Okay have entered "delete" into all of the disaggregated posts above.
For the two of you still interested: here's a collection of links relevant to UMG's audible watermarking of audio files:
Quoted from the documentation page for studiocdn:StudioCDN uses MSI MarkAny audio watermarking.
This is the same system used by eFolio, ASPEN, InGrooves, DigiPlug, the CD burning stations in North America and many bureaus like MediaDisc in London.
The MarkAny system will successfully re-watermark a file previously watermarked by MarkAny. You do not need to worry if the file you are sending is already watermarked. If the file was originally watermarked by StudioCDN, it will match back to the originally uploaded version, guaranteeing your recipients have a first generation watermark for the highest audio quality.
The MarkAny system does not clash with the Watermarking used by PlayMPE. If you send a file through both systems both watermarks are detectable.
Currently StudioCDN watermarks 16bit audio only. We plan to support 24bit audio in the coming months.
Watermarking can be disabled by selecting the Do Not Watermark option in the client. This is available to Production users who are in the correct group, and appears in the standard client after a quick authentication test. If you wish to be added to this group you will need to show the business requirement for you to access this feature with approval from your management.
StudioCDN does not currently watermark video, although it is planned to offer this in the future.
So it sounds like UMG has the whole DG and other classical labels catalogue to "re-watermark.". Perhaps that will happen; I won't bet on it. And perhaps it won't sound contaminated afterwards; but I won't bet on that, either.
The one other anxiety all this raises, particularly the mention at one point that "the CD burning stations in North America" use MSI MarkAny, is that this isn't just being used for digital downloads, but maybe CDs as well.
Given the ease of being able to copy digital from CD, it would seem logical that UMG (and others) would watermark anything they release, regardless of medium.
NEW EDIT: Maybe I'm the last one on the planet to have discovered it, but I've just discovered Amazon's Cloud Player. Looks like a worthy competitor to the iTunes app, possibly more reliable than the current version? Anyways, the good news is, it looks like any album identified as "Auto-Rip"-able that you buy as a CD on Amazon can be simply autodownloaded by Amazon's app, and then exported to iTunes Library with one click if you want. Am not privy to any differences in the business arrangements, but I think I'll be going the Amazon CD/AutoRip way for now, to see whether the issue is indeed limited to iTunes, or whether it extends past the distribution UMG is offering to Apple. Will post more info after a couple of experiments.Edited by Copperears - 12/2/13 at 8:38am