Liquid Secures Watermark Patent

By | April 13, 2001 at 12:00 AM

This song will self destruct in exactly five spins. There have been further developments from the digital rights management (DRM) front. Liquid Audio has been granted a patent for a new watermarking technology that enables rights holders to limit the use of digital content.

The U.S. Patent Office yesterday awarded the company a full patent for watermarking technique, which Liquid Audio engineers invented in 1998. According to the company, the technology enables content owners to protect their music for digital delivery without sacrificing audio quality.

Liquid Audio’s new watermarking technology allows content providers to define permission parameters for the use of any particular file – limitations that can be based upon a period of time or a certain number of plays. The patent granted to Liquid Audio covers a method the company developed that creates an embedded watermark in an audio signal that cannot be removed without destroying the music itself, and is virtually invisible to the listener.

The watermarking technology is one part of a four-pronged DRM approach. The company also offers encryption, copy control and copyright management, and claims to provide these services to some 10,500 artists from 1,200 labels.Ý

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