The CDL is inserting language about watermarks in its contracts with publishers and vendors and in its technical requirements documents for database and ejournal vendors.

A digital watermark is a visible or invisible identification code that is permanently embedded into a digital image or text. Its purpose is to authenticate ownership of the content, and possibly communicate other information within the digital media.

The CDL is requiring that watermarks should not be visible to the human eye and should not degrade image or text quality. Moreover, watermarks shall not contain user-specific information such as account numbers or IP addresses.  The CDL is also requiring that vendors notify us in advance if they intend to use watermarking technology.

Our goal in inserting this new language in contracts and in the technical requirements documents for database and ejournal vendors is to protect users’ privacy and ensure that printed versions of articles are legible.