SDMI Phase One Products Will Use Verance Watermarks

Phase One of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) will incorporate watermarking technology for DVD-Audio from Verance Corporation. The agreement was announced at a meeting of the SDMI in Hawaii early in December. Verance Corp. was formed recently by the merger of ARIS Technologies Corporation and Solana Technology Development Corp. ARIS's technology was announced a few months ago as the SDMI's choice for watermarking.

Verance develops and implements technical solutions for copyright management, e-commerce, marketing, royalty, information, and product distribution—including media from broadcast to wireless to the Internet. The company's watermarking technology also covers "everything from analog cassette tapes to DVD in the digital age," a press release stated.

John Hoy, manager of the 4C Entity, LLC, will be the contact for all of such licensing agreements, the announcement stated. The 4C Entity, LLC is organized for the purpose of entering and administering licenses for copy-protection technologies, specifically including those technologies jointly developed by IBM, Intel, Matsushita (Panasonic), and Toshiba. "We are very excited to take on the responsibility of licensing Verance's digital audio watermarking technology. We believe we have the necessary expertise to manage this in an expedient and effective manner," Hoy said.

Verance executives were extremely pleased by the SDMI's decision. "Verance is proud that, after their extensive evaluation and analysis, our technology was deemed to be the best in its field," said Verance co-CEO David Leibowitz. "We have always recognized the value of partnering with colleagues in the consumer-electronics and information-technology industries when introducing new-technology products to the marketplace." Several companies have already announced their intent to bring SDMI Phase One products to market.