Digital watermarking is a technology for embedding various types of information in digital content. In general, information for protecting copyrights and proving the validity of data is embedded as a watermark.
A digital watermark is a digital signal or pattern inserted into digital content. The digital content could be a still image, an audio clip, a video clip, a text document, or some form of digital data that the creator or owner would like to protect. The main purpose of the watermark is to identify who the owner of the digital data is, but it can also identify the intended recipient.
Why do we need to embed such information in digital content using digital watermark technology? The Internet boom is one of the reasons. It has become easy to connect to the Internet from home computers and obtain or provide various information using the World Wide Web (WWW).
All the information handled on the Internet is provided as digital content. Such digital content can be easily copied in a way that makes the new file indistinguishable from the original. Then the content can be reproduced in large quantities.
For example, if paper bank notes or stock certificates could be easily copied and used, trust in their authenticity would greatly be reduced, resulting in a big loss. To prevent this, currencies and stock certificates contain watermarks. These watermarks are one of the methods for preventing counterfeit and illegal use.
Digital watermarks apply a similar method to digital content. Watermarked content can prove its origin, thereby protecting copyright. A watermark also discourages piracy by silently and psychologically deterring criminals from making illegal copies.
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