature of the human ear. Any flaws will be obvious to the discriminating listener. As interactive visual media, the brain is more likely to compensate for watermark visibility than for the more difficult inaudibility standard for music watermarks.
Giovanni is a genuine digital watermark system. This patented system provides a means for creators of multimedia content to protect their copyrights on computer networks, or other digital media such as compact discs, as well as track content that is electronically distributed.
Giovanni can be simply differentiated from other digital watermark systems by its use of “keys” in the watermark process. These keys are a “separate entity” from the actual encode and decode process, the watermark encoding algorithm. Essentially, Giovanni allows copyrights holders to create encoded messages, break them up into single bits and plant them in random locations in a signal. Those bits are locatable only by the same key that was used to place the bits of the watermark payload.
All digital samples have a built-in allowance for error, since they are only approximations of an analog signal. Even if the digital data is badly damaged, it is still often recognizable when played or viewed. Because digital recordings, which consist of digital samples, are imprecise, slight changes can be made to the samples without affecting human perception.
The standard of perception differentiates between the quality of various media and substantiates the commercial value of all content. For this reason, perceptual models are inherently superior in watermarking systems to provide for marketable security. Interestingly enough, “lossy” compression is invaluable in designing the best watermark encoding algorithms.
Perhaps best described as a means for binding a “digital signature” to a recorded music digital signal, in a manner which ensures that attempts at erasure cause audible damage to the song, secure Blue Spike watermarks can be used to tamperproof individual instances of a digital copy of any media content.
Any suspect copy can be checked with the appropriately generated “key,” or keys, in the case of multiple rights that were used to embed the signature at the time of purchase. If the information cannot be securely embedded, it is likely that any sacrifice of the signal’s quality should be avoided. Essentially, watermarking is strictly a security technology; the embedded digital watermark information has intrinsic value independent of the audio signal itself.
Where the consumer’s listening experience is not affected by the inaudible tag, the rights holder is able to differentiate between authentic and pirated instances of the song. A watermarking key is basically a string of cryptographically generated binary digits, or “bits.” The key is also a map of how the watermark has been embedded into the target signal.
This simple improvement over traditional cryptography is the dramatic difference between digital watermarks and strict digital signature or related encryption technologies. If the key is needed for third party authentication, even by consumers, we use commonly used mathematical tricks to split the key into a key pair. These tricks were discovered in the 1970s and form the basis of public key cryptography.
For watermarking, encoding and encryption is handled by the key, not just encryption. The private key is used to encode the digital watermark into the music. The public key is used to decode the digital watermark from the music without revealing the private key. The consumer can even authenticate a copy of a song themselves with their public key, just like a purchase receipt.
Yes. In their own way, Giovanni watermarks are really both a digital signature and a digital fingerprint. In a similar manner to encryption, Giovanni can use digital signatures. The process of embedding a watermark into a digital sample stream, is not a digital signature calculation as is executed in public key cryptographic systems. The information encoded by Giovanni is digitally signed, however, to certify the validity of the information when it is extracted. In so-called assymetric, or public-key cryptography, a file encoded with the “private” key of a user’s key pair can only be decoded with a correlative “public” key. That scheme gives correspondents assurance of information’s origin. The concept is known as non-repudiation. [See Giovanni in Action for an explanation of the signing sequence.]
This aspect of Giovanni’s proprietary security differentiates itself from other watermarking schemes in that attempts at watermark erasure cause a digital signature check to fail, thus tampering of the watermarked content is evident. Simple digital signature checks will make it possible for independent third parties to validate the authenticity of the watermarked content before allowing further electronic distribution. Giovanni keys may also be used, in some applications, to check watermark message authenticity, but not to read the watermark message.
Other proposed “digital watermark” schemes are similar to digital signatures in that the watermark signal to be distributed is a composite of two signals. Much the same way jigsaw puzzle pieces fit together, but the location of the fit is the “watermark,” or more precisely, the signature. Some systems call this a “fingerprint.” The added noise is signed… The signature is continuous throughout the entire length of the content, for instance a three minute song. This technology puts emphasis on “authentication” of the content, such as signing a credit card receipt to authenticate the purchaser.
Further, these systems require comparisons of the original copies in the same manner that people authenticate their credit card purchases with a signature. If the signature is not complete, as in cases where the content may be clipped, the authentication is difficult at best or impossible. Once again, the creation of keys in the Giovanni process is unique in “tamperproofing” content by limiting access to the watermarks to those with authorized keys, and allowing for independent digital signature checks of the watermark to ensure its authenticity.
Consider the following analogy: If the signature on a credit card purchase is not “acceptable” to the merchant, other forms of identification are usually requested. If a Giovanni watermark signature check fails, the provider has a way to inform the content creator and access a copy that can be authenticated. It is the layered approach of credit card processing that offers security and the less obvious need for independent third party verification. We believe this is essential for the secure exchange of media content.
