Metadata-based image watermarking for copyright protection

Hsiang Cheh Huang*, Wai-Chi  Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    96 Scopus citations


    In this paper, we propose a practical application for copyright protection of images with watermarking. The EXIF metadata of images and error-control codes are integrated into our algorithm and corresponding applications. Application for robust watermarking is one of the major branches in digital rights management (DRM) systems and digital forensics. Here, we focus on the copyright protection for images taken by ordinary cameras. By use of robust watermarking, it generally alters selected coefficients of the contents to accomplish the embedding process. Should the received image be in question, the watermark embedded beforehand can be extracted to indicate the copyright owner of such an image. We consider not only the image contents itself, but we also employ the EXIF metadata, which serves as the role of watermark, to be integrated into our scheme to make copyright protection possible. Moreover, for enhancing the performance for copyright protection, channel coding is employed and better protection capability can be expected. Taking the manufacturer, camera model, date and time stamp, and other important information in the EXIF metadata into account, conventional watermarking techniques can be applied to ordinary pictures taken by ourselves, and watermarked images with good quality can be produced. Even when the marked image has been intentionally modified, the original EXIF with selected information can mostly be recovered from the channel decoding process. Simulation results present the effectiveness of such an implementation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)436-445
    Number of pages10
    JournalSimulation Modelling Practice and Theory
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010


    • Copyright protection
    • Digital rights management (DRM)
    • Metadata
    • Watermarking


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