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Securing property rights through watermarking

Although the internet has provided great scope for many businesses, it has also presented some major problems regarding copyright issues. When piracy is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse, intellectual property rights are at stake.

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In an effort to preserve copyright content from piracy, the OCTALIS project has made its goal to develop an integrated, encrypted content protection system that allows watermarking, labelling and monitoring of the content for which one has copyright authority. It's main goal was to facilitate a system that integrates a global approach to equitable and conditional access to media content with an efficient copyright protection scheme and to demonstrate its validity in large scale trials. Utilising standard TCP/IP protocols, an Internet user can, theoretically, search for images that are both audio-visual and photographic, and once a selection has been made, engage in the brokerage system of OCTALIS to purchase the content they have found. The system incorporates access control involving authentication, encryption and integrity checks to secure the exchange of content. By embedding a watermark label in either, a digitised still picture or a video stream, OCTALIS seeks to allow for legitimate data transfer over secure servers using smart cards and Trusted Third Parties. In order to facilitate these fundamentals, an improved algorithm was developed to provide three types of watermarking for security issues, for which market research was conducted by Thompson CSF Communications. The first watermark, is a secret watermark (W1) to secure international property rights. The second is a visible, public watermark (Wpub) designed to authenticate the data. The third watermark, is a secret watermark (W2) to enable monitoring of the content. The first two watermarks are embedded at the producer's site, whilst the third is embedded in the provider's site, in order to trace its location. The watermark can be embedded in both high-bit (64bit) and low-bit (32bit) rate streams, which means that both still images and audio/video content can be secured with this copyright. Furthermore, the algorithm can be embedded and re-read in real-time with MPEG-2 video signals of up 2 270Mb/s. OCTALIS has therefore, contributed significantly towards standardising security features for data transfers and in relation with such other European projects like TALISMAN and OKAPI, are structuring a brokerage system that is aimed at guaranteeing property rights of content, affording business and individuals new ways to distribute their material safely. For additional information please refer to:

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