The point of the signature comparisons is that signatures are a single continuously integrated number, or message, over a single large area of the carrier signal. The meaning of “watermark”, as we have intended, is “a continuous integration of many repetitions of an informational message over arbitrary carrier signal areas”, which does not require a “difference comparison” with masters or unwatermarked copies. Weaknesses of other approaches is documented elsewhere and watermark testing software is similarly available for your consideration.
Any data consisting of digitized samples, such as digital audio, video, and still images.
An alternative method for watermarking such data has been patented by the founder of Blue Spike. This process is designed to provide for watermarking security in software products. This implementation has further ramifications of watermarking a piece of content with its player hidden in the content itself. Under such a scheme, more open, secured exchange of media content may actually be pursued without the need for distribution of proprietary players. We are actively determining the suitability of this approach for market introduction. The approach focuses on the issue of software’s “functional value” instead of the “aesthetic value” used to guide content-based watermarking.
No. Unlike most other proposed digital watermark systems, all the information resides in the watermarked copy. As long as one has the Giovanni software, the encoding keys, and the copy, the watermark can be extracted. Because Giovanni is a key-based system, each copy of content watermarked with Giovanni can theoretically be encoded with a separate key. Further, each watermark message in a single media content copy may be governed by separate keys!
Under this premise, alternative proposals that maintain a centralized database or predefine the actual location of watermarks are, essentially, “single-key” implementations. A single breach of the security of the single key is devastating to copyright owners (More damaging: the pirate may not disclose the breach.). The common misunderstanding is the distinction between a “random number”, and a “ciphered random key”.
In the real world, this begs the question: “What if all the apartments in New York City had the same locks?” The multi-key, multi-layer design premise is the basis for our belief that both the security and quality of the watermarked content must be controlled by the user, not predefined by third parties. In much the same manner that different artists master content in different ways, different users will want to watermark content differently. These same users will want alternative ways to archive both their content and their keys.
For audio, probably a few seconds, depending on the signal.
Our audio CODEC (“COde/DECode”, late 1997), developed for industry deployment and commercial use, encodes at close to 200 bits per second in stereo, 100 bits per layer per channel. The five layers, divided by channel, allow for over 1000 bits per second encoding rates. Our commercial versions are far less robust in terms of bits per second but have very high survivability against common manipulations or downsampling. As well, both copy control watermarking mechanisms and cryptographic or forensic watermarking mechanisms have been developed to perform separate but relevant authentication of the content for use in consumer electronics devices and other hardware (late 1998-99). Bits are encoded as high as -8 dB, at the most perceptually significant portions of the signal. The transforms and conversions performed to establish the CODEC parameters are discussed below: Can Giovanni digital watermarks survive analog conversion?
For still images, the image should be at least 100 x 100 pixels. Our still image CODEC (late 1997-98), was developed to survive JPEG compression, cropping, scaling and other common image manipulations, while still affording users total control over decoding with the keys used in encoding. Cropping and scaling have inverse relationships relating to survival of a digital watermark, so some tricks are used to accomplish survival. Our approach is the first available system to survive the StirMark application used to test the robustness of still image watermark technologies.
Unlike all other implementations, with the understanding that many images have limited “watermark message” payloads, or the space available to hide a watermark message, much of the security of the Giovanni still image product is based on well-known security parameters evident in public-key cryptosystems. In essence, Giovanni watermarking keys may be made “key pairs” as with popular public key software products such as PGP. This affords users the ability to validate the encoding key pairs even if the watermark is not successfully decoded. This is primarily a decision to be made on perceived transmission security of the image.
The “image industry” has yet to formalize an independent evaluation of various existing commercial products and proposed solutions, so it is difficult to generalize about market expectations at this time. Much intense scrutiny has yielded many applications which will successfully remove or render unreadable current still image watermarks. Some of this work can be found in the Digital Watermark Research area. Buyer beware.
Yes, completely – but only with an authorized key.
This simple concept is the differentiating feature between Giovanni and all other watermark systems. It is also the basis of the related intellectual property. Without a key, removal will damage the content that held the watermark, since the watermark is randomly embedded in the “perceptually significant” areas of the content. Further, even if attempts are made to erase the watermarks, digital signatures are included with the watermark message making tampering plainly evident with a “signature” check. The important consideration for content owners is the ability to authenticate content with the key and the watermarked media alone, making it unnecessary to authenticate with the original unwatermarked media. Content owners can then insist that copies of their content need to be authenticated with an authorized key in advance of any subsequent redistribution.
The incorporation of digital signatures makes Giovanni a cryptographically secure digital watermark system. This feature cannot be overemphasized in a future environment requiring the authentication, non-repudiation and tamperproofing of each and every instance of copyrighted material.
