Speaking at DVB World 2018, he added that interest in forensic, or digital, watermarking has been growing since the 1990s and that it can be applied to not only video but also audio, images and text.
Piron said that there are many different techniques for different uses. Fragile watermarking, for instance, is the opposite of forensic watermarking and can be used to ensure the authenticity of documents.
Looking at TV use cases, Piron stressed that content sharing is no longer just casual streaming on the internet. Indeed, there are an increasing number of paid-for pirate services that are operating as a business. It’s no longer enough to shut down sites and forensic watermarking is needed.
In a pay-TV distribution system, Piron said it was ideal to use Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) integration in a one-step process, though this was not possible on all devices.
Furthermore, there are challenges in detection and reaction. Watermarking, which is part of end-to-end security, requires both monitoring and reaction. Meanwhile, monitoring requires accessing a pirated stream and this, as in the case of sport being shown in a bar, is not always straightforward.
In his concluding remarks, Piron said that while forensic watermarking is a powerful mature tool, there is a need to understand the use case and environment.