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Audio Watermark Web Spider Starts Crawling 173

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the now-it-just-needs-to-serve-you-papers-automatically dept.
DippityDo writes "A new web tool is scanning the net for signs of copyright infringement. Digimarc's patented system searches video and audio files for special watermarks that would indicate they are not to be shared, then reports back to HQ with the results. It sounds kind of creepy, but has a long way to go before it makes a practical difference. 'For the system to work, players at multiple levels would need to get involved. Broadcasters would need to add identifying watermarks to their broadcast, in cooperation with copyright holders, and both parties would need to register their watermarks with the system. Then, in the event that a user capped a broadcast and uploaded it online, the scanner system would eventually find it and report its location online. Yet the system is not designed to hop on P2P networks or private file sharing hubs, but instead crawls public web sites in search of watermarked material.'"
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Audio Watermark Web Spider Starts Crawling

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  • So what (Score:1, Informative)

    by FrivolousPig (602133)
    Blur the watermark and they are screwed.
    • Re:So what (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:53PM (#18186856)
      Blur the watermark and they are screwed.

      Assuming the watermarks are public or traceable. If all you're doing is identifying the fact that it's copyrighted, you could have a thousand different watermarks. Their location at any of half a dozen places in the audio stream would indicate infringement. That means that the pirate needs to search for any of 6000 possible spots for the watermark, and remove it. If the watermarks don't try to distinguish some copies of the work from other copies of the work, you can't use a simple diff to root them out.
      • Re:So what (Score:5, Funny)

        by McFadden (809368) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @08:05PM (#18188590)

        the pirate needs to search for any of 6000 possible spots for the watermark, and remove it.
        I'm trying to think of a nifty device that would be able to search 6,000 possible spots in a file to look for a watermark, but the name escapes me just at the moment...

        No wait... I think I've got it... Isn't it called a "computer"?
        • Re:So what (Score:5, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @08:38PM (#18188938) Homepage Journal
          The sad thing about this episode is that digital watermarks could be a wonderful tool, used by artists and their customers to guarantee a given work's authorship. Instead, it's used to punish the very people who make it possible for the artists to survive: their listeners.

          I work in an academic environment, and I can't think of a single person in my life who has not violated a copyright or user agreement. If your job is to teach, it's almost inevitable. If you're an enthusiast or fan of a particular artist, it becomes a statistical certainty that you've broken the "law" regarding intellectual property.

          I contacted Digimarc once because I wanted to find out about ways to add an identifying mark to a digital file that would let a user know that the file was the authentic work of a particular artist. Not to prevent copying, mind you, because the files in question were meant to be shared. I just wanted the users to be able to know with some certainty that what they were hearing was actually produced by who they expected.

          The reply I got from Digimarc (I still have the email) was that they weren't interested in such uses of their product, and anyway "it's priced out of reach of the individual artist or production company". Real sweethearts.

          In the last few days there have been lots of stories about people and corporations who make their money off the backs off creative folks. There are those who provide a real service (like the guy who delivers pizza to the recording studio, or the woman who fixes my digital mixing console) and there are those who live to suck the life out of what should be a source of joy for both the artist and the user. Like I've said before, parasites need to live, too. But what really galls me is when they act like they're really doing something of value to anyone but themselves and their accountants.

          Seriously, to paraphrase Jesus or Steve Albini (it's one of those religious dudes, I forget which): "It's easier to drive a Range Rover through the butthole of a camel than for a label executive or booking agent to enter the kingdom of heaven."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The problem isn't checking each spot for any of a given set of watermarks, it's identifying all the watermarks and all the spots they could be. You need to do a lot of work to build that database. You'd need tens of thousands of music files to even get started.
      • Re:So what (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @09:38PM (#18189534) Homepage
        no you don't. simply find a way to obscure the watermark and place it everywhere. Digimarc's watermarking for Images can be thwarted incredibly easy. simply bi cubic resize the image down slightly smaller AFTER you rotate it 1 -5 degrees. Poof their watermark is no longer detectable as it has been munged hard all over the image.

        I guarantee their audio and video watermark will be as easy to defeat, Digimarc is as innovative in technology as Macrovision.

