Category Archives: DRM

Read about how VdoCipher DRM enables completely secure video hosting, ensuring protected streaming.

Set IP Geo restriction on videos via API/Dashboard: VdoCipher DRM

VdoCipher provides a complete DRM with encryption, backend licensing and viewer specific watermarking to safeguard video content. Sometimes owing to the rights and permissions to distribute a video, businesses look to white-list or blacklist content for certain geographies & IPs. Here is an API guide to do IP & Geo restriction for your VdoCipher account. This should allow you to configure any complicated setting of IP and country restrictions.

Rules are defined by a JSON string called rule-set. This JSON contains an array of rule objects:

  1. Every rule is an object containing action, ipSet and countrySet
  2. Each matching rule overrides the previous matching rule.
  3. Action can be either ‘true’ or ‘false’, whether to allow or deny
  4. ipSet and countrySet are string arrays.
  5. Subnet CIDR block can also be set in ipSet string array.
  6. Both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and subnet are allowed
  7. countrySet has two-digit country codes (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2.).
  8. Empty set matches everything of that type.
[
  {
    "action": "false",
    "ipSet": ["122.0.0.0/16", "49.323.23.56"],
    "countrySet": []
  },
  {
    "action": "true",
    "ipSet": [],
    "countrySet": ["IN", "GB"]
  }
]

The first part of above code will block your videos from playing in the mentioned IP addresses. The second part of the code will allow the video to play only in countries – UK & India. As mentioned in point 2 , the second rules is the dominant one for common users. Thus as an example, if some user has IP – 49.323.23.56 and resides in UK, his videos will not play. So various combination of codes can be used to create custom restrictions. If there is any confusion, drop us a mail and we can provide sample codes.

Benefit of subnet restriction is that you don’t have to write specifically multiple IP addresses. You can configure it to restrict a group of IPs under subnet.

API for setting IP-Geo restriction is the same as the video update API as provided in docs.

Here is a sample HTTP Request:

POST https://dev.vdocipher.com/api/videos/______________
Content-Type: application/json'
Accept: application/json
Authorization: Apisecret ____________

{
  "ipGeoRules": "string_containing_json_encoded_ruleset"
}

Dashboard interface for IP & GEO restriction

*This feature is also present in dashboard. Please click on the top right circular button on any video to open video settings. In it, there will be an IP/geo restriction section. Using above documentation, you can add any restriction.

Let us know at info@vdocipher.com for queries & doubts.

IP & Geo Restrict Video DRM

How many use easy video download piracy tools ?

Use VdoCipher for Secure Video Hosting

How much is your video content at risk?

In this blog I present statistics about the popularity of freely available video download tools. These downloader tools enable piracy of your proprietary video content. These tools in the form of software, plugins, sites and extensions are available quite freely across the web. These tools work against non secure video streaming sites to encourage easy video downloads.

Number of users of video download piracy tools

I have included the link to sources from where I have obtained the relevant numbers for the video download tools. For sites, I have taken the estimated annual unique visits from Alexa. Details for the top 10  video downloader tools are given here. Total number of video pirates are calculated at end.

Video Download Tool Name No. of downloads/Annual Unique Visits Source
Savefrom 40,000,000 Alexa
Keepvid 25,000,000 Alexa
Video Download Helper 4,100,000 Sites
Internet Download Manager 3,500,000 Alexa
Video Downloader Professional 3,200,000 Site
Audials 800,000 Alexa
Video Downloader Pro 370,000 Site
All mytube wondershare 25,000,000 Site
ANT video downloader 2,000,000 Alexa
Clip Grab 1,500,000 Alexa
Total Users from 10 tools- 110 Million confirmed Pirates
World Total user estimate (Assuming top 10 downloaders contributing to 20% of the total downloading piracy, total there are over 100s of options) 500 Million estimated Pirates.
That is Every 4th Computer user in world uses video download tools. 
(Total 2 billion desktop users estimated by Reference)

 

Obvious Need & Source for Secure Video Streaming

To prevent such huge number of illegal video downloads, there is an obvious demand for highly secure video streaming. An encrypted streaming technology that can block all these downloaders and sites from accessing protected video content.  VdoCipher offers exactly the required secure video hosting solution. A proprietary encrypted streaming and watermarking technology to prevent video downloads. We are helping premium video businesses grow their revenues by ending online piracy.

To get a free full version 5 GB trial of the most secure video streaming service in the world , Register at VdoCipher.

