Watermarking: Protect Video Content From Piracy

To keep premium video content like Netflix and Amazon Prime from being pirated, over-the-top (OTT) platforms like these must employ a variety of strategies. In the absence of this, OTT players risk losing money to illegal hackers. Using digital rights management (DRM), Hollywood studios, which create and distribute high-quality video content, are working to keep piracy at bay. Additionally, premium video content owners want to embed information about the content’s owner, user, and device into videos during playback in the event that a piracy attack is successful.

Two methods exist for safeguarding over-the-top content: DRM and video watermarking, both of which are offered as software as a service by the same company and are collectively known as “multi-DRM SaaS vendors.”

The vendor uses an SDK to embed binary data into the video asset as part of the forensic watermarking technology. Copyright and user information are both included in these files, making them highly personalised. The vendor’s watermarking algorithm works in conjunction with the DRM technology to create watermarks that are difficult for a pirate to decipher. Even if a pirate repeatedly encodes and decodes the watermarked video asset, the data’s robustness protects it.

To embed watermarks into DRM protected content files, a variety of algorithms are used. In order to keep video assets safe, security experts use a variety of watermarking techniques. Using a content decryption module is required by the browser in order to play encrypted video (CDM). DRM systems rely on this to prevent unauthorised access to the protected video. APIs in browsers called encrypted media extensions (EMEs) are used to exchange data between the browser and the CDM. To view the OTT content, users must use a web browser that supports HTML5. With EMEs, HTML5 can be used in browsers. It is not necessary to download video content via extensions such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight when using CDM and an HTML5 browser.

  • Post-compression: Forensic watermarking algorithms use redundant spaces in a compressed video stream. In order to incorporate forensic watermarks, these spaces can be used once the compression process is complete. Because the algorithm and codec remain separate throughout the process, the watermarked asset’s efficiency is enhanced.
  • As a result of this treatment: In this case, the algorithm comes into play before the original video is compressed. The video asset is viewed by the algorithm as a sequence of still images called frames, each of which contributes to the video’s overall frame rate. The CDN receives the compressed watermarking data that has been embedded into the original frames.
  • As a result of this approach, watermarks can be inserted into the video during compression. Unused video frame spaces are modified by the programme to embed unique information. It safeguards the video asset’s code rate. When decoding, watermark extraction can be done in real time, making this method useful.

Watermark extraction is an essential step. It’s imperative that the damage caused by piracy be contained as quickly as possible. It all depends on which of the three methods of embedding watermars is used.

Andrew Faulkner

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