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Video streaming is the new rage in the entertainment industry. According to analysts, especially after Covid-19 paralyzed the film distribution networks, all major films will be released simultaneously on OTT platforms.

Millions of dollars go into making slick Hollywood films. No producer is going to take a chance with security while distributing such premium content. The success of the OTT industry comes at the back of technological advancements in the digital rights management (DRM) and forensic watermarking technologies. With the twin security technologies, it is almost impossible to keep pirates at bay.

Each OTT platform streams only DRM protected content to user devices. At the core of this technology is robust encryption of video assets, which can be decrypted only through a valid decryption key. When a user device issues a playback request to the server, the communication needs to verify the authenticity of the user. This communication needs to be encrypted.

Industry bodies have developed standardized protocols for enforcing security parameters. The most common of such standards is called MPEG Common Encryption (CENC) which are meant for ISO-BMFF and MPEG-TS streams. This standard allows encryption either for the whole asset or only a sub-sample of it. The XML-based MPEG-CENC standard seeks a key and its ID for encrypting content in advanced encryption standard (AES) within 128-bit parameters. Developers tend to choose this standard because it works with HLS format as well, the only concern being that the targeted segment should be inside an fMP4 container.

While encryption keeps premium content outside the prying eyes of hackers, content owners still need to use a video watermarking system to reclaim their authority in the eventuality of a leak. Mostly, content encryption and watermark embedding is done in a single workflow by a multi-DRM vendor.

When content owners detect an instance of piracy, they send the copy of the video to the vendor, who extracts the watermark from any sequence of the file and matches it against its database of watermarks to reach the culprit user.