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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fractal digital watermarking

I was thinking about my DMESE idea earlier today while on the bus, and it occurred to me that the concept would allow Original Equipment Manufactured media, which I'll call OEM media from here on out, to be designed to be hard to forge, as digital media equipment would encrypt copies they make only for OEM's that asked for it, so that a person could, for instance, copy their own videos that they made without the copies being forced to be encrypted.

That would put pressure on illegal copiers to counterfeit the OEM's to fool the equipment--or simply get it convinced that they were not copies of OEM media at all.

So digital watermarking would be necessary on data stored on the OEM disks so that, for instance, your DVD drive knew it was dealing with copyrighted material even if other signs said it was not.

And thinking about digital watermarking as the bus rode on got me to considering a fractal based watermarking scheme in the red color zone, where fractal images would be embedded in the red frequency range in such a way that they would be invisible to the human eye (so no you would not see this red thing on your screen).

I thought fractals because mathematically a fractal image could have an infinite number of components while practically there would be a finite but very large number of fractals embedded in the red zone which, for instance, a DVD drive could detect so it would know it had an OEM disk.

It would be very difficult though for a counterfeiter to remove ALL the fractals, and the presence of fractals in the red zone would indicate an OEM media.

So manufacturers would just make equipment that detected fractals in the red zone, which would tell the equipment it was dealing with an OEM, and then some other detail, like holograms on the disk itself would tell it that it had a valid copy, forcing counterfeiters to counterfeit everything or not fool the machine.

Then there could be a continual battle, like with currency, to keep counterfeiters from succeeding with making passable copies of OEM media, while it would be very hard for them to try to simply erase the digital watermark, as every single OEM could have a different fractal watermarking in the red zone, and equipment would assume any fractal in the red zone meant it had an OEM.

Thoughts I had while musing on the subject on the bus this morning.


James Harris
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