How do I add DRM copy protection to my digital video downloads?

New Here ,
Dec 27, 2016 Dec 27, 2016

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I've been selling a lot of DVDs, and have been getting a lot of requests for me to move out of the stone age and offer digital downloads of my videos. The reason I haven't is because of my lack of knowledge about how to protect my digital files in a download. All my google search results are how to remove DRM protection from video files! When my previous publisher (I'm now self-publishing) made digital downloads of my DVDs, they weren't copy protected in any way. People could simply follow the download link and download a zipped folder of the video file. If that customer wanted to share the link with someone else, that person could download it too. Lame. What affordable options do I have to add protection to my digital video files for download? And can I do it in Premiere or Encore? Thanks in advance!

Josh

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 27, 2016 Dec 27, 2016

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Copy protection for physical DVD/BD discs is applied at the mastering stage, in the form of proprietary track structures. It's not something the editor has any involvement in - you simply pay for it as part of the production run.

Digital video-on-demand files are protected either by serving them through a negotiated and encrypted streaming service (which prevents a casual user from being able to retain the file as a playable download), or by encrypting the file and combining it with a license key that is only valid for a short time (along with a proprietary playback application that can read the embedded key). Again, these services are applied at the point of distribution by third party providers (Fairplay, PlayReady, Marlin, etc) and the editor has no involvement. Except in a few cases the master files on the server are unencrypted, and the protection is applied in real time as each customer downloads their purchase.

Adobe provides software in the form of the Marketing Cloud's Primetime system (which uses ExpressPlay from Intertrust). These solutions are generally sold to large content providers (studios and TV networks) so pricing is by negotiation only, and will be very significant. Small producers are best served by contracting with a pay-per-view distributor who handles the DRM and app development.

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New Here ,
Apr 10, 2021 Apr 10, 2021

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Hi, but if I am a publishing House, how is it în this case?

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LEGEND ,
Dec 27, 2016 Dec 27, 2016

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My feeling on this is that the little guy really has no viable pathway for secure digital distribution.  I think you'll find any available solution far too expensive for small scale distribution.

I should qualify that opinion by stating that I do still approach distribution from an "old school" mindset, that being living room viewing.  While many people today do watch videos on their computer, tablets and phones, I do not consider that sufficient from a distribution point of view.  The client must be able to easily get my videos onto their living room TV.  If they're also viewable on other devices, bonus.  But I would consider any solution that leaves out or makes difficult the living room viewing experience as non-viable.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 27, 2016 Dec 27, 2016

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Have you looked at controlled streaming of your content?

Sell your videos online and worldwide | Vimeo On Demand

It should be noted that as your Google search found out, in this day and age it is difficult to get 100% protection against theft - so many content providers are looking at a model where the price of the content (and the convenience of access to that content) make theft too much work.

MtD

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 27, 2016 Dec 27, 2016

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Hi Josh,

In response to our private thread, which I am having trouble accessing, I have nothing else to offer - DRM is not something I have experience with. Seeing some good ideas from others

Thanks

Jeff

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Guide ,
Apr 10, 2021 Apr 10, 2021

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A lot of this you can create yourself if you have a website that can handle the bandwidth. HTML5 AES streaming is all pretty much built in now using encrypted media/source extensions. You can use some prebuilt methods to save time but you'll need to be a little tech savy if you don't want to buy upfront licenses and distribution platforms.

 

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