What is Forensic Watermarking?

The internet has grown to the extent where it is now impossible for the authorities to prevent online piracy. As a content creator, it is now your responsibility to keep your images, videos, music, and other online content protected. Forensic or digital watermarking is one way to protect your work. Read this post to know five important things about digital watermarking.

As per a report, around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is uploaded to the internet every day. The rate at which the social media, OTT platforms, and online marketing are growing, we might double this upload rate within a few years.

As the internet is a free medium that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, and anytime, online pirates can easily download or duplicate information, images, videos, and music, blatantly infringing the copyrights of the content creators, owners, or distributors. This has increased the need for using forensic or digital watermarking. 

What is it? How does it work? Let us have a quick look at five important things about digital watermarking-

  1. What is Digital Watermarking?

Watermarks have been used for a long time on checks and letterheads for proving authenticity. It can be a logo or a name stamped on the paper or added right when the paper was being created. The electronic version of this traditional watermark is known as a forensic or digital watermark. 

It was first used in the photography industry to identify the copyright owner of the digital photos. Once a digital watermark is embedded into any content, it will remain on it forever even if the content is distributed to a large number of users. It is challenging to remove a digital watermark and even if it is removed, it will damage the content in some way.

  1. How Does Digital Watermark Work?

With a digital watermark, specific data is embedded into an analog and digital content for identifying the owner. If you are viewing, listening, or using any digital content like video, audio, or images, with the watermark, you can know who the original creator of the content is. Content owners also use watermarks for tracking and monitoring how their content is being used.

For instance, if you want to use an image that you have found online which has a digital watermark of the original owner, you can get in touch with the owner to purchase the image or at least take their consent before using it. There are many different types of digital watermarks and they can be classified on the basis of their application field, insertion, and method of implementation.  

  1. Who Inserts Digital Watermarks?

Operator or content owner like a movie studio inserts digital watermarks known as operator mark or distributor mark. The watermark generally contains and tracks information related to the different channels used for content distribution. 

Even the content service providers insert watermarks known as session mark or subscriber mark. These watermarks add and track information like user ID, timestamp, device ID, etc. of the end-user. 

  1. Different Application Areas of Forensic Watermark

Digital watermarks are now abundantly used in many different areas, especially for video content. Some of the most common applications are-

  • Digital Cinema- For tracking illegal recording, movie theatres insert digital watermark into the movies. The watermark contains information related to the screen time and the theatre in which it is played. 
  • Online VOD Services- Online Video-On-Demand platforms insert digital watermarks to their premium content to track illegal leaks and download. 
  • Live Videos- Even online live videos such as sports matches have subscriber mark to track illegal streaming and recording. 
  1. What is SaaS Digital Watermarking?

SaaS forensic watermarking is the modern version of digital watermarking for content creators and website owners. It is a cloud-built service which inserts the watermark data in your content in real-time and prevents common watermarking attacks like cropping, re-encoding, and filtering. 

The services can also detect illegal content distribution with the help of invisible watermarks to help content creators have more control over how they would like the users to access their content. Some of the service providers also offer pay-as-you-go pricing, which requires you to only pay for the services you use.

If you are a digital content creator worried about piracy or illegal use of your content, look for SaaS digital watermarking service provider to discuss your requirements and know more about how the service can benefit you.