        And yes, that is a slam on them.
        • See, this is audio, not image, and if you obscure all the potential sites, you wreck the audio (or at least make it noticeably suckier).
          • by Lumpy (12016)
            Considering that most people think that a 128Kbps mp3 and XM as well as sirius radio sound great (64Kbps both of those at their BEST bitrate) that is really not an issue. People like suckier sounding music and audio.

            Mp3 encoders can do the munging and encode to mp3. Making the ripper happy, the people that share it happy and destroy the watermark making the watermark company unhappy.

            A solution all around.

    • Re:So what (Score:5, Funny)

      by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @06:02PM (#18187012) Journal
      A better way. Put a bunch of legitimate sound clips out on the internet, but change it to have the watermark. Make sure your files get spread all over the place. A lot of false positives would render this useless.

      And on a more sick note, you could find the "I am browsing gay porn" wav file and modify it. Can you imagine the poor schmuck who has to go review each report to see if it is true?
      • Re:So what (Score:4, Funny)

        by Ash Vince (602485) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @07:23PM (#18188030) Journal
        Nice theory, but in reality the watermark will be copyrighted so they will sue you for copyright infringement anyway. :)
        • by cavac (640390)
          How come? Given that - for example - an audio stream might contain 10 minutes of white noise, isn't it a given possibility that it also contains the pattern of the watermark? The more different watermarks are out there, the more likely it is to match one by accident.

          As long as the copyright info is encoded in a non-standard way into a data stream, theres always the possibility of random matches. Maybe i'm gonna invest a TB or so of my unlimited traffic server into a nice spider trap, where i'll serve /dev/r
      • > Can you imagine the poor schmuck who has to go review each report to see if
        > it is true?

        What makes you think that there are going to be any such reviews?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrLex (811382)
      This probably involves watermarks that are hidden in the masked part of the spectrum, i.e. in the same way MP3 and similar codecs work. You can't easily remove those without distorting the audio considerably, unless you would know exactly what kind of watermark it is and how to remove it. Of course you can just 'blur' the entire audio clip, but people aren't used to listening to "cassette-tape-that-has-been-lying-in-the-sun-for- too-long" kind of audio anymore.
    • by soft_guy (534437)
      Easier said than done. I'm familiar with this technology. Typically you will not be aware that it is watermarked. Even if you are, removing the watermark is very hard.
  • by Skewray (896393) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:46PM (#18186760) Homepage
    So if the watermarks are public, they can be identified and scrubbed before posting?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      All that Digimarc does (for any media including stills, music and video) is introduce "noise" into the bit stream. This noise has to be at a level or interval that it is not perceptable by humans.

      They simply introduce a bit pattern or, more often, a delta pattern (change in bits by some delta) which is less detectable. This pattern usually contains a recognition pattern and some encrypted data.

      Certain bit patterns can be used in pictures and video so that as long as you capture the video out put at nearly
  • by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:46PM (#18186776) Homepage
    A new web tool is scanning the net for signs of copyright infringement ... 'For the system to work, players at multiple levels would need to get involved. Broadcasters would need to add identifying watermarks to their broadcast, in cooperation with copyright holders, and both parties would need to register their watermarks with the system.

    So, basically, their web tool is scanning for things that don't yet exist. Bully!
    • >> So, basically, their web tool is scanning for things that don't yet exist. Bully!

      Thank god we live in this time!
  • Ahem! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stanistani (808333)
    Time to examine how this works, and how to block it from your website.

    You are allowed to protect unwanted use and access of your copyrighted information, after all!
    • No you can't, information in of itself can't be copyrighted, only the way it is displayed is.... and fair use does allow you to use that in a certain ways that fall under fair use.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      Time to examine how this works, and how to block it from your website. You are allowed to protect unwanted use and access of your copyrighted information, after all!

      Don't be a hypocrite. It'll do nothing to your "copyrighted information" put match it against a set of hashes and discard it if it doesn't match. If it matches, an operator would look for signs of illegal activity.

      In other words, nothing that the industry isn't doing right now, but now more automated.

      Noone likes RIAA suing grandmas and 10 yo gir
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Stanistani (808333)
        I find your whole post interesting, and a cogent reply.

        I especially like:
        >I'm only concerned with those crawlers going mad and sucking the bandwidth out of a site which hosts plenty of media files. Or dumbly downloading everything (zips, executables) and you having to foot the bill for the spent traffic in the end.

