Open Access

Video Waterscrambling: Towards a Video Protection Scheme Based on the Disturbance of Motion Vectors

  • Yann Bodo1Email author,
  • Nathalie Laurent1,
  • Christophe Laurent1 and
  • Jean-Luc Dugelay2
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:298318

Received: 31 March 2003

Published: 28 October 2004


With the popularity of high-bandwidth modems and peer-to-peer networks, the contents of videos must be highly protected from piracy. Traditionally, the models utilized to protect this kind of content are scrambling and watermarking. While the former protects the content against eavesdropping (a priori protection), the latter aims at providing a protection against illegal mass distribution (a posteriori protection). Today, researchers agree that both models must be used conjointly to reach a sufficient level of security. However, scrambling works generally by encryption resulting in an unintelligible content for the end-user. At the moment, some applications (such as e-commerce) may require a slight degradation of content so that the user has an idea of the content before buying it. In this paper, we propose a new video protection model, called waterscrambling, whose aim is to give such a quality degradation-based security model. This model works in the compressed domain and disturbs the motion vectors, degrading the video quality. It also allows embedding of a classical invisible watermark enabling protection against mass distribution. In fact, our model can be seen as an intermediary solution to scrambling and watermarking.

Keywords and phrases

content protectionvideo scramblingwatermarkingmotion estimation

Authors’ Affiliations

TECH/IRIS/CIM, France Telecom R&D
Multimedia Communication Department, Institut EURECOM


© Bodo et al. 2004