Uploading your content digitally comes with its own set of challenges and piracy is one of those. The Internet today has also become a host of pirated content that needless to say, hampers and undermines your content. Securing your content online starts with video encryption, a method that can protect your content from unauthorized access and help you control the way you wish your content to be viewed.
Creators worldwide are uploading content digitally to expand their reach and monetize to earn revenue. Content on the web has become so widely accessible to people all over the world that today, your intriguing podcast about overcoming depression or your Italian cooking classes can reach every corner of the world. Your content must be good but it has to be secure. Securing it over the web is important and video encryption is the beginning of it.
What is Video Encryption?
Video encryption is the process of protecting your videos over the internet so as to control their access and limit their usage to a defined set of audiences as decided by the administrator or owner of the content. The next question is, “ Why does one want to encrypt their videos online? ”
A user can opt for Personal Use Encryption where they want to protect and share the access of their content with their close family members, friends, etc but do not want to be accessed by unauthorized people. Personal encryption can be used if the audience is fairly small and known to you.
The next and the most important reason a person or an organization would want to use video encryption is Digital Rights Management (DRM). From an important board meeting being conducted online to exclusive lectures from universities, videos have to be protected and made available to only those whom the creator wants to share with. Simply speaking, only the intended audience must get access to the content.
Digital rights management might sound similar to personal use encryption. However, it is very different in terms of the sophistication it comes with allowing for running the same content for different bands of paying or authorized audiences.
DRM allows the user to select the region in which they want to display their content and block all other regions. For example, a movie available on Netflix in the US region is sometimes shown as unavailable in Asian regions.
DRM encryption technology can allow the user to make the content accessible to specific browsers, applications, operating systems, etc. Amazon for example is encrypting its books in such a way that it is not readable on any other device besides Kindle.
Application Specific Content
Some videos only run on specific software especially installed thus protecting it. The video encoding used can help you stream content on only those applications that support it. Codec licensing therefore can limit your data to only specific applications usage.
Using Digital rights management technology for video encryption as you can see gives you complete control of your digital content online. It allows you to encrypt videos and control their access region-wise, and application-wise and also allows you to control the quality of streaming where the same video can be run on different resolutions depending on the plan selected by the viewer like Netflix.
These are the ways in which video access can be controlled. Let’s get into the more technical aspect of video encryption with our next question.
How does Video Encryption work and how can it prevent piracy?
Video encryption essentially means your video becomes unreadable unless specific methods of decryption are applied that are controlled using DRM in multiple ways as we have seen above. The process of video encryption begins with encoding the video and storing it on a secure server. This step means anyone who wants to access the video has to log in which means they need credentials and can be tracked.
Assuming it is browser-based encryption-decryption. Once a video/stream is requested, the server and the user’s machine are connected via a secure pathway where the browser acts as the decryption tool. Hence, it runs only on the browser in real-time. Some bits of user activity data are returned to the server for analytics purposes.
Therefore, even if the user manages to download the data, it will be in an encrypted format and cannot be accessed unless a secure channel is created. As soon as the channel is created using the browser, you get the login information. Thus, encryption protects your videos from piracy.
Does video encryption stop piracy?
To access the illegally downloaded stream, the pirate will have to subscribe to you to get the high-quality stream and this gives you their payment info, user activity, etc making it easier to track the user over the internet.
Video decryption also needs the use of multiple software which in turn reduces the quality of the video. And, when the video is further uploaded, cloud algorithms match it to the original stream and find correlations, and request organizations to block it.
Video encryption for different video types
Here are some encryption methods for different types of videos that can be broadly classified into mainly two types.
1. Video at rest: Videos that remain on hard drives or are downloaded in-app to be played later.
- AES encryption standard – 128, 192, or 256 bits
- Google Widevine
- Apple Fair Play
- Protected Media Path (PMP) for windows
2. Video in motion or live streaming
- Real-time media flow protocol suite developed by Adobe systems
- HTML5 DRM standard
Do you wish to join the content industry and host your content over the web? Managing your digital rights over the internet, therefore, becomes as important as creating content. Muvi is a one-stop streaming solution that offers world-class encryption systems that protect your data on our server and prevents any form of illegitimate download attempts for uploaded content as well as live streams. Our endless list of satisfied clients will tell you how MUVI helped them grow their business online by monetizing their content, handling their payment gateways, and most importantly ensuring that their data is secure and accessible only to those who pay for it.