Ever wondered, when streaming live on Instagram or Facebook, if people other than your friends can see you? Also, can someone record your awkward moment and hold on to a copy of it even after you delete it?
Perhaps you are selling videos online through a specialized platform. How easy it would be for one to “steal” your content and distribute it through illicit channels?
Can you stream a Pay-Per-View (PPV) live event and be sure it’s not made public or resold by hackers?
These topics and many others are covered by what’s known in the industry as Digital Rights Management (DRM), Content Protection or Copy Protection.
You may have heard of copyright, which basically means that original work you have authored is yours, and nobody can copy it without your permission. But what can you do to enforce it?
In the online video realm, content can be protected via a combination of restricted access and encryption.
Restricted access makes sure that content is only accessible to those who are allowed to see it (i.e. your friends), while explicitly making it unavailable to anyone else. This works well up to the point where one of the “friends” is able to make a copy and share it with the world, or sell it as contraband.
Encryption turns video content into unreadable streams of data. These can only be turned back into proper video if a corresponding decryption key is available. Such keys are themselves distributed through a distinct secure channel that is ruled by a restricted access policy. Content will travel encrypted over the internet and get decrypted at the destination. It is considerably hard, if possible at all, to make a digital copy of an encrypted asset, especially if strong encryption and safe key distribution schemes are employed.
You may wonder if enforcing copy protection is important. Well, it depends… Here’s how some of the main streaming platforms out there deal with strongly copy protecting their content:
|Amazon Prime Video||✅||✅|
|Brightcove||✅||available via 3rd parties|
|IBM cloud video (Ustream)||✅||available via 3rd parties|
|JWPlayer||❌||available via 3rd parties|
|Ooyala||✅||available via 3rd parties|
|Vimeo(Livestream)||✅||available via 3rd parties|
It goes to show that platforms that distribute premium content (like studio movies) employ robust DRM schemes, while regular content (i.e. user uploaded videos) is less sensitive and not worth the technical and financial overhead of adding encryption.
At WpStream, we always encrypt your content. It has been built from the ground up with the premium concept in mind. As it is meant to be used for PPV Ticket Sales and Video Rentals, copy protection is important.
All live and VOD content is encrypted with AES-128, and decryption keys are distributed through your website’s built-in user authentication and restricted access logic.
Even if you choose to offer your content for free, the added encryption will greatly protect you against “bandwidth theft”. A third party website will not be able to hot-link to your videos or live events, as that’s ruled out by means of secure key distribution and adequate cross-domain policies.