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Do you know which is the world’s most widely committed crime? It is digital piracy! 

Studies estimate that global online piracy costs the US economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year. Unfortunately, even ordinary netizens with no criminal background whatsoever are party to this crime. The biggest crime they collectively commit is digital video piracy.  

Video streaming websites like Netflix, HULU, YouTube Premium, etc. have rewritten the ways users used to consume video content. Despite the easy accessibility and affordability, video piracy is something that remains a festering menace on a global level. 

How can content creators, especially video creators, protect themselves from this vicious attack? What are the different ways available to protect video content from piracy? 

The answer is Digital Rights Management (DRM).  

Digital Rights Management (DRM) — A Quick Intro

Digital Rights Management or DRM is a collection of tools and processes that help protect proprietary hardware or copyrighted works. That includes digital video as well. DRM prevents the unauthorized redistribution of digital media by preventing users from copying the content.

DRM was created when online digital piracy started spreading in monstrous proportions and also due to the difficulty in policing the law-breakers.  

 

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How does DRM work 

DRM works by making it impossible for an unauthorized user to steal the digital asset. This is achieved by embedding a software code into the digital content. The code can act in many ways: 

  • It will restrict access within a specific period of time
  • It prevents copying, or
  • It limits the number of devices on which the content can be accessed

Here is how DRM will work in specific scenarios:

Organizational settings 

The company servers prevent capturing screenshots, sending, forwarding, or downloading of content to/from external sources. 

Source

On-demand video content

The web application prevents the user from accessing content the user has not subscribed to. For example, Netflix, HBO, HULU, etc.

Multi-media protection

A video publishing company using video protection software to prevent users from copying the content to other devices or system memory. 

Benefits of using DRM 

Digital Rights Management (DRM) bestows several benefits for content creators. For video content creators, it doubles up as a video protection software. Its key benefits are described below: 

Helps retain ownership

One of the toughest challenges in video content production and distribution is establishing ownership of content. DRM helps embed ownership metadata into the content, thereby ensuring due credit is given to the original creator. 

Protects income streams

On-demand video streaming services charge additional service fees for streaming the content to multiple devices or for giving access to premium content. DRM helps protect the income streams from such services by restricting unauthorized access of the service. 

Safeguards confidential information

Confidential information consists of technical know-how, blueprints, proprietary processes, and so on. DRM ensures that access to such confidential and sensitive information is restricted to specific users by setting up protocols based on identity, access controls, server location, and so on.  

Is investing in DRM worthwhile? 

When a user purchases a DVD, software, or online service, it is perfectly fine for them to use it for their purpose as stated in the terms and conditions. But any unauthorized use, redistribution, or even modifying of the content is digital piracy.  

For a content creator, policing the ones indulging in unauthorized usage of their content is impossible due to the physical effort and costs involved. DRM makes it possible to protect such content from unauthorized use with the help of software tools. It doubles up as a video protection software that can eliminate unauthorized redistribution. So, by all means, it is a worthy investment for video and digital content creators.