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Music Industry Backs Aris Watermark

A group of music, electronics and computer companies working on antipiracy protections for recorded music distribution on the Internet has chosen watermarking technology by Aris Technologies Inc. to help the transition to an antipiracy digital music format.

The watermark will be encoded into digital music and will alert consumers that they need to upgrade their computer software if they want to download copyright-protected music.

The group of 120 companies said the watermark technology was selected to enable makers of portable devices that play digital music to get new models on the market by Christmas. The new models will incorporate recently released antipiracy standards developed by the Secure Digital Music Initiative.

The watermark won't be activated for another 12 months, however, until the industry group agrees on a screening technology that can block pirated music, giving would-be pirates a year's breathing room to come up with ways to foil it.