Technologies for making high-quality copies of documents are getting more available, cheaper, and more efficient. As a result, the counterfeiting business engenders huge losses, ranging to 5% to 8% of worldwide sales of brand products, and endangers the reputation and value of the brands themselves. Moreover, the growth of the Internet drives the business of counterfeited documents (fake IDs, university diplomas, checks, and so on), which can be bought easily and anonymously from hundreds of companies on the Web. The incredible progress of digital imaging equipment has put in question the very possibility of verifying the authenticity of documents: how can we discern genuine documents from seemingly “perfect” copies? This paper proposes a solution based on creating digital images with specific properties, called a Copy-detection patterns (CDP), that is printed on arbitrary documents, packages, etc. CDPs make an optimal use of an "information loss principle": every time an imae is printed or scanned, some information is lost about the original digital image. That principle applies even for the highest quality scanning, digital imaging, printing or photocopying equipment today, and will likely remain true for tomorrow. By measuring the amount of information contained in a scanned CDP, the CDP detector can take a decision on the authenticity of the document.