This paper presents a new semi-blind reference watermarking scheme based on discrete wavelet transform(DWT) and singular value decomposition(SVD) for copyright protection and authenticity. We are using a gray scale logo image as watermark instead of randomly generated Gaussian noise type watermark. For watermark embedding, the original image is transformed into wavelet domain and a reference sub-image is formed using directive contrast and wavelet coefficients. We embed watermark into reference image by modifying the singular values of reference image using the singular values of the watermark. A reliable watermark extraction scheme is developed for the extraction of watermark from distorted image. Experimental evaluation demonstrates that the proposed scheme is able to withstand a variety of attacks. We show that the proposed scheme also stands with the ambiguity attack also. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.