Digitization leads to more efficient production and distribution of media. At the same time, it creates a whole series of risks and challenges for producers and distributors. Media that are digitally produced and distributed are more susceptible to unauthorized external access and more easily passed on illegally – and unnoticed – by internal offenders. At the latest when samples or masters are sent to copy laboratories and online shops, the works concerned are accessible to a large number of partners, each of which could potentially make and distribute a copy of their own without anyone being aware. To protect digital media, Fraunhofer SIT marks the originals with digital watermarks. Each medium can be individually marked and traced back to its source.
Protection for content, protection for users
Fraunhofer SIT's digital watermarking technology is already used in numerous archives, online portals, and equipment. It is optimized in an ongoing process. Its solutions boast high performance values with regard to:
- Protection of digital media without compromising usability
- Individual marking of audio, video, single images, and PDF documents
- Highly efficient processes for downloadable solutions
- Individual alignment to requirement profiles
Online shops are characterized by direct contact between the vendor and the customer, and it is this contact that forms the basis for transaction watermarks. Each customer receives an individually marked copy of the purchased media. Fraunhofer SIT solutions have been successfully implemented for many years, and today enjoy a reputation for excellent performance, above-average robustness, and high transparency. Particularly in the audio sector – not only music but also audio books – the Institute has made a name for itself as a reliable solution provider. MP3, AC3, and PCM-WAV are all supported as data formats, and it makes no difference whether or not the material is compressed.
The damage caused by the illegal distribution of material is enormous. The vulnerability to unauthorized copying is especially great if the media are distributed upfront of their official release on the open market (press samples, advance copies etc.). On the one hand, right holders must be in a position to protect their works while on the other, the addressees must be able to access the media without any problems. Fraunhofer SIT offers integrated solutions based on Rimage systems for this purpose, in which recipient lists are automatically processed, customer watermarks embedded in the data, and the recipient's ID printed on the storage medium – with no possibility of confusion.