TextSign - Protect your texts with digital watermarks!

Project homepage:   www.TextSign.com (identical to these pages)


Objectives: Only method for inserting a digital watermark in texts (TextSign). The method for digital marking of information that's most difficult to remove: For removing an attacker would need to also model the complete language correctly in a computer.

Scanning, speech recognition, internet downloading, intelligent text processing systems: Text processing becomes increasingly simple, writing good texts remains difficult. With TextSign you protect your intellectual property. This innovation distinguishes itself by its broad applicability to all kinds of textual documents and its tamper proof characteristic.

Internet and CD-ROM: Chances and danger at the same time

The Internet is a two-edged sword: It offers authors the chance to publish their works worldwide, on the other hand, it brings about the risks of unauthorized publishing and copying. Nobody loses copyright when publishing works in the Internet. But most of the time, the right alone isnít sufficient to protect intellectual property. Hence the need for technical tools that protect against web piracy.

The Internet is increasingly becoming more important than the classical medium CD-ROM. Nevertheless, an effective protection is required due to inexpensive CD writers and the mass-production of pirated CDs abroad. In addition to TextSign, Compris.com addresses both areas with key-based personalization technologies exploiting the difference in customersí hardware for key-generation and computer identification.

The digital watermark for proving authorship

The principle of digital watermarking is known from bank notes. Insignificant characteristics suffice to prove originality and identify counterfeits. Today, the modern digital watermark is a widespread method that makes a published work unique so that it can be identified automatically. In this way author rights can be proved in case of unauthorized publication or copying. For images and music several known methods exist which imprint video- and audio-files with an unsuspicious mark. With the help of this mark authorship identification is simple and thus pirates can easily and inexpensively be caught and sentenced.

The problem: How is watermarking possible in simple text?

A commonly known method changes the word distances slightly and operates with similar concepts as watermarking tools for images. Unfortunately, it is extremely simple to remove such a watermark in images and text completely. Currently existing pirate tools enable every school boy to remove such watermarks. The text, the image or the song by itself will still remain allowing the work to be copied and resold or published unauthorized on another web site. In such cases, chances of proving authorship are slim.

The solution: directly integrate the digital watermark into the text!

With TextSign it is possible to integrate a digital Watermark (e.g. the name of the author or the name of the publishing house) directly into a text! It will be encoded into the text by rephrasing it minimally (e.g. choice of synonyms, word order, positions of additional blanks for block justification etc.). The meaning of the text will be retained fully because the program is able to understand language. Sections that could not be completely understood remain unchanged. This second version can safely be published (as printed work, on CD-ROM, on the Internet) as it is protected by TextSign.

The watermark can be hidden as often as possible in the text. The upper boundary depends on the length of the text. In the standard version there will be a relationship of ca. 1:40 between encoded information and the text to protect (e.g. for every 40 letters of text one letter of watermark can be hidden).


Inconspicous and tamper resistant

By using linguistic rephrasing techniques, the changes remain inconspicuous and the work is practically tamper resistant. Hackers use existing weaknesses. But they have never gone to the extent of constructing synonym dictionaries and a grammar. Furthermore, a watermark can be encoded in absolutely files containing text - from Word documents to PDF files.

Not every text is of the same kind...

Of course it isnít possible to use this method in the same way for any text. The more important a special mode of expression (i.e. "lyric quality of language") is for the value of the text (e.g. works of fiction and poetry), the more it can be lost by rephrasing it. For this reason , TextSign has a mode to obtain highest levels of relatedness to the original meaning or not to change arbitrary aspects at all. TextSign users can select one or several aspects among choosing only exact synonyms (e.g.: car --> automobile), inserting spaces in justified text or at the end of lines, or only by changing the position of words within a sentence. To still hide the same watermark with minimal changes, a significantly larger part of text will be needed in comparison to having all features activated.

No plaintiff, no judge!

Additionally, a search engine will be availed to search the internet automatically for copies of all texts with a TextSign mark and report all unauthorized publications to the author or publisher. In the standard case that the identity number or the e-mail address of the author or copyright holder is hidden within the text as a watermark, the search engine will automatically send an informative e-mail message to the person specified by the watermark. TextSign calculates the probability of a coincidental similarity of texts. This will also be mentioned within the e-mail to the pirate. He will presumably adjust his conduct quickly when he notices that his chances in court are minimal. In the occasional case of a lawsuit we will assist in providing the technical proof of authorship with its probability.

What happens if a net pirate wants to use TextSign for his own purposes?

All Compris.com text rephrasing products - among them TextHide - can detect the digital watermarks and refuse to eliminate them! For identifying an improper use, the original is not required - therefore making the search more simple and cost-efficient.

The invisible seal with TextSign

TextSign can seal a text to assure that the content is not modified during transmission. This is achieved by hiding a checksum which TextSign will generate by using the text itself. Only the sender and the recipient will know of the existence of a seal. In combination with encryption, only the intended recipient will be able to test the seal.


Different problems demand different solutions

Each watermarking technology has to make small modifications to the original in a unique manner. You can still place your original into our search engine www.placens.com. Furthermore, you can sell and deliver your online publications over the internet against clearly defined usage restrictions, enforced by our displaying software Ė www.reputas.com. For each of these topics, individual data sheets are available.

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Information & Questions: TextSign@compris.com




Opelstr. 10
D-67661 Kaiserslautern-Siegelbach
phone: (+49) 06301 - 703340
fax: (+49) 06301 - 703119

Internet: www.TextSign.com

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