Where does VdoCipher DRM video fit in your tech stack.

Traditional Video integration

In case of most media integration, a static media URL is sent to the client. The client can use this to begin playing media. A client in this case can be either a web app or a mobile/tv application. The data to provided to the client is a long-lived url which can be used multiple times.

DRM video integration

When you are working with premium content, a requirement for secure video hosting is that you give only a one-time usable resource. This URL to DRM video should be generated only when the client is authenticated and has the permission to get access to the file. Only the server component has the authority to generate this temporary resource access.

DRM Video for Secure Video Hosting

Workflow for DRM videos

In case of Vdocipher, the temporary access URL is the otp while the authority to generate this OTP is the api secret key.

The API secret key must never be shipped along with the app code. The app SDK just needs an OTP for playback. Hence, the right way of doing this is to create an API endpoint as part of the app backend that you already have. This API endpoint should receive an authenticated HTTP request for playing a video (assuming you are authenticating users by some means such as login, etc.) and respond with an OTP. It is the backend system which should be responsible for making API calls. The viewer simply asks to play a particular video. This is followed by an access check on your web server. Your web server then takes the VdoCipher id for that video, and calls for OTP on the VdoCipher API.

A workflow in this case will be:
1. Client logs in and has an auth token for your backend framework
2. Client requests to play that hot new video.
3. Your Backend translates that hot new video into the corresponding VdoCipher id
4. Your Backend makes the API call to Vdocipher to get an otp.
5. Your Backend responds to the request with OTP
6. Client uses this OTP to play the video.

Encrypted Video Streaming: VdoCipher & Others

The main encrypted video streaming protocols in use by most streaming providers are Apple’s HLS Encryption (HTTP Live Streaming) , HTTPS (HTTP Secure), Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) and RTMP Encrypted (RTMPE). HLS encryption, with AES 128 bit encrypted streaming, in particular is widely used and marketed by companies as a completely secure streaming protocol. However, inspite of the existing security features, these streaming protocols are insufficient as complete encrypted streaming protocols themselves. This is because, from the perspective of protecting content from piracy, their security flaws lie in:

  • Partial encryption of streaming content
  • Open key exchange mechanism for decryption

The security vulnerabilities in these encrypted streaming protocols have led to design of tools that may be used to decrypt the encrypted video content, thereby allowing illegal and un-authorized downloads. These tools include IDM, Video Download Helpers, RTMPDump and many similar other tools used for pirating proprietary content.

Although widely used, these streaming protocols are not the only streaming protocols that can be used. VdoCipher uses a modified version of the existing streaming protocols to increase video security, and minimize bandwidth usage.

Here we explain how VdoCipher Encrypted Video Streaming works, and how our proprietary encrypted video streaming technology is hackproof. Complete workflow is mentioned below. Steps 5 and 6 of the video streaming workflow are the key differentiators.

Video Streaming Hosting VdoCipher

All these things, VdoCipher handles for you. Launch Today.

  1. Upload

    The video content is uploaded by the registered customer through Desktop, FTP, Drop Box, directly from server and direct from URL. VdoCipher supports all typical video formats.

  2. Transcoding for Protected Streaming

    At VdoCipher we have designed our own proprietary format that we convert videos in. It is in this format that the encrypted streaming takes place in. After user uploads the video the VdoCipher player converts content into encrypted format. The video is transcoded for optimization at multiple bitrates, so that viewers on networks of any quality can conveniently view videos.

  3. Storage of Encrypted Content

    The videos are stored securely on Amazon’s AWS S3 servers using our own server-side encryption technology, creating a double layer of protection.

  4. Encrypted Video Transfer – Differentiator

    Now the encrypted content has to be streamed to the final viewer interface , be it app or browser. Unlike many other streaming protocols, there are two key differences:

    Firstly, the entire stream (not partial) is encrypted using a non-public key whose exchange mechanism is hidden and is proprietary. Others like RTMP does it partially and not fully secure.

    Secondly, the transfer of this encrypted content is not through direct access to the video file. There is a one time URL that is generated and the content is transferred in different chunks to optimize streaming.

  5. Licensing & Authentication – Differentiator

    If the video has a direct video URL that can be shared, then the encrypted video streaming has completely ineffective security. This is because there can be multiple browser playback of the same video, and therefore the video can be easily downloaded. Our key service differentiator is that we have One Time generated video URLS. These URLs are accessed only through custom video embed codes, allowing licensing duration for each single video stream. This prevents any URL based sharing.

