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Copyright protection for the electronic distribution of text documents

Brassil, Jack T. and Low, Steven and Maxemchuk, Nicholas F. (1999) Copyright protection for the electronic distribution of text documents. Proceedings of the IEEE, 87 (7). pp. 1181-1196. ISSN 0018-9219. doi:10.1109/5.771071.

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Each copy of a text document can be made different in a nearly invisible way by repositioning or modifying the appearance of different elements of text, i.e., lines, words, or characters. A unique copy can be registered with its recipient, so that subsequent unauthorized copies that are retrieved can be traced back to the original owner. In this paper we describe and compare several mechanisms for marking documents and several other mechanisms for decoding the marks after documents have been subjected to common types of distortion. The marks are intended to protect documents of limited value that are owned by individuals who would rather possess a legal than an illegal copy if they can be distinguished. We will describe attacks that remove the marks and countermeasures to those attacks. An architecture is described for distributing a large number of copies without burdening the publisher with creating and transmitting the unique documents. The architecture also allows the publisher to determine the identity of a recipient who has illegally redistributed the document, without compromising the privacy of individuals who are not operating illegally. Two experimental systems are described. One was used to distribute an issue of the IEEE JOURNAL ON SELECTED AREAS IN COMMUNICATIONS, and the second was used to mark copies of company private memoranda.

Item Type:Article
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Low, Steven0000-0001-6476-3048
Additional Information:© Copyright 1999 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received March 15, 1998; revised December 28, 1998.
Subject Keywords:Computer crime; copyright protection; document delivery; document marking; electronic publishing; privacy; subliminal channels; copy protection; copyright; document image processing; security of data; company private memoranda; distortion; document protection; electronic text document distribution; illegal document redistribution; mark decoding; mark removal attacks; unique copy registration
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BRAprocieee99
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11566
Deposited On:05 Sep 2008 03:22
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:00

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