Microsoft patents watermark technology

Microsoft has won a patent for a digital-watermarking technology that could be used to protect the rights of content owners even when digital music is distributed without DRM protection. The technology, called "stealthy audio watermarking," inserts and detects watermarks in audio signals that can identify the content producer, "providing a signature that is embedded in the audio signal and cannot be removed," according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trade Organization (USPTO).

The application for U.S. patent 7,266,697 was filed May 3, 2004, by Darko Kirovski and Henrique Malvar, both of whom work at Microsoft Research. Malvar is a Microsoft distinguished engineer and managing director of Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, and Kirovski is a researcher there.

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News source: InfoWorld

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16 Comments

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Can't be removed without ruining the music track itself or allready havign an identical version of the original non watermarked track. it's the way of the beast when it comes to watermarking.

Wow, somebody's really freakin' slow this morning. How'd you get far enough into the article to see that it was filed in 2004, but remain completely blind to the word 'won' in the very first sentence?

Mike Frett said,
Ok, I'm sure you all have embarrassed him enough. I'm quite sure he's sorry about his misread. Give him a break huh?.
That's ok. I'll remember the next time THEY say something dumb or misread an article.

yeh surely if you were to MP3 encode the file at say 220Kbps VBR then it would distort and make the `audio protection` lossy so it would only get a few pieces of the text, if any are correct, and they youve basically got rid of it

Watermarks can loose a lot of their resolution but retain the data if they're done right. so you could encode to wahetever you want, as still as the music is usable the watermark is there to be read by those who have the tools.

And why would you want to removeit anyway, the watermark is there to sell DRM free music, or are you going to buy music and then give it away on all the cool file sharing sites ?

No, I'm just saying that if you can disable it easily, why bother continuing with the development ? and sure if you were to encode a file at 12Kbps and at 320KBps, find out what parts of the signal remain intact and remove it, youve just beaten the protection that has cost them millions... have to say I would laugh my ass off if it was the simple... wheres theres a will, theres a way

everyone was like `oh wow, image watermarking is here` and how do you get around it ? view the image, take a print screen, paste it in paint and save it, less than a minute to remove it lol

lol, DRM attempt again, geez even with this you just re-record with graphical recording then you'll be able to see the key filter point "watermarks" just modify then and poof useless, once again

except it's nto that simple.

and besides, if you alllready have the recording why would you buy another one ?

but to properly compare you would probably need the exact track the watermark was added to. And this isnj't about DRM, this is about NOT having DRM. songs on itunes without DRM allready have watermarks This is just so thmusic industry can selll DRM free music and know that idiots who decide to share their songs with the world are identified.