  6. Decryption & Playback – Differentiator

    Finally, the encrypted stream content is decrypted inside the player with a dynamic key. Our proprietary key transfer protocol is fundamentally different from the public key transfer protocol in cases of HLS, HTTPS and RTMPE Encrypted Streaming Protocols.

    A private key transfer between the website and our API signifies that it is not possible for hackers to decrypt our streams. The One Time encryption that we use is theoretically and practically hack-proof . We regularly update our authentication mechanism to keep the security features up to date.

    Video licensing and playback are combined to generate customizable viewer specific watermarks. Within the watermark offering, IP address, Email ID  and User ID can be shown as light transparent watermark, to identify a playback session by the viewer.

    Result – Progressive High Secure Video Streaming

    Through this 6-step Video Hosting, Encryption and Streaming process, VdoCipher is able to provide a progressive high security video streaming with future buffer possible. This is also different from RTMP which does not maintain any buffer and can be quite erratic as a result.  Also, once a part of a video is buffered it remains conserved, even when the viewer seeks back or forth. This ensures fastest loading times and minimal bandwidth usage for secure video streaming.

encrypted video streaming                          To try the product trusted by customers across 30+ nations secure video streaming, Add more revenues by eliminating video piracy, have a full free 5 GB trial at www.vdocipher.com

 

10 popular video downloaders: VdoCipher stops all

Whole of internet is filled with people looking and asking for popular video downloaders , plugins &  tools  to grab and pirate videos from sites like youtube, vimeo, netflix, dailymotion, and many more education and media sites. Any normal video hosted is generally easily downloaded by these tools.  If you are a content owner looking to prevent piracy from these downloaders , try out VdoCipher. It is a sure shot way to save your self from all theses nuisances. We are giving below here a review of all the video downloaders and some of their key points.

List of 10 Common Video Downloaders

  1. Video Download Helper

    It is a plugin on firefox and technically the most advanced one. We have seen it to be able to download most of the content on web (HLS, HTML5, MP4 streaming) . A uniqueness about this downloader is the frequency with which it is updated to keep hacking into any slight changes in common video streaming systems. Seems, a large community is behind this plugin trying best possible means to grab streaming video content.

  2.  Internet Download Manager (IDM)

    Another popular software to be installed on computer. Uniqueness is its beautiful UI to manage , pause, continue & categorize downloads. Also, it seems to provide the highest speed for downloads.

  3.  RTMP Dump

    A downloader (installable version) to download videos streamed through RTMP protocol, other wise not an easy to download protocol.

  4.  KeepViD

    A site which asks for the video url and detects and downloads video file on its own.

  5. Savevid

    Similar to Keepvid

  6.  ssyoutube

    A site specially made to download youtube videos.

  7.  Audials

    A software with high end technology. Like download helper, the detection of any video streaming technology and is grabbing is quite easy and advanced here. It can crack through some moderate level hacks implemented.

  8.  9. 10. VIDEO DOWNLOAD CAPTURE , CLIPGRAB, VIDEO GRABBER

    The last 3 are again a set of commonly found video downloaders & software, which can download videos from many common sites.

How to Prevent website videos from being downloaded ?

All the above mentioned tools are based on detecting the video url, and fetching it from server to download content. What if, there is no url to the video file, even more if the content being streamed is not a video but an encrypted file ? We do exactly the same at VdoCipher and help increase revenues for our e-learning and media customers by preventing video piracy.

VdoCipher restricts video downloaders

Common downloaders, VdoCipher stops them all

Check out a free 5 GB full version free trial at www.vdocipher.com

Add images and text to video with dynamic watermarking

Below is a sample video with dynamic watermark features.

The stream is encrypted for highest security. For playing it on mobile, ask for an app or app sdk. This video is displayed using our WordPress plugin annotation features. It can be customized for movement , color, size , transparency. For a watermark on your own video, get a free full version trial at www.vdocipher.com

All you need to give is a JSON string describing how and what you need to overlay on your protected videos. Videos streamed on VdoCipher are protected from unauthorized downloads. Watermarking user information further cuts down on the chances of sharing a recorded video.

How to get started?

I am assuming you have uploaded your video to your VdoCipher account and are ready to embed the video either using WordPress plugin or implementing the API yourself. In both the cases, you need to pass an “annotation code” or a “json string” to tell us what and how to annotate.  Let’s see how to create this annotation json and add text to video. (A json string is a form of representing structured data in a way machine can understand.)

