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A digital watermark is data embedded into digital intellectual property (IP) to identify its originator or owner. A digital watermark tracks online digital media use and warns against potentially unauthorized access and/or use. Digital watermarks complement digital rights management (DRM) technology.
A digital watermark is also known as a forensic watermark, watermarking, information hiding and data embedding.
Digital watermarks provide copyright protection to digital IP, which includes programming, images, sound recordings and video. Digital watermarks are undetectable to the naked eye but serve as signals when copyrighted materials are downloaded or reproduced.
The most robust digital watermarks randomly distribute bit data throughout protected copyrighted material. For optimal effect, digital watermarks must be untransformable and sustain alterations, including algorithm reductions or file reformatting.
Organizations are developing new digital watermark types in the form of noise. In IT terms, noise is random digital file data. In other words, this type of digital watermark assigns random data to existing electronic file data. Identification of such digital watermarks is difficult because the watermark looks like random electronic data.