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The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 41, October 10, 2004, Article 16

NEW PAPER MONEY ? SCANNED, PHOTOCOPIED AND REPRODUCED IN NUMISMATIC LITERATURE

  Dick Johnson writes: "I haven't done it yet, but if you try to
  photocopy a new U.S. twenty or fifty dollar bill on a new
  photocopy machine, up pops a message that you should visit
  an anticounterfeiting website: anticounterfeiting websitex

  Scary that the photocopy machine knows what you are
  copying?  Well, they tell me it is a new technology that is
  built into the machine triggered by images built into the new
  paper money.

  The machine technology was developed by Digimarc, which
  calls itself a "global leader in digital watermarking."
  Headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon, the bulk of Digimarc's
  business is making drivers' licenses more secure.

  Our Bureau of Engraving and Printing worked with a group
  formed by the national banks of U.S. and ten other countries.
  Formed in 1993 and originally called SSG-2 the group is now
  called the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group. It was
  CBCDG which commissioned Digimarc to create the technology.
  In 2003 the United States Treasury gave $2.9 million for this
  project. Everyone, however, is pretty closemouthed about all
  the technology involved, as perhaps they should be.

  Copy machines made by Kodak, Ulead and Hewlett-Packard
  now have the new copy machine technology. It is not mandatory
  yet for all makers of printers, scanners and copiers to include
  this capability, but it is being pushed by the big eleven national
  banks (from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
  the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and of course
  the U.S.).

  Makers of graphic manipulation software, notably Adobe
  PhotoShop and Jase Printshop Pro, have also embedding the
  technology. I'm told the image just doesn't come up if you try
  to copy new currency of these nations with this software.

  My question is how this will affect the publication of numismatic
  paper money literature?  The U.S. law requires all reproductions
  of legal currency be either smaller (less than 3/4 the size of the
  original) or larger (more than 1  times the original size) but it
  cannot be double sided. Formerly it was restricted to black-and-
  white only, but reproduction in color is now allowed.

  The law originally had the caveat these restrictions could be
  waived for "numismatic or educational purposes."  Forty-five
  years ago when I was editor of Coin World I subscribed to
  INTERPOL for their publication of all new currency as it was
  placed in current use. Illustrations of this currency was
  airmailed to subscribers (fastest dissemination at the time).
  This was to inform banks, and currency exchanges to keep
  up-to-date with new legal paper tender around the world.
  This was the only example I knew of educating the public
  about paper money (other than obvious notices in news
  publications).

  If numismatists cannot scan images of paper money in the
  future with this anticounterfeiting technology prohibiting
  coping, how will the numismatic field be able to publish
  paper money books and articles? Must we save one of
  our old copiers for this purpose?

  Here is an early British story on the subject:  British Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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