Watermarking (as DRM alternative) gaining steam?

Summary:ZDNet reader Charly Prevost spotted Digital Music News' coverage of some increased support for watermarking as an alternative to the traditional DRM approach.  A few weeks back, I described how watermarking works and why I like it.

ZDNet reader Charly Prevost spotted Digital Music News' coverage of some increased support for watermarking as an alternative to the traditional DRM approach.  A few weeks back, I described how watermarking works and why I like it.  According to Digital Music News:

Most recently, P2P industry trade group DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association) has thrown its weight behind the concept by forming the P2P Digital Watermark Working Group. "Digital watermarking has been widely deployed by all major music labels and movie studios for forensic tracking, and has been deployed by major studios for copy protection and by broadcasters as well as studios for broadcast monitoring," DCIA chief Marty Lafferty recently wrote in an open letter to the content and technology industries. "There are presently billions of watermarked objects in the market."...DCIA currently carries a membership of 72 companies.

It's an interesting development but I don't expect the digital media cartel to budge because of the launch of this new group (see the press release).  Especially when the US government is leaning in the direction of pro-DRM legislation.  The only thing that can change the cartels' minds is the sort of public outrage that was sparked by the Sony BMG root-kit debacle.  For that to happen, we'll need a few very public DRM trainwrecks with a lot of carnage.  Most people don't seem interested in heeding the anti-DRM warnings that are turning up all over the Net right now.

Topics: Legal

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David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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