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Video watermarking – A key anti-piracy tool for live sports content

Submitted by saahilkhan on Fri, 04/19/2024 - 04:37

Session-based and user-specific video watermarking enables the service operator to embed a unique identifier for each user. The ID is then used to trace any unauthorized redistribution of premium content. This technique is a critical anti-piracy tool to protect UHD premium content and live events broadcasting since it is possible to identify the actual device that is “leaking” or restreaming the content. This anti-piracy strategy allows for real-time detection of the source of pirated content and real-time shutdown of the illegal redistribution, and the ability to take other actions subject to the service provider’s policy.

Forensic watermarking can be applied either server-side, or in the client device itself. Any good anti-piracy strategy must also consider the type of content that is to be watermarked. For example, for live streaming services, minimizing latency is essential. Therefore, several issues must be considered when adding a forensic watermark. Server-side technology requires tight integration with the live encoder and edge components such as CDNs. It is computationally intensive, and may add latency to live event transmissions.

Combining digital fingerprinting technology, which is required for automatic content recognition (ACR) applications, with session based forensic watermarking, will achieve the most effective end-to-end anti-piracy service. This combined approach enables web monitoring of known piracy sites for pirated streams and ultimately the detection forensics required to prosecute pirates and take action to disrupt the entire value chain from illicit source to consumer.