The flourishing streaming services in recent years as well as COVID-19 pandemic, drive the digital transformation of industrial applications and the development of online services. Various types of activities, including the analyst meeting of a company, online concerts, e-learning, and seminars, are provided through streaming services. However, with the popularity of video streaming, copyright infringement cases like unlawful copying from or sending videos to YouTube or other free platforms are increasing. Whether the intent is malicious or not, the dissemination of paid videos can lead to the risk of corporate trust or even impact the revenue. So it is important to make sure the content is securely protected before uploading a video or live stream.
As the awareness of content protection increases, DRM (digital rights management) is mentioned more and more frequently. Though this concept has been in place for years, it is still strange to many people. In this article, KKStream, a professional provider of video streaming services, will brief the concept of DRM and its main technologies, video types that should be protected by DRM, and what the user should be cautious about in 5 minutes.
What is DRM?
DRM means digital rights management. The purpose of DRM is to protect the copyright as well as prevent the unlawful dissemination of digitized content. DRM is actually a collective term describing the technologies with the intention to protect the copyright of digitized content, including videos, audio, and eBooks. This concept has already been applied to the media industry, like new movie releases emphasizing “copyright management” more.
Currently, DRM is applied to digitized content through the following 3 approaches:
- • Replay restrictions: Limit the times and periods that the content is allowed to play
- • Use restrictions: Limit the devices and users who are allowed to access the content
- • Usage restrictions: Determine whether the user can play, copy or download.
Led by the video or music industry, digital dissemination has become very common in recent years. Company compliance requirements also draw more attention to security or copyright protection and corporate needs for DRM are also increasing.
3 major DRM technologies
Generally speaking, DRM can be applied to all digitized content. In the following, we will introduce 3 major DRM technologies used in videos: DRM that supports Google, Microsoft, and Apple browsers or applications.
- • Google Widevine
DRM for Android devices or browsers including Chrome and Firefox
- • Microsoft PlayReady
DRM for Microsoft Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge
- • Apple FairPlay
DRM is built into the QuickTime multimedia software and used by Safari, iPod, iTunes, and iTunes Store.
As the DRM technologies developed by these 3 tech giants cover most of the users in the market, it is important to check if the video is supported when distributing.
Video protection solutions besides DRM
Your video can also be protected by other options except for DRM. A simple comparison between DRM and other solutions is listed below.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages
IP restriction is the most cost-saving and simple way to protect your content. However, the user must be aware of the risk of IP spoofing and low-security level. Domain restriction confines the user to play a video in a certain domain to prevent unlawful dissemination. This solution also covers video publishing services. However, domain restriction does not set a limit to views and the user. A one-time URL can restrain a video from being copied, leaked, or played, lowering user convenience. A one-time URL cannot set a limit to the user and media player, either.
What kind of content should be protected by DRM?
In conclusion, we recommend using DRM to protect videos that you do not want others to copy or disseminate. Videos that use DRM:
- • Movies, sports events, music videos, etc. (copyright protection required)
- • Videos of new products, proprietary technologies, internal training, shareholders’ meetings (containing confidential information)
- • New paid content such as e-Learning learning programs, online fitness classes, etc.
Advantages/disadvantages when comparing DRM to other content protection solutions
After encrypted by DRM, the server sends a key to the client device when playing the content. The content will be unplayable if the key is not acquired by legitimate approaches. DRM is capable of requiring authentication of every device, or even every time of playing. Since all content is encrypted, DRM imposes a much higher security level than other solutions, as all devices need to be authenticated to decrypt.
On the other hand, as authentication is required every time, DRM also results in issues like relatively-slow streaming service or image degradation and affects the viewing experience. Conversely, DRM is not essential to videos that can be shared or disseminated, like commercials, family life videos, and marketing materials.
KKStream provides Hollywood level content protection solutions
If you are looking for the optimal video protection solutions, besides incorporating high-security level DRM, BlendVision also provides flexible content protection options, including restrictions on the number of devices, application of digital watermark, and prevention of unlawful image capture to avert illegally copying of video as well as trace the leak source. Contact us to experience BlendVision services now!