Can invisible watermarks resolve rightful ownerships?

Scott Craver, Nasir Memon, Boon Lock Yeo, Minerva Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Digital watermarks have been proposed in recent literature as the means for copyright protection of multimedia data. In this paper we address the capability of invisible watermarking schemes to resolve copyright ownerships. We will show that rightful ownerships cannot be resolved by current watermarking schemes alone. In addition, in the absence of standardization of watermarking procedures, anyone can claim ownership of any watermarked image. Specifically, we provide counterfeit watermarking schemes that can be performed on a watermarked image to allow multiple claims of rightful ownerships. We also propose non-invertible watermarking schemes in this paper and discuss in general the usefulness of digital watermarks in identifying the rightful copyright owners. The results, coupled with the recent attacks on some image watermarks, further imply that we have to carefully re-think our approaches to invisible watermarking of images, and re-evaluate the promises, applications and limitations of such digital means of copyright protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-321
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 15 1997
EventStorage and Retrieval for Image and Video Databases V 1997 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Feb 8 1997Feb 14 1997


  • Attacks on watermarking schemes
  • Authentication of copyright ownerships
  • Copyright protection of images
  • Invisible watermarks
  • Non-invertible watermarking techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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