Since the introduction of DVD Video a number of companies had tried to establish their proprietary watermarking standards for DVD content. Watermarking would vastly help tracing sources of pirated copies, and as such immensely strengthen DVD against bootlegging.
Now, Sony, Hitachi, Pioneer Electric, IBM, and NEC merged two rival watermarking proposals for future DVD-Video systems into one under the “Galaxy Systems” label. Still, there is another competitor out there. Macrovision, Digimarc and Philips, had announced their plans during last year’s VSDA show, and will also present their system to the Copy Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG) for final recommendation to the DVD Forum.
It is now going for the votes at CPTWG to ensure fair selection of a watermarking standard for DVD-Video and ensure proper implementation. The CPTWG is also considered to handle the licensing of said watermarking technology after its adoption. Patents and royalties are still some of the hot issues surrounding watermarking but inside sources are hopeful that a final decision could be made rather soon.