This section contains answers to common questions you may have about understanding Digimarc watermarking.

Subscriptions/Digimarc IDs

Q. How do I get a Digimarc ID?

A. You can register for a Basic or Smart Digimarc ID in one of two ways:

1) Go to the Subscription and a Digimarc ID section of Digimarc’s web site; you will find a link to the subscription forms there.

2) Have a registration form faxed to you by calling +1-503-495-4623

Q. Why does Image Optimizer not support Distributor IDs?

A. The Distributor ID is no longer supported by Digimarc.

Q. Where is the contact information and smart image link information stored?

A. Contact profiles and smart image link information are stored in Digimarc’s database. The system is accessible via a high-speed Internet connection, and is operated in a data center with full 24-hour operations and support.

Q. How do Smart IDs work?

A. First, you embed your Smart ID in your images using Image Optimizer, and maintain a destination link in Digimarc’s database (which tells the image where to send people). Then, viewers of your images can navigate to the smart image destination by using a Digimarc reader. This is accomplished behind the scenes by first going to Digimarc’s database, and then redirecting to your chosen URL. This also means that you can change the destination URL at any time, without changing the embedded message in the image.

Q. Who’s responsible for maintaining the records? How often can I change my Smart ID links?

A. Digimarc customers can update their contact profiles and Smart ID links at any time. Simply go to Customer Service in the Service & Support area of our web site. Once there, choose the “update profile information” option and enter your Digimarc ID and password to log in to your account.

Q. Who controls the data someone sees about me?

A. At the time you provide us with your contact details, you control the information you want viewers to see. You can exclude your address, phone number, and other specific information. You’re in charge.

Q. What happens to my Digimarc ID if I decide not to renew my subscription?

A. Your Basic ID is yours forever (subject to the terms and conditions of the subscription agreement). However, you are responsible for maintaining current contact information. Your Smart ID will remain active as long as you maintain your subscription. If you let your subscription lapse, it will be automatically converted to a Basic ID.

Q. I lost my PIN or password. What can I do?

A. To retrieve your PIN, simply go to Customer Service in the Service & Support area of our web site. Once there, choose the “review account status” option and enter your Digimarc ID and password to log in to your account. If you’ve forgotten your password or Digimarc ID, you can call Digimarc customer service at 800-DIGIMARC (800-344-4627), or +1-503-495-4623 from outside the US.

Q. If I use more than one Digimarc embedding tool, do I need to get a different Digimarc ID for each application?

A. No. You can use your Digimarc ID with any Digimarc embedder. Some customers choose to use multiple IDs to associate images with different brands, or to provide different Smart ID destinations.

General Technical Questions

Q. What if I Digimarc-enhance all my images and then Digimarc changes its technology?

A. The embedded message carries version and message type information, and Digimarc products have been designed to support upward compatibility. Also, Digimarc readers are able to recognize previous message types. If a Digimarc reader finds a newer version of a Digimarc embedded message that it does not support, you will be notified and instructed to download the most recent reader.

Q. Do embedded Digimarc messages survive printing?

A. Yes. This was a primary design goal of the technology and has been successfully tested. Once a Digimarc image has been printed, it can be read again by scanning the image on a digital image scanner. For best results, we recommend using Digimarc utilities as part of the prepress process, once the image has been prepped for printing.

Q. What image file formats can be Digimarc-enhanced?

A. You can use all the formats supported by Image Optimizer i.e. JPEG, GIF and PNG images. You can use Image Optimizer to check that the watermark has survived compression, color reduction and dithering.

Q. What color spaces are supported?

A. The Digimarc embedding process is color space independent. You can embed a message into RGB and grayscale images using Image Optimizer.

Q. How small an image can I Digimarc-enhance? How large?

A. If you don’t intend to apply any compression or other image edits, the image can be as small as 100 x 100 pixels. However, if you believe your image might be compressed, cropped, rotated, scaled or otherwise modified, we recommend a minimum size of 256 x 256 pixels. There is no upper limit on the size of an image that can be Digimarc-enhanced.

Q. Do Digimarc-enhanced images survive compression?

A. This was a design goal of the technology. Lossy compression methods such as JPEG actually remove some image data in order to decrease file size. This can have varying effects on survival of the embedded information. Generally if you favor image quality over image size when selecting the degree of compression, you’ll get the most favorable results. You may find you have to use less than normal MagiCompression for the watermark to survive.

Q. Can I Digimarc-enhance a JPEG image?

A. Yes, however, in general, you’ll get the best results and quality by starting with an original, uncompressed image.

Q. Can the embedded Digimarc message be removed? What happens to the image if it is removed?

A. Digimarc does not provide tools or software to remove its Digimarc messages from images. The message embedded in a Digimarc-enhanced image is robust, so it survives normal image edits, file format transformations, and copying. However, it isn’t intended to be absolutely permanent. A skilled person could remove it from your image if he or she really worked hard to do so. When your Digimarc-enhanced image is opened in an editing tool, it reminds the viewer that it is copyrighted. As a result, the act of intentionally removing your Digimarc message would be an obvious attempt to infringe your copyright, triggering opportunities for stiffer penalties.

Q. Can I remove my own Digimarc message from an image?

A. No. Since you are the image owner, it is assumed that you will retain an original, non Digimarc-enhanced image in the event it is needed.

Q. What happens if I try to add a new Digimarc message to an already Digimarc-enhanced image?

A. You will be prevented from adding another watermark if one is found in the image.


Q. How do I access my MarcSpider report?

A. MarcSpider reports are available online any time of day. Simply go to Customer Service in the Service & Support area of our web site. Once there, choose the “view MarcSpider report” option and enter your Digimarc ID and password to log in to your report.

Q. How often is my MarcSpider report updated?

A. Reports are updated continually, so you’ll always see the latest image finds. You can view your as often as you like, with options to view finds for the current month or by date range.

Watermarking FAQ