Practical method for watermarking Java programs

Akito Monden, Hajimu Iida, Ken ichi Matsumoto, Katsuro Inoue, Koji Torii

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Java programs distributed through Internet are now suffering front program theft. It is because Java programs can be easily decomposed into reusable class files and even decompiled into source code by program users. In this paper we propose a practical method that discourages program theft by embedding Java programs with a digital watermark. Embedding a program developer's copyright notation as a watermark in Java class files will ensure the legal ownership of class files. Our embedding method is indiscernible by program users, yet enables us to identify an illegal program that contains stolen class files. The result of the experiment to evaluate our method showed most of the watermarks (20 out of 23) embedded in class files survived two kinds of attacks that attempt to erase watermarks: an obfuscactor attack, and a decompile-recompile attack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings - IEEE Computer Society's International Computer Software and Applications Conference
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event2000 IEEE 24th Annual International Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC 2000) - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: Oct 25 2000Oct 27 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications


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