The following analogy is increasingly popular in describing the digital watermark technology:
Imagine the proverbial “needle in a haystack”. This particular analogy has a twist. Instead of one needle, there are thousands. The haystack is a digitized media work and each of the thousands of needles is a separate copy of the watermark. The publisher of the content has a map, which we call a “key”, which tells him where to find each needle.
If the pirates want to be sure they don’t get caught, they need to find and remove all the needles from the haystack. Just one needle is sufficient to sink the pirates. Unlike the publisher, the pirates lack the map, or key. They are faced with a choice: spend the rest of their natural lives looking for all the needles, or burn the haystack to be sure all the needles are destroyed (The last twist to this story is that each needle cannot be removed or replaced without the knowledge of the Giovanni key holder, who is able to check the validity of the “needles” with digital signature authenticity checks).
Yes. We differentiate between our audio and still image products. Audio has industry-based testing standards, as shown below; still images are generally required to survive at least JPEG compression (for at least a 75 quality setting) as well as the ability to decode from a scanned image. Survival against the existing software products which test robustness is an obvious benchmark.
The following conversions have been tested with the Giovanni audio CODEC as parameters for survivability. The parameters were decided by the MUSE Embedded Signalling Request for Proposals under the direction of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the six major label companies (Warner, Sony, Universal/MCA, Polygram, BMG, Capitol EMI) and Telstar (representing the interests of the independent label companies). Additional tampering has been conducted to test against common conversions done at radio stations which can inadvertently erase less robust watermarks. The demonstration version of the Giovanni audio watermarking application does NOT necessarily survive all of the tests below. The version which does is NOT publicly available at this time. Additional improvements and testing for the 4C Tests have shown dramatic advantages to Giovanni versus other schemes.
The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) is another consortium seeking uniformity for security of music copyrights.
No. This is a fundamental problem encountered in the digital world – the “copy problem”. Although many “secure” and “trusted systems” approaches are proposed, even at the hardware level, such systems can always be circumvented by those who understand the system. Instead of trying to stop the process of making copies, Giovanni watermarks are the only available system that makes it possible to securely assign responsibility for individual copies. People will be less likely to make and distribute unlicensed copies if they know that such copies can be traced back to them. If a publisher obtains an illegal copy, they can identify the culprit, or check the authenticity of the copy and destroy it.
Trusted systems, such as those proposed by InterTrust, IBM (under their InfoMarket program), or WAVE Systems, are unlikely to give the copyright holder control over copyrights, as the security is left to a third party. Moreover, “escrow” or control over the content is similarly given to third parties.
Anything a publisher deems useful can be encoded. (The limits are the size of the target media and the size of the data to be encoded.) Publishers can maintain current databases which can automatically be fed into the watermark stream when content is being watermarked. Publishers are thus encouraged to continue to differentiate their strength in proprietary database structure and access, Giovanni will compliment these strengths, seamlessly.
Our advice, is that watermark information relate closely to distribution channels of the content to be watermarked and subsequently distributed. It is this particular area in which content owners and sellers can use Giovanni to better direct their own target marketing campaigns.
The use of single serial number would seem to have the advantage that it keeps the size of the watermark small. While other proposed schemes do seek to encode only an author’s serial number into the content, we see pitfalls in using this model alone.
Either the author must maintain their own database, which associates meaningful records with that serial number, or they must entrust management of that database to someone else. In either case, lose the database, and lose your authorship claim. If every author maintained their own database of serial numbers and records, there would be no objectivity in the reading of a watermark. Disputes would have to be settled and entirely reliant on the author for the interpretation of “some number” which they claim to have extracted from a copy of a picture, song or video.
Another reason behind a number of these proposals is also the simple fact that there is very little space for watermark information versus Giovanni. The more actively involved the third party is in archiving or escrowing rights and watermark information, the less control is ultimately placed into the hands of the content creator. We believe that ultimately active registration and diligence in copyright enforcement is invaluable; however, Giovanni offers a potentially more efficient means to establish priority by additionally registering the authentic watermark keys as one would a copyright. Giovanni’s central design premise is that: “the only person you can completely trust, is you!”
Giovanni takes a much more robust approach by encoding complete information which can be extracted directly from the watermark itself and read by a person in an unambiguous, undeniable manner. It is text! By using watermarks of a human readable format, and using encryption and digital signatures to sign and protect the information from discovery or alteration without the keys, Giovanni provides the most secure solution. In short, we believe there is more trust in an extracted watermark which reads something like “Copyright 1969”, “My Company, Inc. distributed this on June 8,1998”, “This copy belongs to Scott Moskowitz, account #ABC123″ (note: representing three separate messages watermarked with three separate keys), is superior to one that says”134ad92ce90a” and requires the author, a biased party, to speak for it. Note that without digital signatures or similar cryptographic security, people may easily over-encode a message with their own serial number and resolving priority or ownership becomes tenuous at best.
