Forensic watermarking and DRM tech can protect premium video content even in offline mode

Netflix and Amazon Prime use digital rights management (DRM) technology to deliver video streams securely to the user’s device, including premium video content that can only be accessed through OTT apps. There is a high probability that the content will be copied if this technology isn’t used, but the chances of that happening are reduced. Over-the-top (OTT) platforms have become increasingly popular around the world. Until recently, they were only available on cable TV, but now they can be accessed on a variety of devices. OTT content has become increasingly popular, but it has also made it more vulnerable to piracy because of the proliferation of devices and content that can be viewed in browsers on desktops. Digital rights management (DRM) technology is used by content owners and OTT platforms to manage users and ensure that only legitimate devices are authorised to play premium content, such as movies and music. It is possible for a DRM module to limit the number of devices or users per account, allowing the OTT company to design subscription plans accordingly.

A video asset can be safeguarded in a variety of ways using DRM video protection. There is an embedded code sequence that prevents the video asset from being copied, which is a part of this process. Using DRM technology, it is possible to restrict access to content based on time periods, such as how many days a piece of content is accessible to one user. A user account can only be used on a limited number of devices at a time thanks to this technology. It gives OTT providers the ability to price their subscriptions appropriately.

Various DRM licence providers, like PlayReady, Google Widevin, FairPlay, and NCG, provide DRM licences, so the multi-DRM format is commonly used to address the market fragmentation. License keys are used to verify each piece of content before it can be played on the user device by these companies, who run their own licencing servers.

An OTT app can store a licence for each DRM-protected video asset provided by a DRM service provider like those mentioned above. When a playback request is made, the licencing server does not need to issue a new licence. Instead, the embedded licence can be used to decrypt the video by the device player. Unauthorized access to premium content is a major concern for over-the-top (OTT) providers. Video watermarking allows them to identify the leaker if the video reaches pirates’ ecosystems, and this is their second line of defence.

It is possible to embed the DRM licence into an offline file or to obtain it online. Users can obtain a licence for the video file and use it on a domain-bound desktop in offline mode. When the desktop does not have access to the licencing server, the embedded licence will allow the user to decrypt and play the video. When a media library is transferred to a new device, the embedded licence is no longer functional. If this occurs, a new licence must be obtained.

Forensic watermarking is a valuable tool for content owners to use in conjunction with licence embedding, regardless of the method they choose.

Posted to Google Widevine

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