Business & Finance

Video piracy: how it’s done, and the role forensic watermarking plays in shutting it down

As a result, pirates are able to make millions of dollars from illegally obtaining and distributing copies of premium video content and making them appear to be legitimate. They frequently use HDCP strippers to get around the DRM protected content‘s robust protection mechanism. Distributors are forced to abandon HDCP strict enforcement due to the mismatch between the device and HDCP version. This loophole is exploited by pirates to deliver high-quality content for live streaming.

Kodi is also used by pirates to facilitate illegal content streaming, as it is an open-source platform. Using Kodi, professional-grade video content can be delivered in multiple languages, with subtitles that can be customised. Some P2P or piracy cyberlockers can be streamed using third-party add-ons. Single-entry streaming playlists like M3U are used by consumers to access these sites. They can use M3U players or dedicated apps on the Kodi-enabled device to access pirated content.

For example, professional pirates broadcast pirated sporting events and movies via YouTube Live and Facebook Live in order to make money from the advertising revenues. A large number of ads at these live events are trying to get around ad blockers and are linked to malicious activity.

Why video piracy is a thing of the past thanks to forensic watermarking

The combination of digital rights management (DRM) and forensic watermarking is a powerful deterrent to video piracy. At random points in video frames, content creators and distributors insert unique code sequences that are invisible to the naked eye. The process of embedding and mixing watermarks into media objects is simple and takes little computational time when done through a video watermarking SaaS vendor.

The watermark prevents pirates from tampering with the host video, making it useless for piracy and illegal distribution of the video. In the event of a leak, distributors can identify the source and take legal action because the watermark embeds directly into the consumer sessions. It’s also impossible for an attacker to alter the payload or create a fake watermark because of the new technology.

Watermarking, on the other hand, complements DRM protected content, enhances the security of premium videos, and renders the video piracy market useless. Steganography: Forensic watermarking offers exciting possibilities in this field. In order to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, watermarking protects the secret information contained in media files by making it robust and undetectable. Using watermark payload detection and session-based manifest identification, it also prevents unauthorised malicious third parties from accessing or stealing data.

Traffic analysis: It is required to establish end-to-end monitoring and integrity across the entire data loop in video streams. Non-blind approaches and invisible watermarks are used in flow watermarking to enable active traffic analysis. Every network packet transmitted between two systems is identified by a unique identifier, which also identifies an anonymous communication system. In this way, watermarking aids in the detection of intrusions, the enforcement of traffic laws, and the implementation of effective mitigations.