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Owing to the usage of Internet, concerns about protecting and enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights of the digital content are mounting. Unauthorized replication and manipulation of digital content is relatively easy and can be achieved with inexpensive tools. Digital rights management (DRM) systems address issues related to ownership rights of digital content. Various aspects of content management – namely, content identification, storage,representation, and distribution – and IP rights management are highlighted in DRM.

Although unauthorized access
of digital content is being prevented by implementing encryption technologies, these approaches do not prevent an authorized user from illegally replicating the decrypted content. igital watermarking is one of the key technologies that can be used in DRM systems for establishing ownership rights, tracking usage, ensuring authorized access,preventing illegal replication, and facilitating content authentication. Therefore, a two-layer protection mechanism utilizing both watermarking and encryption is needed to build effective DRM systems that can address IP rights and copyright issues .

In this project, the invisible watermarking aspect of DRM. Digital watermarking is the process of
embedding data, called a watermark, into a multimedia object such that the watermark can be detected whenever needed for DRM. The object may be an image, audio, video, text, or graphics. However, in this project“image” is the primary multimedia object, but similar work can be undertaken for other multimedia objects. In general, any watermarking algorithm consists of three parts: the watermark, the encoder (insertion algorithm), and the decoder and comparator (verification or extraction or detection algorithm). An entity, called the watermark key, which is unique and exhibits a one-to-one correspondence with every watermark, is also used during the process of embedding and detecting the watermark.

The key is private and known only to authorized parties,
eliminating the possibility of illegal usage of digital content.Watermarks and watermarking techniques can be divided into different categories in various ways.Watermarks can be embedded in various domains, including the spatial and the frequency domains. The various transformations that have been used extensively as alternatives to the spatial domain are the discrete cosine transform (DCT), the Fourier transform (FT), and the wavelet transform (WT). Frequency-based methods have several advantages over spatial domain methods.For example, DCT domain techniques are more robust to attacks, and the perceptible quality of DCT domain watermarked images is better. On the other hand, spatial domain watermarking algorithms have less computational overhead than frequency domain algorithms. Spatial domain watermarking algorithms can also be faster in terms of computational time and hence are more suitable for real-time applications. Thus, we have focused on spatial domain watermarking because our ultimate goal is to develop VLSI architectures and chips such that real-time watermarking in the framework of electronic components would be possible.Digital watermarks can be divided into visible and invisible types, based on human perception.

A visible watermark is a secondary translucent image overlaid onto the primary image. An invisible
watermark, on the other hand, is completely imperceptible. An invisible robust watermark is embedded in such a way that alterations made to the pixel value are not noticeable and can be recovered only with the appropriate decoding mechanism. An invisible fragile watermark is embedded in such a way that any manipulation or modification of the image would alter the watermark.


Invisible robust image watermarking algorithm and an invisible fragile image watermarking algorithm whose VLSI architecture and chips are described in subsequent sections. The algorithms selected are simple and effective and, with modifications, can result in high-performance hardware that can perform watermarking in real time. We discuss the insertion and detection methods in brief, with the modifications necessary to facilitate hardware implementation.


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