Stopping the pirates

Film post-production company Post Logic Studios is collaborating with Sarnoff Corporation to help benchmark and roll out Sarnoff’s new iTrace digital cinema watermarking technique.

Film post-production company Post Logic Studios is collaborating with Sarnoff Corporation to help benchmark and roll out Sarnoff’s new iTrace digital cinema watermarking technique for digital cinema and intermediate mastering and finishing.

iTrace enables content owners, such as Post Logic Studios’ many motion picture studio clients, to trace pirated video back through the illicit distribution chain to its last legal source.

Post Logic Studios has been working with Sarnoff on a number of tests of the technology, which allows studios to identify individual distributors or exhibitors of a film by embedding in the on-screen image a set of invisible digital codes that can be detected forensically, even from low-quality camcorder captures of cinema or video content.

“iTrace lets a movie studio trace a pirated copy of a film back to its source, even after the copy has been captured by a camcorder in a theatre and then compressed at low bit-rates for illegal digital redistribution, such as over the Internet,” said Dr. Christos Polyzois, Senior Director of Commercial Systems at Sarnoff Corporation.

“It offers double protection for the piracy problem today by introducing a watermark that is invisible, even to cinema professionals, yet also virtually impossible to remove without severe degradation of the images.”

iTrace was created using the visual perception modelling fundamentals from Sarnoff’s JNDmetrix technology, under Sarnoff’s lead vision scientist, Dr. Jeffrey Lubin. JNDmetrix won the company its ninth Emmy Award for Technical Achievement.

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