E-learning video protection content is a valuable asset for educators and learners alike. However, it is also vulnerable to piracy and unauthorized distribution. According to Dataprot, video piracy accounts for 24% of the internet bandwidth used for illegal downloads and uploads.
This not only harms the creators of the content but also the consumers who pay for it. Park Associates estimates that video piracy will cause a revenue loss of more than $61 billion in 2020, and $63 billion in 2023. This is why you need to take e-learning video protection seriously!
In this article, you will learn about the various ways to protect your e-learning videos from piracy, as well as the latest statistics and trends on video piracy and video security.
The Growing Threat of E-learning Video Piracy and Its Impact
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Creating good quality content can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be frustrating when you find out that pirates have distributed it all over the internet without your permission. No content creator wants to face this situation.
Unfortunately, technology makes it easier for pirates to download and share your premium content. They use tools like Video Download Helper and IDM, which are browser extensions that can capture any video URL and download it. Then they can upload your content to popular sharing platforms like Telegram, torrent, or even YouTube.
But don’t worry, there are solutions to prevent this too. Major ed-tech companies use technologies like account restriction and DRM video encryption (DRM stands for Digital Rights Management) to protect their content.
If you are still wondering how to create online courses, you can check out these e-learning video software that can help you with the basics.
How Are Your Elearning Videos Being Pirated?
Content piracy is a serious problem for tech companies, as it reduces their revenue and customer base. When a paid user downloads and shares the content with others or on online platforms, they deprive the company of potential customers who might otherwise buy the premium course. If you have not taken any measures to prevent this, you should act now.
One of the common ways that pirates access your premium content is by sharing the password or credentials of a paid account. This means that multiple users can view your content for free, without paying for it. You might not have any restrictions on the total watch time and device usage, which makes it easier for them to exploit this loophole.
There are different types of password or credential sharing, such as:
- Casual: When friends and family members share their accounts with each other.
- Swapping/pooling: When users (often strangers) exchange their passwords with each other to access different services they are already subscribed to.
- Commercial: When a user rents out an account to someone else for money.
- Password Theft: When hackers steal account credentials from users and sell them or use them on online platforms. In 2019, there were about 5 billion hacked accounts available for sale or use on both the open and dark web combined.
Your premium content is valuable and deserves to be protected from piracy. Unfortunately, there are many tools and methods that allow users to download or access your videos without paying for them. For example, some users can simply enter the URL of your video in a tool or use a browser extension to download it. Others can hack the encryption key of the video and access it directly from the server. These are some of the ways that pirates can steal your content and harm your revenue. You can read more about the statistics and impact of video piracy here.
Another risk of video piracy is that someone might modify your course slightly, give it a new name and sell it as their own product. This is a serious form of plagiarism that can damage your reputation and income. There have been several cases like these where pirates sold stolen content on different platforms. For example, in 2015, Udemy faced criticism for profiting from pirated online courses. One of the cases involved a course that was taken from Troy Hunt’s channel on Pluralsight and was uploaded to Udemy without his consent. You can learn more about this in The Verge’s article on the Udemy controversy
Screen recording is another way that malicious users can pirate your content. They can use their mobile or computer to record your video stream and then share it online for anyone to access without paying for it. This is a serious form of video piracy that can affect your revenue and reputation. You can prevent screen recording by using some strategies, such as:
- Using digital rights management (DRM) technology to encrypt your videos and prevent unauthorized copying and distribution
- Using platforms and devices that support hardware DRM and automatically prevent screen recording tools
- Using a desktop app that packages your website and blocks screen recorders
- Using a video player that is difficult to capture
How To Ensure Elearning Video Protection?
You have learned about the reasons and methods of video piracy. Now let’s see what you can do to protect your elearning videos. Torrent has been a common source for pirates to get free content. But this has changed to some extent. Pirates are not only using torrents but also finding new ways to steal premium video content. Some of these ways are very new and unknown. They don’t just copy the files illegally but also access them without permission.
