Digital watermarking is recognized as an innovative technique developed to deal with the problem of copyright protection of digital content distributed on the Internet. Such a technique can address the problem of asserting authorship but cannot directly solve the problem of determining accountability when piracy occurs. Therefore, it is necessary to implement watermarking protocols to determine whether a user illegally possesses content distributed by content providers as well as to protect the entire digital asset of the web-based distribution and of the associated rights. In this paper, the author reviews and discusses merits and limitations of relevant proposals existing in the literature in the field of watermarking protocols, identifies open issues and challenges, and presents a novel watermarking protocol able both to solve specific documented problems and to meet the requirements of robustness, security, modularity and flexibility needed in the current models of web-based content distribution.
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