In the past decade the use of digital data has increased significantly. The advantages of digital data are, amongst others, easy editing, fast, cheap and cross-platform distribution and compact storage. The most crucial disadvantages are the unauthorized copying and copyright issues, by which authors and license holders can suffer
considerable financial losses. Many inexpensive methods are readily available for editing digital data and, unlike analog information, the reproduction in the digital case is simple and robust. Hence, there is great interest in developing technology that helps to protect the integrity of a digital work and the copyrights of its owners. Watermarking, which is the embedding of a signal (known as the watermark) into the original digital data, is one method that has been proposed for the protection of digital media elements such as audio, video and images. In this article, we examine watermarking schemes for still images, based on selective quantization of the coefficients of a wavelet transformed image, i.e. sparse quantization-index modulation (QIM) watermarking. Different grouping schemes for the wavelet coefficients are evaluated and experimentally verified for robustness against several attacks. Wavelet tree-based grouping schemes yield a slightly improved performance over block-based
grouping schemes. Additionally, the impact of the deployment of error correction codes on the most promising configurations is examined. The utilization of BCH-codes (Bose, Ray-Chaudhuri, Hocquenghem) results in an improved robustness as long as the capacity of the error codes is not exceeded (cliff-effect).