Content securing and rights holders, how to protect your video content?


In the booming market of streaming, and with the democratization of technology, protecting content against piracy has become a major challenge.

Whether it concerns films, series, sports, shows or training, rights holders and studios only trust video platforms that can provide maximum security for their catalogs and ensure rigorous control on how end-users access them.

There are many ways to secure content on a streaming service, more or less complex to set up and more or less expensive depending on the sensitivity of each content.In this article, we enlist the main security measures to be implemented that are available in the Kinow solution.

Content security

Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems allow you to control how users can consume your content. Content is protected through encryption and then made accessible and readable through a decryption key. We can distinguish two levels of DRM: Clearkey and Hollywood.

Clearkey DRMs are a free alternative to Hollywood DRMs. The principle remains the same but with a lower level of security. Encryption and decryption keys are sent in clear text (Clearkey) and do not offer more secure distribution algorithms. This is a good alternative for broadcasters who are not required to secure their content via Hollywood DRM.

However, in order to meet the requirements of some rights holders, it is necessary to have a higher level of protection.

Hollywood DRMs are the second level of protection and the highest available on the market, which meet the requirements of the largest studios (Warner, Sony, Disney, Studio Canal, ...). These services offer advanced security features, including control over how and by whom content is consumed.  They also provide protection against screen captures, particularly in the Android application, the IOS application or the IOs browser. The integration of this type of technology is complex, in order to ensure compatibility on all devices.

There are three different types of DRMs:

  • FairPlay is an Apple DRM technology that enables secure media streaming using HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) through encryption, secure key exchange and protection on the device. FairPlay Streaming DRM technology is supported on iOS, iPadOS, watchOS 7, tvOS and macOS.

  • PlayReady is a DRM technology and platform provided by Microsoft for content protection and distribution. It offers secure client-side implementation, license server and in-transit license and key management. This technology is supported by Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Windows phones, Chromecast, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, Android TV, game consoles, LG smartTV, Samsung, Android TV, …

  • Widevine is a DRM technology from Google. Widevine is a very popular DRM technology that supports the Android operating system, smartTVs, browsers, game consoles, ...

To prevent from hacking and ensure security of your files, we have integrated the Castlabs service. Their DRMtoday licensing solution allows you to quickly launch your platform without worrying about how to meet the security requirements of content owners.

Watermarking, an additional protection

In order to protect your videos as much as possible, you can set up watermarking. A watermark is a visible or invisible mark that guarantees the authenticity of a video. It is possible to apply a graphic watermark visible on the video player such as a logo, a user ID or the name of the platform. The invisible watermark allows you to trace the source of a leak in order to cut it off and protect your revenue; many major studios use this system on their productions.

Content access restriction by country

Each audiovisual content is linked to one or more rights contracts between the production company, broadcasters and distributors. The production company also has contracts with the authors, actors and directors who contributed to the production.

The distribution of content in several countries is therefore subject to distribution rights and copyright. Each of your videos will therefore not necessarily be broadcasted worldwide.

In order to fight against deviances linked to a user's location, we have set up a geolocation restriction through a database of IP addresses updated daily. In addition, it is possible to detect anonymization systems that bypass geolocation through the use of VPNs, proxies and Tor nodes.To learn more about this topic, here is our article on international content distribution:

After controlling distribution by country, it is important to keep control of some users’ behaviors like account sharing.

Control of account sharing between users

To avoid account sharing between users, many restrictions can be put in place. For example, on the number of screens used simultaneously by users. It is also possible to store each device (browser or physical device) and limit per user the number of devices associated with a user account or the number of registered devices that can be deleted each month by the user.

Further restrictions on access to content can be applied on :

  • The number of views per user and per content

  • Total viewing time per user on the platform

  • The temporality (example: access to the content 48 hours after the first reading)


As you can see, many obstacles may stand in front of you when you want to deliver video content. Meeting the requirements of rights holders and securing your content is a complex subject that can sometimes discourage many people. Our turnkey solution and our expertise allow you to simplify the launch of your project while ensuring your rights holders that their content is in good hands.

LaCinetek and the Académie des César, platforms powered by Kinow, have decided to protect their content via our security features, notably with the implementation of Hollywood DRMs to meet the demands of their prestigious rights holders.

If you are planning to create your streaming platform and you want to know more about protection, do not hesitate to contact our experts!