While security features embedded in banknotes are the first line of defense when it comes to protection against counterfeiting, businesses and governments outside of the industry also take steps to help avoid forgeries.
In 2004, the European Union drafted legislation to try and compel computer and software manufacturers to make products that were not able to counterfeit banknotes. That year, the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) – an organization of 27 leading world banks – developed and distributed anti-counterfeiting software that computer and software manufacturers could voluntarily incorporate into their products.
Many companies latched on to the idea.
Adobe Photoshop – a mainstay graphics software – would generate an error message if a user attempted to scan banknotes, and a number of printer manufacturers used the software in such a way that only an inch of a banknote would reproduce followed by the web address of a site displaying regulations governing the reproduction of money.
Another graphic program, Corel Paint Shop Pro, would automatically flash this message on the screen should a banknote try to be copied:
“This application does not support the unauthorized processing of banknote images. For more information, select the information button below for Internet-based information on restrictions for copying and distributing banknote images or go to www.rulesforuse.org.”
Similarly, Hewlett Packard introduced printers able to detect similarities only found on currencies. When printed, the printer automatically altered the colours so the difference between the final product and the original banknote were unmistakable.
Though these developments began some six years ago, many of these companies have kept up to date with anti-counterfeiting measures. Photoshop, for example, continues to include what they call a “counterfeit deterrence system (CDS)” which prevents users from opening detailed images of banknotes altogether.
However, since every country has different laws about banknote reproduction (banknotes can be copied in the US for example for artistic representation), the CBCDG is still in operation, and provides detailed instructions on its website about the rules and regulations regarding banknote reproduction around the world.