Here is a sample:

[
{'type':'image', 'url':'https://example.com/url/to/image.jpg','alpha':'0.8', 'x':'100','y':'200'}, 
{'type':'rtext', 'text':'moving text', 'alpha':'0.8', 'color':'0xFF0000','size':'12','interval':'5000'},
{'type':'text', 'text':'static text', 'alpha':'0.5' , 'x':'10', 'y':'100', 'color':'0xFF0000', 'size':'12'}
]

The above code adds a moving text, static text and a static image for your video.

Technically, this is a JSON array of objects, where each object describe a single annotation item. Each of these items will be described by its parameters.
Every item requires a type parameter which defines the type of watermark. The type of watermark can be either a static text, a moving text or a static image. The rest of the parameters depends on the type. Following a short description of how each of these parameters affect the display of text and image. The text after “//” denotes a comment about the parameter value.

Static text
‘type’ : ‘text’,   //do not change, this defines the type of annotation item
‘text’ : ‘the text you like to be displayed’,
‘x’ : ’10’,  //the distance from the left border of video.
‘y’: ’50’,  //the distance from the top border of video.
‘alpha’: ‘0.8’,    //the opacity of the rendered text, 0 is invisible, 1 is full opaque
‘color’:’0xFF0000′,    //the color of the text specified as hexadecimal or uint
‘size’:’12’,
      //Height of the text, in pixels.

Moving text
‘type’: ‘rtext’,
‘text” : ‘Enter whatever text you like to be displayed’,
‘alpha’:’0.8′,
‘color’:’0xFF0000′,
‘size’:’12’,
‘interval’:’5000′    // the interval in milliseconds when the text changes position

Image
‘type’ : ‘image’,
‘url’ : ‘http://example.com/path/to/image.png’,     // the direct link of image
‘x’ : ’10’,
‘y’ : ‘100’

 

  • Note that both the name and the value of these parameters should be in quotes. This rule applies to both text as well as numbers.
  • Each parameter is to be separated by comma. There should not be a comma after the last parameter for the dynamic watermark video settings.

Final Step

Now you need to integrate the above watermark info in your actual video. Pass this json string as a post parameter when making the OTP call with key value annotate. Note that, our current v2 API requires post data to be sent as Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded  . So, there will be two different post keys: 1) clientSecretKey 2) annotate

Only if you are writing the http requests from scratch you will need to url encode the json string when appending it to the post data. Most web frameworks have inbuilt method of generatig post data. In such cases, you should ensure that data is not doubly encoded i.e. just set the json string when calling your web framework’s addPostParam() method.

Still having problems with the dynamic watermark on video code? Send us the code you are using and the output you wish to be shown to info@vdocipher.com

Secure video streaming and hosting: Advances in technology

VdoCipher provides highest secure video streaming in the world market.

It is a full packaged video streaming, hosting, Encoding+DRM service offered in easy to use manner.

This post presents an overview on various practices adopted by VdoCipher to deliver secure video streaming for its clients. For e-learning and media companies hosting streaming videos on their sites, having a secure video player on the site is the primary requirement. For better user experience, forcing the viewer to install some plugin is also not preferable.  VdoCipher ensures that its customers can use secure video streaming without deteriorating the viewer experience.

The encryption and authentication technology is built in with the VdoCipher player.

Secure video streaming technology

Dynamic watermarking the videos with viewer detail further enhances security from screen capture. It discourages distribution of content captured using external cameras.

Encryption, authentication and  dynamic water marking are thus the tools by VdoCipher for secure video streaming.

You can also limit access to certain IP addresses and Geographical locations using the whitelisting features.

A light weight video player which allows buffer retention ensures a smooth streaming experience for the viewer. Buffer retention here means , that as the viewer seeks back and forth on the video player, the buffer remains conserved. This ensures minimal bandwidth usage and a smooth streaming experience for  viewers with slow internet speeds.

A note on secure video hosting – As already mentioned, encryption, watermarking & licensing are the key features that prevent illegal access of streaming videos. Coming to the hosting part of videos in secure fashion, VdoCipher stores videos in a proprietaryy format on its owned AWS(Amazon) + Akamai servers. These are internationally the largest server + CDN companies catering about almost all the media content in the world. The direct access to the servers for any piracy or hack attempt is impossible owing to strict hosting security standards maintained by these server companies. The fact that the one time url for the secure hosted video is a link to the raw encrypted file with no access to its decryption key, it makes even the rare access of the encrypted video useless.