Block Password Sharing
Password sharing is one of the main causes of piracy, as we have seen before. Students often give their account passwords to each other. This allows multiple logins from the same account. This means that the same premium content is viewed several times. This reduces the revenue that you could have earned from those views.
One way to solve this problem is to prevent password sharing. If you have a WordPress website, you can use a WordPress plugin to stop simultaneous logins.
This plugin will make sure that users can only log in from one device at a time, and stop multiple users from accessing the same account.
-For non-WordPress websites
You can still protect your videos even if you don’t use WordPress, but you will need some help from your developers. Here is a simple explanation of how you can do this.
You will need to create a unique ID for each user when they log in and store it in the database. You will also need to set a cookie for the user with the same ID. When the user visits your website, you will check if their cookie matches the ID in the database.
If they match, the user is logged in. If they don’t match, the user is logged out. When the user logs in from a different device, you will generate a new ID and cookie for them. The new device will have a cookie that matches the database and will be logged in.
The old device will have a cookie that doesn’t match the database and will be logged out. When the old device logs in again, you will generate another new ID and cookie for them. The old device will have a cookie that matches the database and will be logged in. The second device will have a cookie that doesn’t match the database and will be logged out.
Using SSO for login
You can also reduce password sharing by using Single sign-on for logging in to the user account. With SSO, a user can log in to the platform using social login such as Google, Facebook etc.
A user might share their login for the e-learning video platform easily, but they might not share their Facebook or Google password with their friends. This is because their Facebook or Google password is more personal and sensitive. Also, SSO is user friendly and it saves the trouble of remembering passwords. Logging in is much simpler with just a click. You can encourage your users to use this feature for their convenience and security.
Restrict Video Watch time to Prevent Misuse or Overuse
You can also ensure that the account is not shared by the users by limiting the total watch time for a user. Usually, a user will not watch a lecture more than once or twice, depending on your user’s behavior. You can set a maximum playback time for a video and prevent it from being watched multiple times by different users. For a more technical explanation of this Please contact Inkrypt Videos team.
Using Video Encryption
Video encryption technology is used to protect your videos by hiding or scrambling them from anyone who doesn’t have your permission (the encryption key).
There are two popular and easy-to-use encrypted video streaming protocols:
AES 128 Video Encryption (Normal or Sample AES 128 protocol): This is the most common basic encryption technology used by developers to encrypt content and prevent raw video from being seen in the network.
HLS Encryption with AES-128: This is a video streaming protocol that uses HLS and encrypts the videos with the AES-128 algorithm. The key exchange is done via the secure HTTPS protocol.
The problem with common video encryption technologies – These encryption technologies are fairly strong and cannot be broken by brute force, but they have a major flaw: their keys are exposed and can be accessed by any hacker or a tool/extension with some effort. Hackers can use the key to easily download the video without cracking the encryption itself.
But don’t worry, there is a solution to this problem. The main flaw in common encryption technologies is the open key exchange, so you need a technology that can fix this. That’s where DRM comes in.
Using video DRM encryption technology for highest security
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a technology that works with the DASH & HLS encryption to make the video more secure by hiding the encryption key. DRM eliminates any weaknesses in the video encryption and prevents the video from being downloaded.
The two main DRM technologies used for e-learning video protection are:
Google Widevine DRM: This is a DRM licensing and encryption solution by Google that helps platforms to protect their premium content on Chrome, Firefox, Edge browsers on Desktop, Android Apps & Android TV. You can learn more about Widevine DRM here.
Apple Fairplay DRM: This is a DRM technology by Apple Inc. that was used to protect copyrighted content sold on iTunes until 2009. With Fairplay DRM, you can protect content on Safari browsers, iOS, and macOS. You can learn more about Fairplay DRM here.
To ensure e-learning video protection, DRM is often used together with user-specific Watermarking to track any pirated content.
