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  • IBM, Sony, Others Standardize Digital Watermark for Movies
  • February 24, 1999 (TOKYO) — IBM Corp. of the United States, Sony Corp., NEC Corp., Pioneer Electronic Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. announced Feb. 17 that they agreed to standardize the method of implementing digital watermarks for digital movies.
    The objective is to prevent DVD software or digital broadcasting contents from being copied illegally.

    The five companies have formed the so-called Galaxy Group to continue to study and develop this technology. Standardization is expected to be finalized this spring at the earliest.

    The technology will be applied to digital recording devices including DVDs. A recorder with this capability will control a copy function by detecting the digital watermark information embedded in the digital contents to be recorded in advance.

    The digital watermark technology has been evaluated by the Data Hiding Sub Group (DHSG) of the Copy Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG), which was established to study digital copy protection.

    In the autumn of 1998, the technology was proposed in three different groups: (1) IBM and NEC, (2) Hitachi, Pioneer and Sony and (3) Digimarc Corp. of the United States, Macrovision Corp. of the United States and Royal Philips Electronics N.V. of the Netherlands.

    The latest agreement made by the five companies, including group computer makers and home electronics manufacturers, means that the digital watermark technology will be standardized.

    The Galaxy Group’s proposal will be reviewed by the Watermark Review Panel (WaRP), which was established in December 1998 as a reporting committee to the Contents Scrambling Scheme (CSS), a DVD copy protection scheme management organization. The Interim Copy Protection Advisory Council (ICPAC), an advisory committee to the CSS, will finalize the standard by this summer.

    More information in English is available at: http://www.nec.co.jp/english/today/newsrel/9902/1701.html

    (Nikkei Electronics)



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