Universal Layering Watermarks Into DRM-Free Downloads

  • Save

Universal Music Group will incorporate watermarks into its upcoming, DRM-free download experiment, according to information confirmed Monday by a company representative.

Just recently, sleuthing Wired News reporter Eliot Van Buskirk unearthed the watermarking plan after examining company statements.  During a discussion Monday with Digital Music News, the Universal representative noted that watermarks will be used to track the path of files after a transactional purchase.  But personal information will not be tied into the file, according to the representative.

The watermarking plan is probably unsurprising, and actually resembles an approach employed by EMI – at least within its iTunes Plus implementation.  Whether that cools consumer response remains unclear, though bloggers could broaden awareness of the issue.  At root are consumer privacy concerns, though Universal is characterizing the decision as part of a larger experimental study on DRM-free content.