Using Dynamic Watermarking: User Specific details on video
Watermarking is a technique that embeds digital information in a video signal to trace its source of origin. It helps to identify the source of illegal streaming services that redistribute the video. Some common watermarking parameters are User ID, Email ID, IP address, and timestamp. The watermark is often moved around the video at regular intervals to make it harder to remove with video editing tools.
Screen Capture block where ever possible
DRM video protection with Mobile apps (Android, IOS Native Apps) also provides extra security to prevent any screen capture tools from working. This makes video security very strong in mobile apps.
You can also protect your e-learning videos by using domain restrictions. This allows you to limit your video embed codes to play and load only on your domain. This stops hackers from copying your embed code and using it to view the video on their domain.
Choosing A Secure Video Hosting Service
If you are not familiar with the e-learning video protection technology mentioned above, you can always use a 3rd party secure video hosting service. These hosting platforms handle all the technical aspects of securing your video and streaming it smoothly on the client side.
All you have to do is upload the video on the platform and use the embed code on your website. But that’s not all. A good video hosting platform has some prerequisites that you need to check before choosing any such service.
• The most important thing is security. If your video hosting platform does not offer DRM and video encryption, your premium content might be at risk of being downloaded and pirated.
• Another important thing is a good video API to manage videos, enable automatic video upload, and get OTP for playback. Also, to insert custom HTML in the video player, change the player design, and add interactive features using Player API.
• A third important thing is a top-tier global server + CDN to ensure fast content delivery to the user regardless of their location. Besides this, video analytics and smart video player are also useful features.
How Inkrypt Videos Helps In Elearning Video Protection?
At Inkrypt Videos, we are committed to providing smooth and secure video hosting to our users. We protect our clients’ videos from piracy by using Hollywood-grade DRM encryption and our dynamic watermarking technology.
Inkrypt Videos has the experience of working with over 1500 eLearning companies from 30+ countries, and we understand that video security is one of their major concerns. They often come to us to make sure that their videos are not downloadable or accessible by anyone.
There are many platforms that offer Elearning video protection, but they only use video encryption without any DRM technology. This leaves the key exposed, which a savvy user can easily find and use to access the video. Many of our current customers have faced such problems before switching to our video security solution.
Encrypted DRM Video Streaming: With Inkrypt Videos’s Hollywood-grade video DRM technology, your videos are safe from any plugin or hack attempts.
Dynamic Watermarking: You can watermark IP address, user id, email id, phone no, logo, text overlay to track the source of the piracy. You can also customize the watermark in terms of opacity, color, speed and size.
Screen Capture Blocking in Mobile Apps – Inkrypt Videos mobile SDK integration automatically includes screen capture protection in both Android & IOS Apps. Screen capture protection in common browsers like Chrome, Firefox on desktops is not possible.
Server To Player Package: With Inkrypt Videos you get more than just video protection. We also provide Amazon AWS for Servers, CDN, Transcoding, Analytics, API, Dashboard, Plugins, and Custom workflows.
All these features enhance the security and make it easy to manage your videos.
Smart Online Video Player: Our smart online video player lets you offer popular features such as subtitles, speed changes, and forward rewind options to your users. If you have an android app, you can also allow them to download the videos for offline use without worrying about piracy.
As the demand for e-learning content is increasing, you should make e-learning video protection one of your top priorities if you run an ed-tech company. Your content is your main source of revenue and you don’t want to lose it to piracy. You deserve to get the full value of your content, no matter how good the quality is.
In this article, we have discussed the various ways to protect your e-learning videos from piracy. We have seen how password sharing, screen recording, video downloading, and domain copying can be prevented by using different strategies and technologies. We have also introduced Inkrypt Videos as a secure video hosting platform that offers Hollywood-grade DRM encryption, dynamic watermarking, screen capture blocking, server-to-player package, and a smart online video player.
With Inkrypt Videos, you can ensure that your premium content is safe and secure from any piracy attempts. You can sign up for a free trial and see for yourself how Inkrypt Videos can help you with your e-learning video protection needs.