Integration with secure video player

Integration of VdoCipher with any website is quick with embed codes provided through easy to use APIs. For websites built with services like wordpress and joomla , VdoCipher has ready to use plugins. Features which are supported along with secure video streaming are- video analytics, bulk upload through computer, dropbox or shared url, custom video player design, pay per use pricing and live customer support.

So, how to start using this secure video streaming video with VdoCipher ?

To start with a free full version 5 GB trial of VdoCipher – you just need to signup with a mail id. No credit card , no details , no time limit, just signup and you are ready to sell videos online.

  Signup for free trial

If you have any queries, team VdoCipher is here to help you. Please send your queries and specific requirements to the contact link located here.

 

 

Looking to sell videos online : Protection from piracy

“Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. That tension will not go away ” -Stewart Brand. This is the nature of information and content being posted on internet these days. Media publishers trying to sell videos online have often heard “ Once you have put your videos online, it is free . There can be no DRM on the internet”.  How practical is this argument and are there ways to prevent  video download on web?

I would like to have a take on the notion considering current legislation and technologies. It is true that a content which is online can be acquired by hook or crook. Quality is generally compromised in this forceful acquisition. Camera captured versions of movies in poor quality is a common example.

sell videos online, embed videos on site

Sell videos online- Map for video piracy

The first infographic is an excellent illustration of means through which paid content reaches the end viewers. It includes both legal methods as well as the path adopted by pirates. It is shocking to see how premium content is able to reach all over the world for free. The circle of warez , torrent and linkers is the primary culprit for this online piracy. As we move away from the center, the number of branches distributing the content for free increases exponentially. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) has been proposed as a solution to the problem . Instead of trying to prevent stealing of premium content from initial release points, SOPA tries to disarm the websites which have  ability to redistribute this release. It targets subsequent circles of seeders , uploaders and downloaders which comprise the general internet users. This circle is the nerve of internet. Trying to restrict it would mean to undo the openness, which the world wide web has brought into the world.

sell videos online , prevent video download

Sell videos online -Piracy statistics

 

Another infographic discusses the numbers relating to online video market and piracy. Lets reflect upon how much a video DRM can affect this scenario. There are encryption & authentication technologies adopted by video hosting companies which are evolving over the time.
The videos hosted through these technologies can’t be downloaded on web. Their idea is to make download so difficult that users would find the effort of download to be much exhausting; and ultimately pay for the video.

 

Leakages that can be prevented by technologies and not legislation

As seen in the first picture , the loss of video content from the release groups and paying users has to be targeted. Lets consider the movie and e-learning industries which are looking to sell videos online. The paid users are the starting point of piracy. One subscriber pays for the video. He downloads it using one of the freely available downloaders. Then, he shares it among his circles or puts it online. This  allows everyone to enjoy premium quality content at no costs. Most of the CDNs and online video hosting companies with DRM  try to plug these holes.

How much effective can DRM strategies be?
Looking at the second picture, one can see that in USA 70% of the pirates are of age 18-29. The number of copy-right infringement notices given to colleges is a clear indication of how students are able to access and enjoy free content. Most of premium content is available at affordable costs, but it is so easy to get it free that no one even pays the actual amount. This has lead to a great loss to online TVs , tutorial teachers and movie sellers.   The securities based on encrypted video streaming and authentication is an effective solution to this problem . These DRM technologies prevent download from any such downloader on web. This restricts online and offline sharing of content. Another means to prevent video piracy is dynamic watermarking. Watermarking the videos with information of the subscribed user is an effective means to restrict uncontrolled distribution of videos.

What are the costs of the solutions in terms of technology , usability and money ?
There are no overhead costs of these technologies in terms of bandwidth or other network resources. The underlying innovation itself is the prized commodity. The quality of streaming can be easily maintained at par with any regular streaming. End users can access the content without installing any software on their desktops. Apps are available to ensure mobile compatibility along with security. With more and more companies coming up with innovative DRM systems customized for markets like media and e-learning , there is a hope that premium video content creators would be able to monetize to their potential.

About the author – Siddhant is Co-founder at VdoCipher , Startup helping people to sell videos online. Check out the site if you are looking to prevent download of videos embedded on your site.