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Watermarking and Copy Protection by Information Hiding in Soundtracks

Digital audio watermarking techniques are reviewed and categorised. Applications of watermarking schemes are discussed, their capabilities and limitations clarified in the context of audio copyright management and copy protection. Traditional watermarking schemes embed hidden signatures in soundtracks and are found effective in ownership authentication and copyright management. Nevertheless, they do not prevent unauthorised copying unless dedicated watermark detectors are added to recording devices. Purpose-chosen hidden signals are known to interfere with some recording devices, for example, magnetic tape recorders, offering a potential solution to copy protection. It is therefore interesting to investigate the feasibility that such techniques could be extended to the general audio copy protection without resort to dedicated detectors.

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