        That's a concern of mine, too.

        I wanted in my post to get people thinking about the contradiction between how well protected industry's intellectual properties are protected as opposed to ours.

        I
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:50PM (#18186820)
    Ahem [wikipedia.org]
    • Since when do spiders have to obey a robots.txt file? A better idea - enable the Evil-Bit [faqs.org].
    • Nasty cough you have there. Before you infect the rest of Slashdot, let me advise you that Robots.txt is not legally enforcible. FTW - "The protocol, however, is purely advisory."
    • by TCM (130219) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @06:09PM (#18187102)
      Don't forget to blacklist a client as soon as it violates the robots.txt.
  • by kabocox (199019) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:51PM (#18186824)
    This isn't aimmed at the home use or small time crowd. It's ideal role is aimed at finding big name corporate offenders that have unlicensed PR crap on brochers, websites, or ads and making sure that the guy whose's content it is gets his cut. It's not worth it to go against small time folks. Think of professional photographers making sure their photos aren't run in mags or on the web without them getting their cut.
    • Well, I don't know about all that, but if you translated

      negotiate compensation for the value chain and sell targeted advertising for related goods and services

      Into what photographers being protected you're a better man than me.

      Could you also do the rest of the paragraph for me, because I'm not getting it either:

      In fact, the specific identification of the content could guide provision of related goods, services and community designed to maximize the consumer's enjoyment of the entertainment experience.

      I await your results.

      • by kabocox (199019)
        In fact, the specific identification of the content could guide provision of related goods, services and community designed to maximize the consumer's enjoyment of the entertainment experience.

        I await your results.


        The said photographer/musician/content producer will threaten to sue for IP infringement of their unlicensed works being used without their premission if their corporate consumers don't pay up for additional content that they make. Doesn't matter if the business likes or needs said content; it wou
        • I won't press charges if you buy more of my stuff at this low but reasonable price

          This thing is going to provide the missing link between copyright and extortion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jaqenn (996058)
      Incidentally, I work next to a guy that this happened to. He's a amateur photographer, and a local PR firm grabbed some of his photos off the net and used it to promote some event. They even put his name in the credits, but never actually told him what they were doing. Through lucky coincidence he noticed what they did, and after some mild legal drama settled out of court with them for a few thousand dollars.
  • Misdirection (Score:3, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:51PM (#18186828)
    For the system to work, players at multiple levels would need to get involved. Broadcasters would need to add identifying watermarks to their broadcast, in cooperation with copyright holders, and both parties would need to register their watermarks with the system

    For all you know they have been doing this for the past 10 years.
    • ORLY?

      I doubt it. Too much faith was placed in DRM technology. There's too many ways of encoding a video, all of which would corrupt any watermark that's in place. And, of course, most pirate releases are also compressed and split, so good luck finding the watermark in there. Sure, a *human* could identify the watermark. But they would have an easier time spotting the FOX logo in the corner.

      Your comment smacks of MAFIAA FUD; I hope you didn't intend that ;)
  • Web Spider? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sneakernets (1026296) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:51PM (#18186834) Journal
    I have a Web Newspaper rolled up, waiting on it.
  • I really don't need these yahoos wasting my bandwidth. Anyone know the IP address range they're coming from?

    I've already blocked 198.70.x.x (their website IP) at the router, but I doubt they're running this scanner from there.

  • oh no! (Score:4, Funny)

    by matt328 (916281) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @05:57PM (#18186950)
    Because, yeah, I store all my potential copyright-infringing materials on my public web server.
    • Because, yeah, I store all my potential copyright-infringing materials on my public web server.

      Actually, that's usually how it works. Wearez and all that.

      But why is this an issue? I though that the general mantra here was that we didn't pirate or otherwise make available copyrighted media we did have the right to? Isn't that what Slashdotters are always saying? So this shouldn't be a problem. No different than looking for printers publishing your book without your permission, right?

      Think of it this way: Yo

      • Slashdot is full of pirates. I'm a pirate. A filthy, swashbuckling pirate.

        I'll support bands by going to their concerts. I'll support movies by going to the movies. All the rest is fair game.

