Recent years have seen a considerable increase in the space of over-the-top content (OTT). Content providers and operators are increasingly concerned about video piracy in light of the rising popularity of streaming services. The employment of forensic watermarking techniques to prevent piracy and leakage is becoming increasingly common as DRM protected content becomes more widely distributed.

It’s possible to track down the source of piracy using data that’s hidden in the digital media but detectable from a pirated copy thanks to this method. Here are the three fundamental steps for a forensic watermarking solution:

  • An encoding process is used to add a watermark frame to the original uncompressed video content before it is ready for distribution. Encoding and watermark embedding can be done simultaneously with some watermarking methods.
  • A watermark embedder then adds invisible identifiers or information about the encoded content’s owner or user to the watermark. In order to encrypt this information, a unique secret key must be used for each and every copy of encoded content. This type of watermarking, which is commonly used by OTT providers, involves converting session information, including user ID, content identifier and other data into binary format in order to produce an output that combines DASH and HLS segments, thus creating a unique watermark for each playback session. You can use a watermark packing service or CLI embedder, depending on what the OTT platform and/or creators of the video demand. In certain solutions, there are also many embedding choices.
  • Once a watermark is embedded, the content can be shared with the appropriate audience. To learn more about content piracy, the unauthorised use of it is recorded. Detectors for watermarks check each frame of pirated content for the original watermark. As part of the embedding procedure, the same key is used for the detection. As long as the watermark payload is detected, an OTT platform can use this information to identify the leaker. The platform or content producer might take many anti-piracy steps and also commence legal procedures against the source of infringement on the basis of this information.

OTT platforms typically utilise a cloud-based vendor that integrates multi-DRM service and video watermarking service into a single process in order to not only add the two security measures together but also discover the person who causes the leak as quickly as feasible.

DRM  video protection techniques such as watermarks are not sufficient on their own, but when used in conjunction with other measures, they can help to safeguard the  intellectual property of the content owner and aid to trace the source of any alleged infringement. They also serve as a helpful reminder to users about their own  and others’ rights to the content they’re using.