Server Side Watermarking for User-Specific Forensic Tracking
StreamMark®, a patent pending Verimatrix revenue security innovation, is a user-specific forensic watermarking technology that uses a highly efficient server-side embedding process to uniquely mark compressed content files during delivery, even when these content files already are encrypted. Mass delivery of uniquely marked content offers a valuable tool to combat revenue leakage in the latest video consumption models, such as over-the-top (OTT) delivery to standard CE devices including games consoles, Blu-ray players, connected TVs, PCs and mobile devices, as well as pre-DVD release content on pay-TV networks.
StreamMark® embeds transaction unique, forensic tracing information in digital content before distribution to each one of a network of client devices. The current version of StreamMark® supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC content in MPEG-2 Transport Stream or MPEG-4 ISO file format. The embedding process is architected to have extremely low overhead - to the point where it can be easily added as a component of stream based media delivery environments with negligible performance impact. It enables the embedding of a robust, secure and imperceptible transaction or customer identifier in compressed and encrypted content before distribution to standard decoders and media players in STBs, PCs and mobile devices.
The embedding principle is based on conditional removal of video information and efficient replacement with alternative information using pre-calculated alternative data, a technique that can be efficiently applied in compressed – and possibly encrypted – file or stream formats. The resulting stream can be decompressed and rendered by unmodified media player devices – hardware or software. All downstream copies of compressed or re-recorded media will contain the unique payload identifier, which can be extracted by systematic, machine aided comparison with the original content, even after severe distortion or degradation. StreamMark is a simple, robust and powerful solution to tracing illegitimate copies of online digital content.
The Verimatrix/Reveal™ Service is offered in order to extract and interpret the embedded payload, thus providing convenience for VideoMark and StreamMark® customers and, importantly, security against arbitrary verification.
To get a perspective on how these watermarking technologies can be applied further, please download the Verimatrix whitepaper “Integrated Watermarking Creates More Durable Pay-TV Businesses” or contact Verimatrix.
Verimatrix is a leading member of the Digital Watermarking Alliance.
- Pre-processing: The current version of StreamMark supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC content in MPEG-2 Transport Stream or MPEG-4 ISO file format.The content is pre-processed once at ingest time, including decoding and analysis of the media while considering factors such as compression requirements, invisibility, robustness and security variations. Locations for data replacement are identified purely through examination of the compressed bit stream, which means that video encoder integration is not required.
- Embedding: Payload embedding is performed on every uniquely delivered copy of the content and is driven by the analysis output from the pre-processingstep. A unique payload identifier is embedded by performing a conditional replacement with pre-determined alternative data and does notrequire decoding of media content itself. This server side or distribution network process is extremely resource efficient.
- Invisibility: Invisibility is achieved by employing statistical and empirical perceptual models to identify marking locations during pre-processing.
- Robustness: Embedded watermarks are robust against compression, camcorder capture, filtering and geometric distortions. These transformations are identified and compensated at the extraction stage in comparison with the original content.
- Compliance: The marked content is fully standard compliant and plays on unmodified client decoders including the robust mark.
- Security: Several layers of security prevent attacks aimed at corrupting or removing the payload. Further information on specific attacks and theirprevention is available upon request.
- Extraction: Extraction of the embedded watermark is performed through the Verimatrix StreamMark/Reveal™ Service. Suspect files to be analyzed aresubmitted to Verimatrix for extraction of the embedded information along with the original unmarked file as reference.