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Protect to prosper

by Adrian Pennington on Jun 19, 2017

Education is important

“Some sites are so professional even down to the small print of terms and conditions,” says Cameron.

By embedding an invisible forensic watermark (from firms like NexGuard or Verimatrix) in each video stream, content that is improperly re-distributed can be traced back to its source. “By knowing the source, immediate action can be taken to interrupt the pirate stream while the event is still going,” he says.

As further back-up, monitoring and analytics technologies are required. “HTML-based video players allow you to look at reference urls to get an idea of whether the content is being accessed in unusual places or whether stream volumes are in line with expectations or if you have a leakage,” says Mark Blair, VP, EMEA at video player developer Brightcove.

Once illegality is verified operators have some choices. Sending cease and desist notices works in some cases, legal action in others.

“The problem is that when people do take content down it will respawn quite quickly on a new website,” says Blair.

In the U.S. the Recording Industry Association of America is calling for the country’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to be updated. Currently, ISPs in the country that remove copyrighted content when alerted by rights holders get legal immunity or so-called safe harbour. But the RIAA and others including the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists say this process is not sufficient, as the pirated copy reappears instantly, requiring yet another takedown notice.

Instead they want the DMCA to demand a time window of days or even hours within which content must be removed.

The use of automated content identification technology could be a solution to prevent repeated uploading of pirated content. But it’s not so simple. Google, for example, said that, in January, more than 99 per cent of links it was asked to remove — 16.5 million URLs — weren’t even in its search index. YouTube filters content with its Content ID system, and Facebook, Dailymotion, SoundCloud and Twitch use Audible Magic, a copyright compliance service.

Irdeto argues that even all these measures are not enough. It calls for the media industry to educate consumers about the damage that piracy causes the content creation industry.

Its survey in MENA indicates that, of the respondents to its survey, 46 per cent in Egypt and 47 per cent in the GCC would stop or watch less pirated content if they understood the negative impact of piracy on the media industry.

“The amount of respondents who were unsure if it was illegal to download or stream pirated video content is around 33 per cent,” said Al-Jamal. “There is a clear knowledge gap in terms of the legality of piracy. This must be addressed through education on the illegal nature of piracy in order to reduce its impact on the content creation industry in MENA.”


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