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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music, Tidal, and even TikTok have become the best platforms for artists around the world to become seen and heard without having to spend thousands of dollars on big marketing campaigns. Although this has become a blessing for musicians with little to no budget trying to break into the music industry, there are also some drawbacks to the industry becoming so digitally dependent.
With music now being so easily accessible over the internet, a major issue that has occurred is the vulnerability of copyright infringement and the originality of songs. The Internet is a giant showcase where artists from all over the world can share their work and make a quick profit from it, but the fact that it is so easy to publish songs also makes it much easier to plagiarize them and commit a crime.
Luckily, this is exactly where watermarking comes in, allowing an original song to be distinguished from a simple illegal copy. A main reason copyright infringement has become so common around the world is the lack of knowledge about audio watermarking and copyright protection. The musical universe may seem very open and straightforward to those on the outside, but the truth is that there are many different important aspects that aren’t frequently or openly discussed as they should be.
It’s important for artists and musicians to have a base knowledge of the industry essentials so that they can safely develop their careers without any future problems down the road. so, if you are an artist trying to share your songs with the world and you want to avoid any kind of legal problems about the authenticity of your work, you should continue reading this article.
We are going to discuss what you need to know about music watermarks and explain how they work in the industry, what it’s main advantages are, and how they can help you fight against piracy of your music as well as save you from unintentionally committing fraud against someone else’s work.
You’ve probably heard of photo watermarking as a way to ensure the photographer's images don't get duplicated or used without their permission, but did you know you can watermark audio and digital files as well? Watermarking has been used for years to fight piracy by distinguishing between an unlicensed copy and an original product that by law is the intellectual property of the person who has produced it.
These marks not only work in photography, but within the music industry as well. They help a writer, producer, or artist protect his or her work on the internet so that someone else cannot download it and try to sell it as if it were his own. This is also done in film to protect movies with a digital mark so that anyone who tries to download it illegally cannot watch it or share it.
The use of watermarking in the music industry or better known as audio watermarking has become a subject of interest due to the overwhelming expansion of technology and digital advancements in the world.
These marks are placed by means of a sophisticated computer system and allows creatives to demonstrate that a musical composition is not only theirs, but makes it totally unique and unrepeatable against all possible copies that are tried to make of it later.
Although the internet has become a real blessing for the artistic sector and millions of musicians globally manage to benefit from the use of social networks and streaming platforms to earn money and popularity, without the implementation of security measures such as audio watermarking, this industry would be in serious trouble and their work would be vulnerable to any kind of piracy.
This system of watermarking is the best option that currently exists to guarantee security for owners of intellectual property circulating on the web. It ensures that their works can be enjoyed freely from anywhere in the world without fear that they will end up being copied by others who seek to profit from the talent of others.
Having explained in general terms what audio watermarking is and its function, the next thing we are going to explain in more detail is how these marks are introduced into each song to make them unique and unrepeatable against the pirates of the industry.
Although the marking process is somewhat complex and only a qualified person with advanced knowledge about computers and sound software could grasp the concept perfectly, we are going to simplify it in a way so that anyone who wants to know more about this subject can understand it in a more general view and value the benefits of audio watermarking their own music.
For example: Imagine you are in the middle of the forest, you close your eyes and try to listen to everything around you. You can probably hear many sounds at once - birds singing, the sound of leaves moving, a stream in the distance, etc. Although it may seem that you are hearing everything going on around you at that moment, the truth is that you are really only hearing a small part of the whole sound composition.
Because our brain is not capable of filtering everything it hears, it only retains the information it considers most important. This is what we actually hear and remember as a sound, even though there are multiple other noises that the brain doesn't fully acknowledge. If this were not the case and we did not filter everything we heard, our brain would be overwhelmingly saturated by the amount of sounds that are constantly around us. That is why a sophisticated filtering system allows us to keep the most useful data, while the rest of the sounds remain somewhere in our consciousness.
Well, now try to apply what we have just explained to a musical composition in digital format. Most people do not know or even stop to think about it, but a song is a complex composition of sound layers that are structured in a specific way to encapsulate the listener. It is almost impossible to differentiate each instrument, noise, or effect that is being used in a song because it is so layered and well put together. The same goes for audio watermarks in music as well.
Many songs you listen to daily have an audio watermarking that you have never even heard or been able to distinguish. This is because specialized computer software has made it sonically impossible to detect these markings and why it’s impossible for the human ear to recognize them.
Audio Watermarking is placed between all those layers of sound to differentiate that composition from the rest, making it genuine and unrepeatable. The brand will introduce a series of sounds that people will never hear and will not affect the original composition or the musicality of the song in any way.
This totally different and unique mark protects it from those who try to plagiarize and reproduce its content to sell it. You could say that they are micro sounds, imperceptible waves that although we do not notice are there and will protect all our compositions whenever others want to appropriate them.
Although Audio Watermarking is especially indicated to protect the authorship of the work of musical artists around the world, the truth is that this type of watermarking can also be used for many other purposes and by other groups that also require some protection against piracy. Musicians aren't the only ones who share music and audio on the internet, there are thousands of other sound files that are exposed to piracy and deserve to be protected like speeches of famous personalities, radio interviews, voice-overs, dubbing files, numerous TV commercials, etc.
In addition, this unique watermarking system will not only offer artists protection for their songs, but will also allow them to share additional content with their most loyal fans that they can secretly insert into small segments of the media they purchase. This additional content can be unreleased lyrics, interviews, and any other additional content that can only be heard by those who purchase their work legally.
In short, we hope that through this simple explanatory article helps you understand the importance that Audio Watermarking has nowadays for all artists around the world. This helps creators who have worked hard to make beautiful art protect the fruits of their labor from the piracy that unfortunately still exists on the internet.
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