Towards a secure and de-centralized digital watermarking infrastructure for the protection of intellectual property

  • Philipp Tomsich
  • Stefan Katzenbeisser
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1875)


The advent of the Web, electronic commerce and the creation of electronic distribution channels for content have brought new challenges regarding the protection of intellectual property. As it has become increasingly difficult to protect the distribution medium against copying, techniques for asserting the copyright on information have gained in importance. A particularly promising method is the use of digital watermarking to embed additional copyright information within data. However, central servers or certification authorities are required by most current watermarking protocols, thus limiting the wide-spread application of watermarking in electronic commerce applications.

We propose a secure, distributed watermarking scheme using trusted, tamper-proof hardware. The protocols presented provide support for copyright protection and fingerprinting in a de-centralized fashion. Extensive use of a public-key infrastructure permits the secure exchange of secret keys between trusted devices. The unencrypted, private keys never leave the hardware, rendering them unrecoverable. If adopted, this allows for the establishment of a ubiquitous digital watermarking infrastructure to support and foster e-commerce applications.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Tomsich
    • 1
  • Stefan Katzenbeisser
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Software TechnologyVienna University of TechnologyWienAustria

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