Subject: Fwd: Re: IMPRIMATUR Website
From: Emanuella Giavarra (email@example.com)
Date: ke 04 kesä 1997 - 19:16:02 EEST
Dear list members,
This interesting message on the effectiveness of watermarking was sent
to the US CNI-Copyright discussion list.
Robin Whittle wrote:
> The Imprimatur site (http://www.imprimatur.alcs.co.uk) does not seem
> to have much technical detail at all, but does mention "digital
> Digital fingerprints/watermarks are often proposed as a means of
> stopping or discouraging people from copying sound, image and other
> kinds of files.
> It sounds impressive, but is ultimately useless for preventing
> unauthorised copying. With both sound and image, if the
> "watermarking" system degrades the human-perceptible material in the
> file, then user's won't put up with it. If it doesn't, then the
> "watermark" will be removed by compression schemes - which are very
> finely attuned to conveying only what humans perceive.
> Digital watermarks/fingerprints are an attempt to stem the tide of
> easy copying of information without degradation, both via the
> Internet and with write once CDs (CD-Rs). The attraction is that
> they seem to make the problematic nature of the future go away by
> re-establishing the old certainties of the past - that only
> publishers, and not users, have the means available to distribute
> perfect copies of the material.
> There would be many benefits of watermarks/fingerprints being
> effective, but they can never be seriously effective.
> If you sell someone some music, for instance with a special
> inaudible series of tones which identifies this copy as being
> theirs, then they can enjoy the music, and also compress it and
> sending it to someone else via the Internet or CD-R. The
> enjoyable content of the music can be transferred to someone else
> -but the compression will destroy or seriously weaken the inaudible
> I looked into this in greater detail over two years ago in a study
> for the Bureau of Transport and Communication Economics on "Future
> Developments in the Music Market". These watermarking schemes may
> have value (though I can't think what at present) - but they cannot
> be reliably used to prevent or discourage unauthorised copying.
> Therefore, people who are selling intellectual property need to
> build a new kind of business relationship with those they sell their
> material to. This will involve encouraging the customer not to
> allow the material they purchased to be copied against the wishes of
> the author. This does not always mean no copying. For instance,
> giving a friend one or two songs by an artist may be the best form
> of marketing the artist could hope for. The recipient may well then
> become a customer.
> Fortunately, the Internet, or at least the Internet with broadband
> data-rates and costs of a cent or two per megabyte (ie. ca.the year
> 2000) is *exactly* the thing that authors need to sell directly to
> customers and to build the new kind of trusting relationship, instead
> of relying on the difficulty of copying, or empty legal threats.
> If music can be discovered and purchased directly from the artist's
> web site (which can be established for low costs compared to
> traditional printing and disc based publishing), globally, 24 hours
> a day, with no stylistic biases and no overheads other than
> communication costs and (for the customer) the storage price of a
> CD-R disc (currently retailing for $6 - but will soon be about $3),
> with the web site encouraging direct (or time shifted) email, voice
> and video communication between artists and listeners, and with the
> listener realising that most of what they pay for the music goes to
> the artist . . . then there is great hope for building these trusting
> If music is only available on pre-pressed CDs, for $30, and the
> listener knows that the artist gets a few dollars or more likely
> nothing from this, then of course they will feel more inclined to
> copy the music.
> Read more about this in a paper at my old WWW site - "Music Marketing
> in the Age of Electronic Delivery""
> This does not mean that there is no work to do in creating software,
> protocols and policies regarding the management of intellectual
> property, just that any approach which is based on the idea that you
> can reliably prevent people from copying things, and/or on preventing
> them from removing any copyright management data embedded in the file
> or signal, is doomed to failure. This is basically true of sound,
> fixed images and video images. Text of course can't have hidden
> The futility of trying to forcibly restrain the flow of information
> will not stop people dreaming that it may yet be possible, or
> discourage governments from funding research into such proposals.
> - Robin
> - Robin Whittle firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.firstpr.com.au -
> - Consumer advocacy in telecommun- -
> - ications, especially privacy. -
> - -
> - First Principles Research and expression - music, -
> - music industry, telecommunications -
> - human factors in technology adoption. -
> - -
> - Real World Interfaces Hardware and software, especially -
> - for music. -
> - 11 Miller St. Heidelberg Heights 3081 Melbourne Australia -
> - Ph +61-3-9459-2889 Fax +61-3-9458-1736 -
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