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MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.

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Christian Friis
MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:24:26 pm

My conclusion is that the following is not possible - but I'd like to make sure, that I'm not overlooking an option...!

We recently released a DVD, and want to make it available as a download as well. Is it possible to add some kind of copy protection to the file itself (that will work on all platforms regardless of player etc.)? Also the same question for subtitles, but this is less important, as burned in subtitles are good enough for me.

Thanks,

Christian.


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Mark Suszko
Re: MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:33:55 pm

Instead of trying to encrypt the stream, which is too expensive and difficult, control access to the player, by using a private, unlisted site link and password protection, or an FTP site with an e-commerce front-end.

But realize this: if they can see it at some point, that's where they can copy it, even if it's the most crude copying by shooting the screen with a camera. You can't beat pirates. You can only make the task bothersome enough, at too low of a profit margin, so they will skip trying.

The best anti-piracy tool is to offer the legit product at a rock-bottom price, so nobody sees any big profit in undercutting you. Or, get paid up-front by finding a sponsor or patron to pay for the project, then GIVE AWAY the product, to get the widest distribution.


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Christian Friis
Re: MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:47:31 pm

Hey Mark, thanks a lot for your post. If I understand you correctly, you suggest that I - instead of letting customers download the actual MP4 file - keep the MP4 file on my own server, and grant customers access with a unique password?

I totally with you on your other points. My products is not in a high risk zone of being heavily copied...! I just asked, as I found it to be silly if I'd overlooked an obvious solution...

Thanks again!

http://www.oddresort.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:38:19 pm

Once they can see it, they can copy it. One way, or another. So it really doesn't matter if you give them a stream or an FTP download, as far as piracy.

You can charge at the gateway, so to speak, if you're willing to generate a unique stream and password to each visitor. E-commerce tech is not my field of expertise. But if you make it expensive enough, you tempt a pool of customers to chip in and "share" one copy. And you tempt a pirate to ker ack (filter evasion) what you have and put it on a (filter evasion) torr rent. Then you end up with nothing.


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Zack Hosseini
Re: MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:26:57 pm

I agree with Mark about going with an embed on your site. There are some options for you to make piracy a bit more difficult.

You could use progressive download files. WM or QT streams are simply visible in the HTML code, elementary piracy, but progressive downloads are hidden - typically in Javascript or .SWF files.

The video still ends up downloading to the viewer's computer, though. That's how they see it. To get around downloading, you could use a true streaming server. It creates a real-time stream and nothing gets downloaded. Screen capture softwares can normally work-around this, however. You could look into some players that distort the captured video, however.

Adobe Media Server is made for this kind of stuff, I've never used it, but I've heard good things. There's a free trial.
http://www.adobe.com/products/adobe-media-server-family.html

Any further methods of security are probably not worth the effort honestly.

---------------
Zack Hosseini
http://www.ZackHosseiniFilms.com
Zack@ZackHosseiniFilms.com

"Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out." - Martin Scorsese


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William Carr
Re: MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 11, 2013 at 1:01:01 am

You could also think about using Vimeo's pay service:

http://vimeo.com/creatorservices/ondemand


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Christian Friis
Re: MP4 copy protection, subtitles etc.
on Sep 18, 2013 at 11:27:59 am

Thank you very much for your input - much appreciated! We settled for a WP base + Woo Commerce. Physical DVDs and the option of downloads - restricted to 1 download per bought video. If people have problems downloading, they can contact us, and we provide a new download link. File is 1.2 GB, I don't think piracy will be a big issue. I have a paid Vimeo account - had overlooked that option, which actually looks pretty good! Thanks again!

http://www.oddresort.com


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