2 min read

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) had their 78th quarterly meeting earlier this year between January and February. There was a press release afterward mentioning blockchain relating to security, privacy but mainly DRM.

There wasn’t much coverage on this but this can have serious implications. JPEG think that they can implement Digital Rights Management (DRM) for JPEG images. This involves automated copy protection and access control with the help of blockchain.

This might actually make DRM for images work, which as of now practically doesn’t.

The press release contains this text:


JPEG explores blockchain and distributed ledger technologies

During the 78th JPEG meeting in Rio de Janeiro, the JPEG committee organized a special session on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies and their impact on JPEG standards. As a result, the committee decided to explore use cases and standardization needs related to blockchain technology in a multimedia context. Use cases will be explored in relation to the recently launched JPEG Privacy and Security, as well as in the broader landscape of imaging and multimedia applications. To that end, the committee created an ad hoc group with the aim to gather input from experts to define these use cases and to explore eventual needs and advantages to support a standardization effort focused on imaging and multimedia applications. To get involved in the discussion, interested parties can register to the ad hoc group’s mailing list.

Then, after six months of collaboration, the ad-hoc group produced a white paper.

In the 80th conference’s press release, July 2018, they stated:

Fake news, copyright violation, media forensics, privacy and security are emerging challenges for digital media. JPEG has determined that blockchain technology has great potential as a technology component to address these challenges in transparent and trustable media transactions.

The white paper lists some challenges and opportunities in the media industry such as access and distribution, global distribution, combating piracy, and others.

JPEG isn’t just working on image compression standards, they’ve also been exploring ways for per-image access control. But in case of images, the image can just be screenshotted, or a picture can take be taken at any point. In the general sense DRM protected content is perceived to be of bad quality.

After six months of working on this, the white paper states “A formal call for proposals will be issued if there are enough interests and requirements of a standard or protocol are identified.

JPEG plans a free public workshop at its 81st meeting in Vancouver to be held in October.

You can read a more detailed coverage for more information.

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