Frequently asked questions
Questions about watermarking:
What is a digital watermark, what is watermarking, how is a watermark added to a digital image?
IMATAG’s solution adds a transparent (invisible) watermark to the picture. The pixel values are changed in order to convey a secret message, but these modifications are subtle and perceptually shaped. The human eye cannot see the difference between the watermarked and the original image.
This is a major difference with visible watermark which is an overlay superposed on top of the picture and meant to be seen.
Why add a watermark to a digital photography?
Digital watermarking embeds a secret message within the image (the technical term is steganography). This message is binary and can be decoded by a computer.
This is the second major difference with visible watermarks which are meant for human readers. This code can be unique (content ID) to help identify different copies of a single image.
The applications vary with businesses and industries:
Content producers (brands, agencies, manufacturers…) in order to detect uses harmful to their business or to assess their reach and effective distribution channels.
What is the difference between Imatag's watermark and the competition?
Our competitors’ watermarks are easily defeated by the jpeg compression systematically used on many websites and platforms (social networks, marketplaces…).
IMATAG’s watermark is known to resist significant compression rates and image editing (resizing, filters, screenshots, print photos …). Test its robustness by yourself to be convinced:
After zooming, some competitors’ watermarks become visible in the form of a very annoying green “noise”. IMATAG uses human perceptual model to invisibly embed the watermark in luminance pixel values: no color drift for a more discreet solution.
Unlike Imatag, competitor watermarking is slow for large images. We process a very high amount of images daily (watermarking but also detection), our solution scales with your stock and production.
Questions about monitoring:
What is the difference between Imatag's monitoring and the competition?
IMATAG can configure crawlers specific to your needs, based on a list provided by you or suggested on the observation of existing matches. IMATAG also browses PDF sources, press feeds, and videos.
Questions about photos:
How to know if a photo has been tagged?
Once your photo is placed on our platform www.imatag.com, it is automatically marked with an invisible watermark.
You can then retrieve watermarked photos from the platform via API or download.
Which photo quality should I choose?
You can upload photos of any size.
Even your HD photos (up to 1GB) must be marked ideally, so that we can certify it is your photo that has been used in case of illegal publication.
How does image identification work?
We combine two technologies:
Similarity: an algorithm reduces your photo to a minimum of data which constitutes its unique signature (be careful, the signature is not the mark). Each photo has its signature, we store this signature in a database (the register). To find copies of your photo, we compare the signature of each photo found on the web to the signature of your photo in our register. If the signatures are close, we go to the second test: the search for a mark (or watermark).
Watermarking : the watermark of your photo in our register is hidden in its pixels in an invisible way, so when it is found on the web (even compressed, resized, recolored) we can be 100% sure that the original photo is yours, whereas the similarity is not certain due to the alterations of the image.
How do I know if one of my photos has been used?
IMATAG users are notified when a publication is found. The list of matches is displayed in IMATAG’s analytics tool.
Will my photo be found directly after I deposit it on Imatag?
Once your photo is on our platform, it is directly protected.
Our system then looks for images similar to yours:
Either our database already contains images similar to yours and in this case the similarity search will give you results quickly.
Or our database does not contain similar images and we will have to give our crawlers time to continue their work and find a photo similar to yours or a copy found with the tattoo previously inserted in your photo.
Will my photo be found if it is used on social networks?
We do not crawl Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
However, imatag users may suggest websites to crawl. Our first users being photo-reporters, we initially crawl the press sites (and the print) to then extend the searches to the rest of the web (social networks not included)
Do my photos remain protected indefinitely?
If you have posted tagged photos on your website, they will be protected as long as the original photos remain on your Imatag photo library
*tag = invisible watermark embedded in your pixels
Be careful, if you remove your image to the Imatag photo library, the tagged versions already broadcast (on your website or elsewhere) will no longer be protected.
My photo was found on the web, what can i do?
Check on the page where it was found if you are correctly credited and check (possibly with your agency) if the publication has been authorized.
If it is not the case, it is an illegal use of your photo. You must report it to the offender based on the rights associated with your photo (billing, credit posting or photo removal).