How To Copy Protect Videos

The Internet is an amazing resource for information and media and for most, a free library to plagiarize from and re-use for their own purpose. At the top of the list of items that get pirated and distributed without authorization are videos.

Videos are big game for pirates and the film industry needs video protection to survive. Millions has been spent on research and development of video protection but the best they came up with was anti-copy disks which at the need of the day can still be exploited. Unfortunately disk protection is an expensive process because proprietary disks and disk writers are required that can conceal the unlock keys in hidden partitions.

So what can small business do about video protection?

Most will be distributing video by download for desktop viewing or displaying them from a web page. Unfortunately nothing can be done about protecting video distributed for play in generic video players, like the one connected to your television. But there are some methods that can be deployed to prevent sharing and also prevent copy.

Password Protection

Password protection is the easiest to install and enforce. Password protection will restrict access to your video or web page but it will not prevent those who can log in from sharing the login details. More on that later.

Video Encryption

Another strategy that can be employed is "encryption". Encryption can protect the video stored on the server from your web master and web hosting staff, and it can prevent leakage to those who may not have access rights to that video. Encrypted video requires a proprietary video player to decrypt according to limitations that you control. For online display videos can be encrypted using your domain name as the encryption key to create "domain lock" whereby the video can only be shown from pages on your web site. Click for the most secure video encryption solutions.

Computer Identification

Individual users can be identified by the computer that they use. A unique Computer ID can be defined by obtaining the hard drive serial number or MAC address that is used for the Internet connection. Most of those in the copy protection industry are imitating the ideas of others and only capable of getting a MAC address, which is not ideal because a computer will have a different MAC address for different types of Internet connection, whether it be LAN, Modem, Wi-Fi, etc. Click for the most secure user identification solution.

Copy Protection

So far we have discussed the means of preventing unauthorized access to your videos, and now need to discuss what can be done to protect them while open and on display. First, let's identify some methods of obtaining a copy while on display:

  • Page "save" will download and save the text and/or include all media displayed on the page.
  • Right-click menu can be used to select,  save and download video files.
  • Right-click for "properties" will provide the web location of any media displayed on the page.
  • Media grabbing software and search engines can spider your web pages for the resource links.

Now you may have noticed that the "right-click" menu is mentioned a couple of times, so you might think that disabling the right click menu will protect your media. But you will be wrong, because the same menu options are available from the browser toolbar. You will not be alone thinking that because thousands of site owners adopt protection methods that only partially do the job. Media server servers are often used for video storage and their buffering features, and they do offer "protection" but that protection is nothing like what we are discussing here because all they can do is prevent the video from being hot linked, ie: played from someone else's web page. As for their embedded video players, the one provided for web page display, they all include options for downloading and saving the video, and even if you apply copy protection to the web page, you will find that the "fullscreen" button that they provide will enable a user to escape the realm of the web page where the copy protection has been applied.

The protection offered by video streaming services are merely designed for protecting their own revenue by ensuring that only paying clients get to stream via their service.

So when we talk about "copy protection" we mean methods of preventing all copy full stop, completely, without ado, and methods that cannot be exploited. Methods that can be and should be employed by those who need to protect their livelihood and proprietary information.

Click for the most secure video protection solutions.<

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