Medialive introduces m2mark®: a unique approach combining intrinsically forensic watermarking and DRM/CAS technologies

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Medialive integrates Cinea’s Running Marks™ with launch of m2mark® to reinforce content protection from source to end-user devices

PARIS, France — Medialive, a leading digital content protection company, announced today its launch of a new SDK product range: m2mark®, which features a highly secure approach to merging forensic watermarking and DRM/CAS technologies. The solution integrates Running Marks™, a forensic watermarking technology licensed from Cinea, Inc., a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB). The collaboration enables customers to benefit from these security features provided by the newly developed technologies.

A unique element of the new m2mark® system is that the watermarks are added while the content is still scrambled, so that clear content always contains the watermark. The in-depth integration of Running Marks with the Medialive technology brings an easy-to-deploy and cost-effective solution that reinforces the content protection from source to end-user devices.

The Medialive digital content protection technology consists in extracting the most pertinent data (about 1%) from the original bitstream, at random positions chosen from a set of relevant locations, and replaces this data with pseudo-random dummy data, while keeping altogether the compliance according to the native format and the size of the bitstream. The newly created content is called the “self-protected content” and it can be super-distributed on any type of distribution system (web portals, P2P networks, physical media support, etc.) and can be played back by any device implementing a standard multimedia codec (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, etc.).

“From the start we designed Running Marks for flexibility in order to work with a wide range of system architectures and designs,” said Robert Schumann, general manager of Cinea, Inc. “We are very pleased that Medialive selected Running Marks as the forensic watermarking technology to integrate with their new m2mark® content security offering.”

The m2mark® solution is a key enabler of market trends: Web VOD, IPTV media emergence, HD content demand increase and new advertising models. Medialive‘s unique combination of content protection and content identification allows: controlling content distribution, providing content owners with technical means to dissuade digital piracy and improving the user experience (being “imperceptible” to consumers) while being interoperable with existing DRM/CAS and tracking systems.

“We want our customers to have the best watermarking technology along with the best digital content protection system,” said Didier Lesteven, CEO of Medialive. “Running Marks uniquely separates mark creation, mark placement and mark insertion, resulting in imperceptible marks that are difficult for pirates to attack. This allows for mark insertion in a broad range of consumer playback devices, multiple insertions during content distribution and insertion within the perimeter of the security system. The intrinsic combination of Running Marks and m2mark® is one of the first true solutions addressing existing content distribution security leaks from source to consumer devices. These key features are widely required by the market and rights holders.”

Video forensic watermarking (or session-based watermarking) is the embedding of an imperceptible and unique identifier in a video stream with the intent to later recover those marks. Watermarking acts as an active enforcement tool against piracy by enabling content owners to track pirated content back to its source and as a deterrent by keeping honest people honest.