Crawl – Detect – Block & Takedown your Premium Content from Illegal Sources
How big is the content piracy threat?
Content piracy is a critical disrupting factor for the entertainment and OTT industries in more ways than one. With streaming becoming a hot favorite for media and content consumption, it is pertinent to look at some data to understand the challenges for content owners and distributors across the globe.
Today’s digital streaming and delivery services make it easy for pirates to illegally record and distribute premium content, often at 4K and UHD quality. According to a 2019 study by the US Chamber of Commerce, revenue lost due to piracy amounted to a whopping $29.2 billion per year , impacting jobs and the economy. Without robust anti-piracy measures, this situation can only worsen.
According to the reports of, Q1 2022 saw an almost 30% uptick in user traffic to piracy websites compared to Q1 2021, with the TV, publishing, and film sectors impacted the most . Such preference for pirated content threatens business scaling opportunities, advertisement revenues, and return on investment across sectors. This situation has forced Hollywood studios to rethink their existing business models and check illegal content streaming activities.
The evolving piracy threat landscape
COVID-19 propelled the OTT content boom, with lucrative business opportunities corresponding to increased demand for OTT content. Shortened movie distribution windows, live streams, and premium VOD content are now the norm. Unfortunately, the M&E industry is not the only benefactor here, with pirates tapping these multiple access points. The lines between original and pirated content are blurred, with live sports and Hollywood 4K-grade movie content being re-streamed in real-time, driven by illicit subscription services by pirates.
In addition to compromising the revenue stream and business sustainability of the OTT market, exposure to premium content also means a breach of compliance with content owners’ rights. With content owners dependent on OTT platforms to distribute their copyright content securely, the exposed content invariably results in legal charges against the compromised OTT platform. If free, the page is full of advertisements or includes mandatory registration, with the valuable user information later sold.
Understanding the latest trends in the ever-changing piracy ecosystem is hence key to forming effective anti-piracy strategies, mitigating risks in response to changing online consumer behaviors, and ensuring an end-to-end well-rounded security framework.
Following are some of the techniques pirates use to distribute premium content illegally –
- Credential sharing and token harvesting: this involves monetizing pirated events and accessing pirated content using recycled tokens which are not bound to IPs
- Re-streaming involves streaming pirated content using public social media channels like Facebook, YouTube etc.
- User-agent spoofing against API endpoints, with an attempt to spoof/mimic platforms that might have pushed delegated access
- P2P torrent sites used for illegal content distribution
Balancing customer user experience in one hand and combating piracy effectively with robust security features on the another is an important business decision for content owners and distributors. PallyCon emerges as a globally renowned, end-to-end robust content security solution with effective anti-piracy countermeasures such as PallyCon’s Multi-DRM CSL feature & robust forensic watermark.
PallyCon Anti-Piracy Service – Antidote to Piracy
PallyCon Anti-Piracy service suite provides 24*7 global monitoring for illegal content leakage, tracks the source of leakage using Forensic Watermarking (FWM), and helps issue takedown notice through real-time enforcement. The services are suitable for streaming and VOD content, with a dashboard providing deep insights on piracy data and enabling quick, data-driven business decisions.
The diagram above illustrates the end-to-end workflow on how PallyCon effectively stamps out piracy by combining FWM and Anti-Piracy. The steps include:
- Customer registers the metadata for content requiring piracy monitoring.
- Forensic watermark (FWM) applied to the original video content (pre-processing and watermark embedding).
- For videos with FWM, the customer can select links containing illegal content for watermark detection. PallyCon Anti Piracy service crawls the web, downloads illegal videos, and detects watermark.
- The results of watermark detection display in the PallyCon dashboard.
- Takedown notices issuance to sites hosting illegal content either automatically or through a manual process.
- Revocation of the illegal distribution channel with the help of information extracted from the FWM detector tool.
Registration of Monitoring Jobs
PallyCon services are easy-to-use, requiring no developer experience with quick steps to take down pirated content.
For monitoring pirated sites hosting illegal content, navigate to PallyCon console > Anti-Piracy > Monitoring Jobs to register a new job or track an existing one. These metadata can either be manually entered or uploaded using a CSV file. These metadata capture the following sets of information:
- Title – content title to be used for web crawling
- Season and Episode#
- Release date – the release date for the content on the OTT platform
- Monitoring type – the standard monitoring performs automated monitoring of torrent sites, cyberlockers, and other illegal streaming sites. In the case of premium monitoring, a dedicated team scans social sites to detect illegal content.
- Detection type – Select ‘Manual’ for watermark detection on illegal content leaks.
- Takedown type – Request manual or automatic takedown at illegal sites; manual option for watermark detection
A job list displaying the list of registered jobs with respective statuses helps customers to take a sneak peek at monitoring results. You can explore the docs here for more in-depth details.
To keep a tab on results and take subsequent actions to take down pirated content, navigate to PallyCon console > Anti-Piracy > Monitoring Results.
Monitoring jobs yield results on illegal sites matching metadata during registration. You can search and filter through results using metadata such as content title, URL, takedown status, and detection status of illegal content.
FWM integration allows you to request watermark detection against illegal content. The detection is possible till the takedown notice is not processed. PallyCon service downloads the pirated video from the provided URL and tries to detect the watermark in the video. It usually takes up to 1 business day to complete, with the detailed results available at Forensic Watermarking > Detection Service.
PallyCon Anti Piracy service is powerful enough to issue a DMCA Takedown Notice to the illegal pirate source, powered by FWM. These services serve as a strong armor for premium content owners to eliminate piracy sources.
Takedown can be either manual or automatic, according to the information given during the job registration process.
A monitoring job with takedown type ‘Automatic’ processes all takedown requests corresponding to monitored links automatically. This option does not allow video download for watermarking detection.
In the case of ‘Manual’ takedown, the request must be handled manually by the end customer. This option gives the flexibility to detect watermark on downloaded videos (in case FWM integration is done).
Drive business agility with built-in security
Piracy is a full-time endeavor for the criminals managing pirated content meticulously, evading detection, and putting to use all tools and techniques as we saw earlier.
Businesses can stay ahead of the curve to thrive in this threat landscape, with PallyCon securing the entire content production and delivery workflow. Ease of usage and affordability pushes the case for the adoption. Join us for a free trial today, and see the difference first-hand!