        All the photographers I know make their rent by doing weddings, portraits, and baby pictures. Nobody is pirating those. They fulfill their artistic inclinations by making huge, museum-quality prints of really good negatives. Nobody is pirating those.

        If you're smart, try to find a way to do things that are toug
  • I would not be surprised if they do not make use of google, yahoo, and MSN to find these.
  • Stupid idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @06:03PM (#18187024)
    As this thing crawls the web, suppose it encounters a page on my web site that has links to 50,000 music files. Except they are actually all the same file, a legitimate file which is dynamically served up by the web server when the spider requests it. So there's no storage space issue on my end, but now the spider has to process 50,000 files. That's going to take a damn long time. Maybe I can bog it down so badly that it can't get any real work done.
    • by knipknap (769880)
      They clearly do not have to download the entire file to find a watermark. Also, add a maximum download count for each server, problem solved. That's not to say that I believe the concept is a good idea, but the spider could probably be a half way efficient at looking at files.
      • by pclminion (145572)

        They clearly do not have to download the entire file to find a watermark. Also, add a maximum download count for each server, problem solved. That's not to say that I believe the concept is a good idea, but the spider could probably be a half way efficient at looking at files.

        I doubt they are watermarking all parts of the file. That would probably degrade sound quality too much. So, they must be putting a watermark at some specific location in the file. If they put it at a FIXED location, that makes it

  • H1: This site may not be accessed by any person or computer program affiliated with the RIAA or any of its affiliates. By accessing this site as a member of that group you agree to hold this site and its contributors in indemnity for all offenses civil or criminal, and to release to the public domain all copyrights held by you and your employer.
    • *shrug*

      You can write it, but it doesn't make it legally binding. There are many rights that you simply can't waive in agreeing to a contract, especially one that's a verbal agreement rather than written. Best is probably the above comment about blacklisting robots.txt violators.
  • I hope it works! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 5pp000 (873881) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @06:12PM (#18187144)

    Why does everyone here want this not to work? Seems to me this could be the alternative to DRM. It doesn't interfere with fair use at all; it only detects when copyrighted works are made widely available.

    If we want to dissuade the entertainment industry from using DRM, it seems incumbent upon us, as technologists, to propose alternatives that at least partially answer copyright owners' legitimate concerns. Seems to me this could be one of them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by John Hasler (414242)
      > It doesn't interfere with fair use at all; it only detects when copyrighted
      > works are made widely available.

      You assume that there will be no false-positives. There will be many.
    • by mypalmike (454265)
      Why does everyone here want this not to work? Seems to me this could be the alternative to DRM. It doesn't interfere with fair use at all...

      It's obvious. Most of the people who argue that DRM interferes with "fair use" really just want to download free mp3s of commercial artists. They simply don't want the copyrights to be enforced.
      • Most of the people who argue that DRM interferes with "fair use" really just want to download free mp3s of commercial artists.

        Yes, that's true. However, there's plenty of arguments to support the idea that downloading MP3s is Fair Use. Especially when you consider that people recorded music for free off of the radio for years without being taken to court. Only now that the radio has way more stations and better quality do they complain. From my perspective, that's a failure to prosecute copyright infringement of this sort. Now if they bootlegged a copy of a concert or somehow got in for free, then they'd actually be hurting the a

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @06:31PM (#18187384)
      Why does everyone here want this not to work?

      Because my friend, the way the world is going, one of these days you'll have to consult a lawyer before taking a dump, just in case the toilet seat scans your ass print and reports unauthorized use.

      You see, the entire world is slowly being privatised. All of it, including obvious commons like the air we breathe and the water we drink, and innocuous things that everybody take for granted suddenly "belong" to someone, or aren't allowed to do because some "rightful owner" says so one day. You might wander, what does music or pictures have to do with it? Sure it doesn't, but it's just the trend. Watermarking music is fine, but what if some day some digital camera manufacturer decides that you can't shoot pictures of specially painted federal building because of some anti-terrorist law for example, and you happen to take a picture of your friend with the local FBI building in the background and post them on your website? Suddenly the camera goes "tsk tsk, can't do that pal...". Would you like that?

