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Digital Watermarking (technically speaking)

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For anyone interested in the technical details of digital watermarking of music here is a pretty good website for this kind of information.


from Audiobox


"Digital audio watermarking involves the concealment of data within a discrete audio file. Applications for this technology are numerous. Intellectual property protection is currently the main driving force behind research in this area. To combat online music piracy, a digital watermark could be added to all recording prior to release, signifying not only the author of the work, but the user who has purchased a legitimate copy. Newer operating systems equipped with digital rights management software (DRM) will extract the watermark from audio files prior to playing them on the system. The DRM software will ensure that the user has paid for the song by comparing the watermark to the existing purchased licences on the system."




Complete article



Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Let me rephrase what I said I think about digital audio watermarking, and innocently posted (shoulda known better....) on a variant of this thread elsewhere on this site: NO DRM!!


So if I want to take my portable audio HD to a get-together in order to contribute to a mix of music there, and it isn't my computer that I am plugging in to, NOW I CAN"T PLAY THE MUSIC!? No no no no no no. That is just asking for bankruptcy for your company Mr. Record Label executive! Even if you use the "Enable/Disable audible account" feature as provided in iTunes, that is just too cumbersome for friendly get togethers. The idea behind musical flow is that it should be virtually uninterrupted. Stop raining on the parade. Does anyone here remember record parties ? Everyone brings their faves and we take turns playing them. .......


Digital watermarking as it has been used up to now, mostly in digital graphics, has worked well to identify the true owner of intellectual property: You cannot use copyrighted images freely for your own commercial gain under the scrutiny of the the public eye, without risking not only the due and legal payment for use of those images, but also then the court costs and fines that would come due for misuse of those images. Digital watermarking with the sort of DRM described here would hinder or prevent free and fair use of content you have purchased in good faith. I am not talking about copying and distributing intellectual property, just listening to it.


Watermarking = OK

DRM = Big Brother getting bigger


What Big Brother should be = A great Rare Earth song from yesteryear:



Help: http://www.eff.org/


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The RIAA is already convinced I'm a pirate because I have copied CDs I have bought to my computer. If I were to follow their rules I'd still be playing them on a CD player.


They talk about the billions of dollars lost to illegal copying. I know there's illegal copying going on but I dispute how much money they're losing; in many of those cases I'll bet people are copying songs they'd never buy.


And then there's the fact that little of the money I pay for CDs goes to the person who actually created the music. What we really need is a new means of distribution that sends most of the money to the artists.


Another idea that might help: Cut the prices of CDs. Reduce the incentive to copy. My current practice is to buy almost all of mine used, and I"ll spring when the price is about half the new cost. The problem is that this doesn't help the artist, but I just have a very hard time spending $18 for what cost $10 back when there were only three pressing plants.


Finally, what's this bit about things going out of print? Why not offer all the old catalog on demand? The mastering has already been done and the files exists on a computer somewhere. Why not burn a CD to order, or offer a download service?


This whole situation just wants some creativity. Unfortunately, the record industry is still using the same old tired models they always have. DRM won't get them where they want to be and I doubt that watermarking will help.


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Lord Chaos wrote:


Finally, what's this bit about things going out of print? Why not offer all the old catalog on demand? The mastering has already been done and the files exists on a computer somewhere. Why not burn a CD to order, or offer a download service?


Don't know how deeply you are into Classical music, LC, but here's an on-demand service that can help you with some of that OOP stuff. I haven't bought any of these simply because I already own the originals of about half of their listings. I'll admit, too, that I am a bit concerned with their lack of info regarding HOW these CDRs are made.





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Chris, to answer your question directly, no, I haven't bought any of their CDRs. That's exactly what they are, and anybody who's fooled around with them knows that they'll eventually go bad. I have several that are unreadable that aren't even 10 years old yet.


I use the database at Arkiv, but usually avoid buying from them since their prices are higher than most other sellers.


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