Digital Watermarking Alliance Supports Music Industry Efforts to Sell MP3 Music Downloads and Enhance Consumer Experiences

As record labels move toward distributing music in unencrypted MP3 formats for download, the DWA encourages the industry to identify and manage those assets with proven and readily available digital watermarking

Los Angeles, Calif., Dec. 18, 2006 — The Digital Watermarking Alliance (DWA), an international group of industry leading companies involved in commercializing digital watermarking solutions, announced today that proven digital watermarking technologies are available to help the music industry identify and better manage the MP3 digital music files many labels are beginning to sell on popular music download sites while enabling enhanced consumer experiences.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article (“In a Turnabout, Record Industry Releases MP3’s,” Dec. 6, 2006), some labels in the industry have begun selling unencrypted MP3 tracks on sites such as Yahoo, despite the piracy problems it may pose.

“The Digital Watermarking Alliance advocates the use of digital watermarks to give digital media content a persistent identity that enables effective content management while enhancing — rather than limiting — consumer choice,” said Reed Stager, chair of the Digital Watermarking Alliance. “The music industry has had a long and successful track record using digital watermarking for forensic tracking of pre-release and promotional content; it’s an opportune time to apply this proven technology to consumer-facing applications as a means to identify and better manage the distribution of digital music files.”

Digital watermarks can be used to serialize digital media with identifying information — such as where the content originated, similar to a product serial number — which can enable consumers to access metadata or information as well as providing additional promotional or buying opportunities. This information persists through changes in file format and survives acceptable levels of file compression as well as transformations between digital and analog forms of the content — providing an elegant yet unobtrusive way to distribute and identify digital media for a variety of valuable applications. Digitally watermarked content also provides consumers with a richer, more user-friendly entertainment experience and portability across various devices.

The entertainment industry has been using digital watermarks to serialize digital content, such as downloaded MP3 music tracks, the Academy Award screeners, pre-release music copies and digital cinema theatrical showings, in a number of markets already.

The Digital Watermarking Alliance was launched in September 2006 to create awareness for the value of digital watermarking to content owners, industry, policy makers and consumers (

Digital watermarks can identify copyrighted content and associated rights, during and after distribution, to determine copyright ownership and facilitate rights management policies while enabling innovative new content distribution and usage models. Digital watermarks are broadly deployed with billions of watermarked objects and hundreds of millions of watermark detectors in the market, supporting various applications. (

For more information about the Digital Watermarking Alliance, please visit:

CONTACT: For media inquiries, please contact Jeremy Bartram ( or 1 206 264 1999).

About the Digital Watermarking Alliance
The Digital Watermarking Alliance (DWA) is an international alliance of industry leading companies that deliver valuable digital watermarking technology and solutions to a broad range of customers and markets around the world. Member companies include Cinea, Inc., a Dolby company (NYSE:DLB), Digimarc (Nasdaq: DMRC), GCS Research, Gibson, Jura, MediaGrid, Media Science International, Philips Electronics, Signum, Teletrax, Thomson (Euronext 18453; NYSE: TMS), Verance, Verimatrix, and Widevine. For more information, please visit