      It's the trend that's worrying. People making machines decide for you what you may or may not do. It might be a legitimate use now, but I can see plenty of cases where this kind of technology would simply curtail civil liberties.
      • by binarybum (468664)
        i hear they have toilets like that in japan.

        the trend is worrying, but i think it's easy to keep looking up the steep slope as you're climbing up and to not realize that the point you're at is already a pretty scary place. it's easier to say, well this is okay I guess, but it bodes poorly for the future. However, if I had heard about this technology being employed in such a manner five years ago it would have directly sent shivers up my spine. i.e. when we do start seeing cameras that won'
    • Why does everyone here want this not to work? Seems to me this could be the alternative to DRM.

      The alternative to DRM is no DRM, not some stupid web spider sucking up untold CPU resources across the planet.

    • Aside from the false positives, they aren't stupid. They only act like they want DRM to stop the 'theifs'. It's really just another way to make money. A year or so ago, there was an article on the slashdots about some music exec who said people should have a seperate license for use on their MP3 player. DRM allows this... it's really only about screwing the customer for more $$$s
    • Why does everyone here want this not to work?

      Because there is a substantial portion of the Slashdot community who feels that it is their 'right' to break the law - and they fear anything that could infringe that 'right'.


    • Why does everyone here want this not to work?

      I run a website with more than 6gb of photos and video that I have created from scratch. My hosting provider is generous, but there is a finite limit to my bandwidth. Like the TurnItIn bot [wikipedia.org], this digimarc bot will be an uninvited pest that repeatedly spiders the site downloading all my content to sniff it.

      Since these visits are of no benefit to me, I'll block it by user-agent in htaccess and IP address once people figure out where this beast lives. Obviousl
  • by Kelz (611260)
    All anyone has to do is find the watermark for, say, the movie adaptation for 1984, and add it in early in the movie/CD.
  • Questions (Score:2, Funny)

    by fluch (126140)
    Does it respect robots.txt?
    Does it run on Linux?
  • ... another bot that will eat away the paid bandwidth of my site. Many people have a limited upload quota for their site. Of course they won't put dozens of media files online, but suppose this bot crawls at a quite high rate, a few audio files can quickly gobble up a lot of this quota. Most likely it won't obey robots.txt, so I hope it can be blocked by other means.
  • by Joebert (946227)
    How does someone with a media heavy site block this thing, or get on a "white list" ?
    How often is it going to come around ?
    Who pays for the added load caused by this thing when it doesn't find anything wrong ?
  • It'll only be a matter of time before the watermarking scheme is figured out, after which time they will have enabled the masses to deploy their own spidering software, effectively making piracy easier. I, for one, can't wait for big companies to sign up for something like this. Online piracy will always find a way.
  • Lossless media files are still too big for most people to swap them across the Internet, so exact watermarks protect only a tiny fraction of the files that copyright owners care about.

    MP3 is lossy, and there's lots of different MP3 data that sounds close enough to the original MP3 that a song can be transcoded to new data that sounds "the same" within the tolerance for noise that all MP3 listening demands.

    Won't this watermark scheme just fall victim to the first revision of an MP3 (or MP4 video, etc) encode
  • 10 Most mp3s are not hosted on websites.
    20 The ones that are are usually on vinyl-lovin' music blogs that post semi-obscure music from the past.
    30 Watermarking is only going to work on new music - how can you watermark something already released?
    40 New music bites: GOTO 10
  • The point of this kind of watermarking is that you can trace the copy that made it on to the net back to some original copy that you gave out. So, this is great in situations where you are able to uniquely watermark a copy of something and then give it to a specific person who then you can hold responsible for keeping it secret. It is also useful if you are going to put something like photography portfolio online. You can use this to track down people who have snagged copies from your website or whatever.

    I
    • by swilver (617741)

      So, this is great in situations where you are able to uniquely watermark a copy of something and then give it to a specific person who then you can hold responsible for keeping it secret.

      I can imagine the following occuring:

      1) I secretly copy and spread some watermarked media from a person I donot like. Person gets his/her life ruined by lawsuits.

      2) Whoever is handing out the watermarked copy leaks that same copy elsewhere (accidental, on purpose, does it matter?). Again, some person gets his/her lif

  • Id like to see how you can possibly detect a watermark that has gone through lossy compression.
    • by uqbar (102695)
      Or if you don't want to destroy the audio quality perhaps a little audio dithering [earlevel.com] would do the trick. Personally I'm fond of using the Crane Song [cranesong.com] dither when mastering audio.

