2016 Volume E99.D Issue 6 Pages 1541-1552
A visible watermarking technique to provide copyright protection for portrait images is proposed in this paper. The proposal is focused on real-world applications where a portrait image is printed and illegitimately used for commercial purposes. It is well known that this is one of the most difficult challenges to prove ownership through current watermark techniques. We propose an original approach which avoids the deficiencies of typical watermarking methods in practical scenarios by introducing a smart process to automatically detect the most suitable region of the portrait image, where the visible watermark goes unnoticed to the naked eye of a viewer and is robust enough to remain visible when printed. The position of the watermark is determined by performing an analysis of the portrait image characteristics taking into account several conditions of their spatial information together with human visual system properties. Once the location is set, the watermark embedding process is performed adaptively by creating a contrast effect between the watermark and its background. Several experiments are performed to illustrate the proper functioning of the proposed watermark algorithm on portrait images with different characteristics, including dimensions, backgrounds, illumination and texture, with the conclusion that it can be applied in many practical situations.