Copy evident document

Copy-evident documents have features that make it detectable that a copy is not the original.

In security printing various methods such as void pantograph are used to create patterns that are hard to copy exactly and when copied inexactly produces an easily detectable image. This can include halftone screens that are affected by the copying process, fine line patterns in different directions that are differently affected by copying and hence produce a mark, metallic inks causing diffraction or reflection.[1]

Copy-evident computer image files are also possible, for example by embedding a high-frequency pattern in a JPEG image that is imperceptible, but produces an obvious message when re-compressed with a different quality factor.[2]

Some forms of paper watermarking and digital watermarking can be regarded as copy-evidence, although detecting that a document or file has been copied typically requires special inspection, tools or software. For example, 3D printed objects can be equipped with marks of genuinity that can be identified using a measurement device but are hard to deduce from sample objects; copies will lack these marks.[3]


  1. ^George K. Phillips. New Digital Anti-Copy/Scan and Verification Technologies. In: Optical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques V, San Jose, California; June 3, 2004; p. 133-141; ISBN 0-8194-5213-0 Archived 2013-10-02 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^Andrew B. Lewis, Markus G. Kuhn. Towards copy-evident JPEG images. Digitale Multimedia-Forensik, 39. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik 2009, Lübeck, Germany, GI-Edition: Lecture Notes in Informatics, Volume P154, pp 171;1582–91.
  3. ^Daniel G. Aliaga, Mikhail J. Atallah. Genuinity Signatures: Designing Signatures for Verifying 3D Object Genuinity. Computer Graphics Forum Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 437–446, April 2009


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