Digital image watermarking and identification technology specialist LAMARK announces the closing of its first funding round (500,000 euros). Beyond this financing, the young Rennes-based start-up is setting its sights on an industrial partnership centered around its IMATAG.COM platform.
Finding an image on the internet and using it for your own publishing needs has never been easier. However, tracing the source of an image to credit the person who took it or ask permission to use it is becoming ever more difficult due to the loss of source data (photographer, agency, copyright, description, etc.). Truth be told, this information, be it in watermark or metadata form, generally disappears because of the different modifications made to the photo on the internet (cropping, sharing via social media, making screenshots, etc.).
Putting value back into images, however they may be shared: this is LAMARK’s goal.
Created in May 2015 by researchers from the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) and nurtured by business incubator EMERGYS in Rennes-Atalante, this fledgling company launched IMATAG, its online image protection service, in 2016. Today, the start-up has announced a first funding round of 500,000 euros from EDD, a French company specialising in media watch services. This funding will notably enable the company to finely hone its services and boost its growth on the press and publishing market.
Just upload your photos onto the www.imatag.com platform to tag them with an invisible watermark. These watermarked photos are then monitored in the press (online and printed) by the IMATAG robot, which notifies the photographer (or his/her agency) whenever it is used in a publication.
This patented and unique watermarking technology is robust to cropping, color modifications, screenshots and so on. Even if the image file no longer contains the original metadata, IMATAG’s search engine enables viewers to identify the photographer and source.
More than 3 million photographs have now been protected and are tracked on a daily basis by the platform.
This already enables client agencies to save on monitoring costs (the search for agency photos in the press) and tomorrow, it will reduce their publisher invoicing costs as these will be processed automatically by IMATAG.
EDD is the first company to provide real-time cataloguing of all French media for key account clients and distributors in the sector (aggregators, newsstands, service providers). By investing in LAMARK, the aim for EDD is to extend its text-based content marking to image and video, enabling it to expand the scope of its automatic identification and copyright awareness applications. Find out more at http://www.edd.fr.
1 – Source : Internet Trends Conference 2016, Mary Meeker, KPCB
2 – source: CEPIC – S.Fodor – recherches sur Google Image
3 – Test conducted by LAMARK in March 2017 on over 82,000 photos and more than 120 French media sites
4 – Photographers ‘sign’ their photos by storing their copyright (agency/photographer) in the image file’s metadata.