A separate but related issue, is the more direct amount of control smaller artists and publishers can individually exert over their content through the use of understandable text. First, it makes unnecessary the creation of a centralized database that has the indirect effect of putting control in the hands of a third party. Second, because humans are political and social animals, the more real-world the system, the more likely its widespread adoption.
Last, the integrity of watermarks must be checked to validate sensitive watermark messages. Only Giovanni digitally signs information prior to integrating it with the content signal. Without such authentication, removal or replacement of watermark information is trivial. For sites which test still image watermarks see StirMark.
As consumers of research in steganographic disciplines, Blue Spike has located a good deal of recent and archived scholarship in the field. For those of you with further interest in the steganographic disciplines, we offer the links below. Ross Anderson at Cambridge University, however, provides some of the most comprehensive resources available in a single site at his home page.
The Information Hiding Homepage
The Information Hiding Homepage – Digital Watermarking & Steganography, provides a well edited directory of timelessly relevant materials in the field of data hiding. Maintained by Fabien Petitcolas, PhD graduate of Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.
Information Hiding – An Annotated Bibliography
Information Hiding – An Annotated Bibliography, provides an extensive bibliography with some abstracts of books and journal articles. Maintained by Neil F. Johnson, formerly of Geoge Mason University’s Center for Secure Information Systems.
Information hiding & digital watermarking: an annotated bibliography
Updated to August, 1999, this annotated bibliography provides more than 400 references to journal articles and conference notes covering digital watermarking and its applications. Authored by Ross Anderson and Fabien Petitcolas (in PDF, PostScript or Latex/bibtex source).
Digital watermarking is the process by which a unique identifier is embedded within a digital signal. Images, audio, video, even multimedia works can be uniquely identified & tamper proofed for monetization and accounting of that media.
Why is money valuable? It is a medium of exchange to make bartering unnecessary. The value of money is intrinsic to the amount of money in circulation. The more money in circulation, the less the currency is worth. We call this inflation. On the contrary, when money is not valuable we call it deflation. Therefore the value of the money is derived in part by the uniqueness of each bill. That one bill can be distinguished from another – and further, that a real bill can be distinguished from a counterfeit bill – is what enables and ensures the confidence and trust in our currency and enables value to be derived from money. With currency, this task is accomplished with a variety of anti-counterfeiting technology. But the most important, is the unique identifier: the serial number.
It is the serial number on the currency, that enables traceability and by extension uniqueness. It also enables the Government to track currency through the economy. Some say the report card of a countries economics is reflected in the value or demand for that’s countries’ currency.
All media is information. Bits. A series of ones and zeros. A digital representation of an analogue signal. One of the chief benefits of the computer is it’s ability to copy information accurately and inexpensively. One of the chief benefits of the internet is the transportability of information anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost and time of physical distribution. These two benefits of digital technology, have presented the Entertainment Industry & perhaps all industries that rely on intangible value with an unparalleled crisis: the so-called digital copy problem AKA “piracy”.
Entertainment once derived it’s value in the same way as currency. Content – intangible information – needed to be manufactured into physical product, in order to be monetized. This manufacturing burden, created scarcity. Scarcity creates greater value. By packaging content as a physical product, companies were able to create value out of an intangible asset. That value was derived by the limited number of copies. Similar to currency, the product was issued by a company, each product serialized. A barcode on the packaging, enabled the company to identify, monetize and track purchases of their content.
In the Information Age, where information can be copied and distributed globally at little cost, entertainment value can no longer by derived by the uniqueness of each physical copy – because the physical medium isn’t necessary any more. The manufacturing burden – limiting total copies and relying on bandwidth scarcity has been removed. Further the unique identifier – the serial on the packaging – had been removed, preventing companies from identifying, monetizing and tracking potential transactions.
But all is not lost. What if one could place a serial number on information? A method of labeling a piece of information with a unique identifier. That is what digital watermarking is. A method of labeling information and serializing copies. Just like currency.
Blue Spike has crafted an electronic authentication and auditing system for digitized media that is extremely robust. Using a technique that weaves the watermark into the very fabric of the media, Giovanni embeds a watermark payload that survives even the most sophisticated hostile attacks, embedding a persistent auditing mechanism into all your digital media assets.
With Giovanni, digital information can be securely labeled, audited, and even used to animate automated marketing and consumer interaction under a wide number of deployments.
A Forensic watermark has two principal roles. First, it is a potent piracy deterrent, placing trace data into songs that can be mapped to the responsible party. Second, it gives content owners a means of auditing distribution channels with the highest degree of intelligence on the movement of their assets when they are found on pirate servers or out-of-channel.
Once a pirated song is located on an unauthorized server, the content owner decodes the watermark with the corresponding track key. The watermark is mapped back to the data associated with the transaction that produced that unique copy of the song.