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DRM | The Proactive Approach Towards Digital Content Security 10 March 2022

 

Over the past pandemic years, online media streaming has shown explicit growth in every perspective. It’s  capacity of grabbing audience attention to expanded genres, content categories, flexible subscription plans, online streaming has reached its highest possible peak of success. But along with that, it has also caused several major media distribution issues like unauthorized access to content libraries, unauthorized modification, and digital content distribution. Monitoring and preventing such illegal activity have been way too complex for content creators, authors, movie producers/publishers, or persons who are part of media content distribution over the internet. 

To protect the media content from illegal modification/updation/usage; Digital Rights Management (DRM) was introduced, which is a proactive approach towards restricting digital content access by creating a barrier between publishers and content users.

In this blog, we are going to discuss how Digital Rights Management (DRM) works, DRM types, and what are the main benefits of using DRM.

 

What is DRM and how does it work?

DRM technology controls the usage of digital assets. It prevents unauthorized editing, copying, forwarding, streaming of media files and ensures only the authorized users can access licensed content they have subscribed/ purchased. It keeps the authenticity of the digital content and transfers the unaltered data to the authorized users, restricting any attempt to redistribute encrypted data. 

Now, the deployment of Digital Rights Management is not limited to digital content creators and distributors, but is also seen in businesses to secure confidential information transmission and access. DRM solution helps identify the leaks in digital asset access and usage.

DRM uses codec technology to prevent people from exceeding the use, download, share, piracy, playback, and devices that access the digital content like audio, video, reports, e-books, software, or any copyrighted content. In short, DRM restricts/limits the overall access to copyrighted content.

DRM technology works on encryption methodology. Here content is encrypted and accessed through an encryption key which is a part of a digital license. The encryption key is only shared with authorized users who have paid/subscribed to access the content.

 

 There are three popular types of DRM-

1- Apple FairPlay-

FairPlay DRM helps content creators, encoding vendors, publishers to encrypt digital content, exchange keys, and media streaming on macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS 7, and iPadOS.  

FairPlay uses HTTP Live Streaming protocol to secure media streaming and provides technology support for encryption key exchange, decrypt & decode media, and secure media streaming on different devices.

2- Microsoft PlayReady-

Microsoft PlayReady DRM enables secure audio, video, eBooks, multimedia, and other digital media sharing/streaming across different devices. PlayReady supports a wide range of monetization models like subscriptions, advertising, rental, promotion, and preloaded content. 

Some of the top features supported by PlayReady are Embedded license, Silverlight support, WMDRM Content support, SDK for iOS, Unified device porting kit, Key rotation, and Blackout support.

3- Google Widevine Modular-

Widevine Modular, the latest version of Widevine, is used by Android-based devices and Chromium-based browsers. Video streaming protocols supported by this DRM system are- MPEG-DASH, HLS, and CMAF. 

Popular OTT platforms and broadcasters using Widevine are Netflix, Disney+, Discovery+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, HBO max, and many more.

Also read: Why is Security Important for Your OTT Platform?

Benefits of Digital Rights Management-

By using DRM, businesses/individual content creators, publishers get a wide range of benefits. Let us have a look at some of them-

1- DRM maintains the authority of content creators over content-

Content published over the internet is accessible to all, anyone can copy it, modify it and resell/market it. But, when the content is DRM protected, it’s impossible to alter the original content. 

The best example of this is a market research report that requires the investment of time, effort, and money on it. With DRM content protection, the businesses selling it can restrict internet users from accessing the information until and unless they pay for it.

2- DRM protects the revenue streams-

Video and audio content creators invest big bucks in creating the content and expect to get maximum revenue from it once streamed over the internet. 

By implementing DRM on digital content, copyright holders make sure only paid users/subscribers can stream their media content. Not only this, but DRM also helps in filtering content access by age and geographical locations.

3- DRM secures sensitive files and data-

With DRM, businesses get overall security of sensitive files and restrict read/edit access from unauthorized users.

4- DRM restrict content prints, downloads, and device access-

To secure media content, DRM restricts screen recording, screenshots, fix the number of times the content can be downloaded/printed, impose expiry date on media content access, lock access to particular IP addresses. 

Apart from that, DRM also sets a boundary over simultaneously device access to the media content.

Digital Rights Management handles copyright management in different ways. Watermarking is one of the most popular ways of copyright management, where graphic files are attached to the digital media, which tracks any updation/modification/transformation done on the original content. The other copyright management way can be the use of embed codes which helps in close monitoring of how and where the content is published. 

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How to implement DRM on digital content with Muvi?

With DRM, a security code is inserted in the digital files. It prevents them from unauthorized copying and limits device access to the content. 

To protect and control the use of digital content, Muvi is offering a Multi-DRM solution with advanced license management features for FairPlay, PlayReady, and Widevine DRM. 

Muvi’s Multi-DRM provides completely secure streaming content delivery over public networks, mobile devices, browsers, and set-top boxes. It encrypts the streaming content to prevent content piracy, which is the most complex thing to handle.

 

How does Muvi DRM work?

Muvi’s digital rights management solution works by encrypting the media content into different formats like MPEG-DASH or HLS[.M3U8]. Streaming content distribution is handled in different parts; which restricts the user’s access to the complete content file. 

Muvi uses the Bento4 tool for converting mp4 to MPEG-DASH. Even if the user has downloaded some part of the content, he will still need a license key to play it. The authorized users/subscribers need unique content and license keys to start streaming videos.

Security tokens are allocated to each user device, which works best towards; limiting content streaming over different devices.

Muvi’s DRM solution assigns a unique license key to each DRM account. Once the content is encoded, it is uploaded to S3 bucket where the file format is .MPD. Muvi supports HTML5 video player for video streaming. When an end-user requests video streaming, the CDN URL present in the video player points to the packaged MPEG-DASH video stored in the S3 bucket. 

When a user selects/browses for content, we check the respective DRM license best suited for the device browser and processes the license key. Once the authentication is successful, the media content starts playing on the users’ devices.

Muvi offers Multiple DRMS depending on the OS and browsers-

Operating System

Browser

DRM

Microsoft Windows(7,8,10,11)

Edge, IE

PlayReady

Apple (iOS, iPadOS, watchOS 7, macOS

Safari

FairPlay

Google (Android)

Chrome, Firefox, Barve

Widevine

 

How to Enable DRM with Muvi?

  • Muvi Multi-DRM is a paid feature, so end-users need to purchase Muvi Standard or higher plans to leverage DRM offerings.
  • We support Digital Right Management for Video on Demand and Live Streaming.
  • Once the DRM protection is activated, it will be applicable for all the videos you uploaded to your video library later on. DRM can not be applicable for videos previously uploaded to the library, before digital rights management solution implementation. To enable DRM protection for all media content available in your library, you need to re-encode them again.
  • Not only DRM protection, Muvi One offers a series of advanced solutions for businesses to launch audio/online video platforms. From CDNS to Content Monetization, Muvi One CMS is your one-stop solution for handling end-to-end streaming workflow.

To know more about our DRM solutions and CMS functionalities, we encourage you to start with a 14-day free trial of Muvi One and take the advantage of starting your streaming business with the assistance of a professional video hosting platform.

Start your free trial now!

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Amita Kumari
Amita is a content writer with Muvi marketing team. She has over 5+ years of experience in content creation and development. Passionate by heart, she likes to cook, write, sing and do yoga to pass time.

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