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July 16, 1998

IBM & NEC COLLABORATE ON DVD WATERMARK STANDARD

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp and NEC Corp have announced plans to collaborate on a digital watermark standard intended for use with digital video disks (DVD). The take up and acceptance of DVD within the entertainment industry – particularly major Hollywood studios – has been hindered by the perception that DVD disks are not only easy to duplicate but offer very high quality copies. The two companies plan to develop the digital watermark system, whereby a dedicated chip can read hidden data patterns in the video signal and authenticate genuine copies. It will first present the standard to the Copyright Protection Technical Working Group, a body of broadcasting and electronics companies set up to promote technologies that prevent the illegal copying of electronic copyrighted materials. The new system is intended to be used in conjunction with existing DVD copy protection methods, such as the analog protection system (APS) which generates extraneous signal noise if a copy is made of a disk, degrading audio/visual quality.

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