      In reality I'd love this stuff to work. But I don't see it happening. It's just not an easy problem to solve - they will only catch the stupid/lazy criminals.

      • Dither noise used for lowering bit length is at such a low level (about -96 dBFS to go to 16 bits, and noise-shaped dither isn't a whole lot higher and is even less audible) that I fail to see where it would have any effect. A much higher level of noise (-40 to -50) might work, but would be audible on quiet passages.

        WAIT A SEC, WITH ALL THE HYPERCOMPRESSION THESEDAYS, THERE ARE NO QUIET PASSAGES. JUST ADD WIDEBAND NOISE AT -12 DBFS TO ANY COMMERCIAL RECORDING AND BE DONE WITH THE STINKIN' WATERMARK.

        OBLIGATO
  • Does not our fair use rights allow us to post part of a broad cast? IANAL but I think they do. So what if I post a small portion of a video or sound file allowed under fair use and it happens to contain the watermark?
    • > Does not our fair use rights allow us to post part of a broad cast?

      Under some conditions, yes.

      > So what if I post a small portion of a video or sound file
      > allowed under fair use and it happens to contain the watermark?

      So what? If they sue you for infringement you will claim fair use as your defense just as you would have had they found out about your use by any other method.
      • What I'm trying to say in a round about way is that history has shown that the entertainment industry sues first and thinks later. How many harassment suits have been filed under the DMCA law? How many times has someone been harassed for simply being connected to a P2P network?

        I think we can expect that anyone found with any material on their web sites that contain a watermark will be treated as if they are guilty.

        Sure, if you have the money you can defend yourself.
  • ROBOTS.TXT
    DIGIMARC = NO
  • The obvious way is to try to work out which IP addresses the
    crawler is operating from, and use the business end of a firewall
    to block it. (Given past events, I don't think a robots.txt is likely
    to work.)

    A less-obvious way is to discover what the watermark is and
    slap it onto a few...hundred million files that have nothing to
    do with what it's looking for. Those files don't need to have
    actual audio content -- as long as they meet the criteria that
    the spider is looking for. So perhaps a bit of Perl, a few ca
  • I like watermarks. Watermarks allow copyright holders to essentially put a digital "Copyright (C) 2007 Joe Smith" onto their documents. This makes it possible to track who committed a copyright offense without stripping legitimate users of their rights. Copyright holders can prosecute infringers without having to guess that the file is copyrighted by looking at the file name or something dumb that has high false positives. (No more suing grandmas.) They can also find the original mass-distributing pi
    • by liam193 (571414) *
      Agreed. Watermarks are much better than the DRM approach. My issue is not with the use of a watermark which allows you to determine the source of the file in the event of a questionable situation. My concern is with the automatic analysis of content. This approach is basically a guilty until proven innocent. This is like saying, you may have stolen things from me and people use their house to store things that are stolen so I'm going to send someone around to look into your house to see if anything of
      • by MobyDisk (75490)
        I disagree. This isn't snooping since the tool doesn't hack into systems. It is reading data that is publically available. What good is a watermarking system if there is nothing to look for watermarks? And it isn't an issue of guilty until proven innocent. The tool can't determine your guilt: it can only alert a human being to the evidence, and they can decide to contact the person, prosecute, etc. And even if the tool could send a C&D letter by itself, the court system is not being bypassed, so d
  • get the specific water marks and start putting them on every thing and anything.... Oh wait, that's copyright infringment....

    Damn can't have any more fun...
  • Then, in the event that a user capped a broadcast
    Yeah, I can think of a number of broadcasters that I'd like to see "capped", yo.
  • Digimarc was great- I loved them. It was hillarious to see images marked and then 'remarked' by hacking the program to re-watermark the image. The original mark wasn't recoverable.

    http://www.woodmann.com/fravia/frogdigi.htm [woodmann.com]

    Food for thought.
  • Isn't it possible for individuals who publish audio and are sick of this whole debate to copyright their own works and write a license to use that states the user has a right to listen to the content, but not to use it for "automatic" analysis, etc. In this case, would not the organization looking for copyright infringement be infringing on the copyright? Assuming the owner of the site is the legal holder of the copyright.

    In this case, the owner of this "original" work could sue the company performing the

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