Digimarc Corporation has been issued a patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,095,871) that describes ways to improve the identification and management of copyrighted digital assets. The patent, entitled “Digital asset management and linking media signals with related data using watermarks,” teaches ways of identifying entertainment content with digital watermarks and linking it to multiple sources of valuable information or services.
As digital content continues to proliferate and be distributed across social networks and peer-to-peer (P2P) environments on the Internet, identifying and managing copyrighted assets and related goods and services is becoming an increasing challenge. The problem is compounded by the fact that digital works can easily lose their identifying information during the distribution process, digital-to-analog conversion, or routine file format changes. Digital watermarking provides identifying and linking capabilities in an unobtrusive, persistent, format-independent fashion – giving images, movies, music or other digital content a digital identity that can help better manage content and associated rights and connect users to valuable information, relationships, and goods and services associated with the content.
Better identification of entertainment content on social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace could enhance the consumer experience and improve marketing effectiveness, while protecting copyrights. The growing number of delivery options for digital media is enabling entertainment producers to increasingly package goods and services with entertainment content to enhance the value to consumers and improve profit margins. Digital watermarking has been used for many years to help track and manage commercial photographs on the Internet as a means to protect copyrights and enhance the licensing of those properties. More recently, digital watermarking has been widely adopted as an improved means of television broadcast monitoring and audience measurement. Various entertainment industry standards for leading-edge media innovations contemplate the use of digital watermarking, including digital cinema and high definition DVD.
“Social networking based on sharing entertainment content is a booming phenomenon that is plagued by the fact that media content can easily lose its identifying information when shared across these networks, creating ‘orphan works’ whose copyrights and ownership is unknown to users and not easily identified,” said Reed Stager, executive vice president, Digimarc. Stager continued, “Images, music and movies need to be easily identified to provide enhanced consumer experiences and ensure appropriate use of copyrighted media. Digital watermarking is a promising and effective means to persistently identify entertainment content and enable new distribution models and enhanced consumer experiences.”