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Live Stream Piracy – All You Need to Know

Amita Kumari Published on : 21 March 2022
Live Stream Piracy

 

In today’s online streaming market, live video streaming has snapped up an irreplaceable place by becoming the core of streaming platforms due to the instant engagement and value it has brought to the broadcasting business. However, such advantages also come with a price – live stream piracy, a threat that lingers worldwide. The live-streaming market also comes live stream piracy, a threat that lingers over the industry and affects businesses worldwide.

The transition from set-top boxes to OTT-based live streaming capability has given audiences the ability and flexibility to access high-quality live video streaming irrespective of the streaming devices and locations. Exclusive streaming content like sports events, live news, and live shows have gained much popularity among the audience  That is the reason broadcasting agencies are ready to pay any amount to hold the copyrights of live event streaming.  The ICC Cricket World Cup that concluded recently created a new live-streaming record with 59 million concurrent viewers. Live stream piracy therefore must be restricted and reduced to maximize the earning potential of live streams.

 

How does live stream piracy happen?

Live stream piracy involves the unauthorized capturing, copying, and distribution of live-streamed content without the permission of the content owner or the platform hosting the stream. Several methods are employed by individuals or groups engaged in live stream piracy. The basic way to do it is to run it using illegal device servers. Here is how livestream piracy is happening.

Screen Recording & Distribution

By using, an external camera or by simply deploying screen recording software, the original content is recorded from the screen on which it is streamed and then connected to a streaming distribution having its server and CDN. Then this live stream is distributed across the internet . The live content is delivered to the audience through a streaming server and built-in CDN.

This type of live streaming results in poor picture quality and latency but more than that, it reduces the revenue shares of various stakeholders.  In this type of illegal streaming, some of the actions performed to evade forensic watermarking are resizing the content streamed, D2A conversion, frame rate modification, etc.

In content where users do not want live-streamed content instantly but can watch it later, piracy experts often record the entire screen and then distribute those recordings. Screen recording is done on devices where broadcasting software like OBS is installed. The stream is recorded through such third-party software, and then the content is delivered to the streaming server.

 

Pirated Content Hosting Via Torrents

Pirated content is posted online by digital content pirates or sold to publishers/uploaders. The uploader then uploads the pirated copy of the content via piracy cyberlockers or P2P/BitTorrent File Transfer.

Piracy cyberlocker’s online hosting methods are popular among content pirates. It allows the content publishers/uploaders to post streaming content that is available to everyone. According to the report, at present, there are nearly 490+ active cyberlocker sites present around the globe. 

Also read- DRM | The Proactive Approach Towards Digital Content Security

It gives the pirated content uploader compensation for each time the uploaded content is downloaded or gets views. The finance of pirated content views is handled by the Cyberlockers’ premium accounts with high download speeds and other prime features that are sold to users, which monetize the platform.

BitTorrent protocol is used for transferring files over a peer-to-peer network. Here the streaming content is stored in multiple computers which are interconnected.

Counting on the live streaming service providers to the right holders, each entity involved in online content distribution service has suffered significant losses due to piracy acts. What hits back is there is no certain way to completely eradicate illegal streaming, but implementing the below antipiracy measures is effective in handling it as an incident response. 

To restrict live streaming piracy, the government has introduced some effective anti-piracy laws like

PLSA- Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020

In December 2020, the US government passed the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 to give a full stop to streaming piracy and to make citizens well aware of the consequences of pirating streaming content.

Under this act, criminal penalties are imposed on those who participate in the illegal streaming of copyrighted content for financial gain. 

Also read- How to Improve Live Streaming Latency?

 

live streaming use cases

 

Steps To Stop Live Stream Piracy

Apart from providing quality content, industries must follow copy-protection techniques. It helps in the legal distribution of digital content and monetization. 

Forensic Watermarking

The benefits content owners get from forensic watermarking is embedding a serial number in the original content. By detecting watermarks, copyright owners can identify from which point the content got pirated and take necessary actions. This process also helps track the distribution of content and ensures that there are minimal leaks in the system.

Stream Monitoring and Damage Control-

You can only stop livestream piracy once &  only if you know the pirated content and the source point. In live stream piracy, knowing the source from where the streaming is pirated; is essential to taking the right action against it.

Numerous high-end technologies are readily available to monitor live media streaming from the initial pre-transmission stage to the live stage. Some include automated processes, while some are manual. The effectiveness of these enables live streaming service providers to detect and take immediate action against piracy. In recent years, live streaming has been a constant target of content piracy, as they are expensive and have exclusive demand from viewers from all around the globe. The primary detection techniques are the best for handling and resolving piracy issues with the highest outcome from damage control actions. 

Also read- The Significance of Cybersecurity for OTT Platforms

Software Upgrades-

CCcam card sharing is globally famous as the efficacious method of illegal streaming content acquisition from satellite. It allows user devices to access subscriptions based on aggregations of authorization of legal subscription smart cards. 

One of the most effective strategies to prevent card sharing is the software upgrade of digital receivers. Here, a decryption layer is added within the receiver provided by the subscription television service. It replaces the plain text control word sent from the smart card to the receivers’ microprocessor with decrypted ECM. 

 

Conclusion

The stakes are high, and it is imperative to address livestream piracy comprehensively. Its impact is felt not only by the creators whose content is stolen but also by the streaming platforms that host these events. Beyond the immediate consequences for content creators, livestream piracy has a ripple effect on the economic landscape of streaming platforms. Loss of revenue, diminished audience trust, and the devaluation of exclusive content are among the economic ramifications that plague the industry.

The collective efforts of content creators, streaming platforms, and vigilant viewers can tip the scales in favor of a piracy-free online ecosystem. As we unveil the shadows surrounding livestream piracy, let us recognize the importance of awareness, collaboration, and technological innovation in safeguarding the future of digital content. Together, we can ensure that the light of creativity continues to shine brightly, unmarred by the dark forces of piracy.

Get Muvi Live & Reduce Live Stream Piracy Attempts

However, there is another way to handle streaming piracy professionally. By taking the help of enterprise-grade streaming platform providers like Muvi Live. With a platform like Muvi Live, you get an array of advanced security features like DRM protection for live media streaming, Live streaming engine to ensure a controlled and brand-safe user experience, Built-in CDN, Multi-bitrate HD encoding, auto-scalable live streaming servers for events, Ultra-low latency and many more.

And to top it all, Muvi Live is a completely pay-as-you-go live streaming solution. This means that users do not need to pay a monthly subscription fee to access content but only pay for what they use. Built to provide the best live streaming software solution, Muvi Live also has innovative features such as Muvi Meetings, a unique way to conduct meetings and webinars and stream directly to your audience. Muvi Live is completely customizable and offers the most advanced CRM for you to host and manage multiple live streams, audience and monitor analytics all from a single platform. The list of features is endless. Try Muvi Live for free today and decide for yourself!

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FAQs

Live streams are pirated using recording and broadcasting software and there are multiple methods to do so. It can be directly live-streamed from a secondary illegal server and recorded and pushed to the users as on-demand content.

Detecting illegal streaming involves various methods and technologies employed by content owners, streaming platforms, and law enforcement agencies such as watermarking, DRMs, crawling, user reporting etc.

Yes, it is illegal to watch such streams. They are dangerous for your device security and at the same time bring huge losses for creators and distributors.

Written by: 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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