Identify the Most Effective Watermarking Technique to Stop Piracy in its Tracks

With so many different types of digital watermarking techniques now available, it is not always easy for content creators, distributors, and online platform owners to pick the best for their content. Five critical factors one should consider while selecting a watermarking technique are discussed in this post.

With the increasing popularity of multimedia content, including videos, images, and audio, illegal copying, distribution, and modification is on the rise as well. While the DRM solutions have helped the content creators and distributors, the losses due to online piracy continue to rise consistently. 

Most content creators now encrypt their content in many different ways. Only users with a decryption key can then decrypt the content. But a genuine user after decrypting the content can still use it in several illegal ways. Using digital watermarks is quickly turning into an effective solution for this problem. From preventing unauthorised duplication to enforcing IP rights, the watermarks can help the content creators and distributors in many ways.

But with so many different types of watermarking techniques available, it is not always easy for the content creators or OTT platforms to pick the best for their content. Some of the most important factors that you should consider while selecting a watermarking technique are listed below-

  1. Types of Content

There are now many different types of server-side and client-side watermarks that are now commonly used by content creators and platforms. However, not every type of watermark is ideal for every type of content. For instance, server-side watermarks are generally recommended for MPEG-DASH and HLS content on OTT platforms. 

This ensures that the client or user is never able to know the watermarking logic used for protecting the content, and this helps in preventing common watermark attacks. Similarly, client-side watermarks are better suited for live content streaming as detection time, and playback delays are generally very short.

  1. Watermarking Adoption Procedure

Traditionally, content creators used to rely on watermarking software solutions that usually required additional layers of security and significant changes in their infrastructure. But with the availability of cloud-based watermarking services, the adoption is now faster and more affordable with zero changes to the existing infrastructure.

Some of the service providers have built such cloud-based services on AWS to make the adoption procedure as easy as possible. Due to this, the entire process of embedding watermarks to their detection can be more convenient and faster.  

  1. Integration with DRM

You will mostly also use a DRM or multi-DRM solution for enhanced security of your multimedia content. As a result, while browsing through the different types of watermarking techniques or services, ensure that you select one that is pre-integrated with multi-DRM. 

If you are using a cloud-based watermarking service, preferably opt for one that offers watermarking as well as multi-DRM services. A single provider offering both the services will make the integration easier and eliminate the need for you to invest in additional 3rd party solutions. 

  1. Cost of Watermarking Service

With cloud-based watermarking services, you are generally required to pay a fixed monthly fee based on the service you select. Even with watermarking software solutions, there is a fixed fee involved. 

However, some of the cloud-based watermarking service providers now offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Thus, you are required to only pay for the services you actually use. This is generally a budget-friendly option for new content creators and OTT platforms. 

  1. Protection Against Watermark Attacks

With regards to watermarking, an attack can be defined as any attempt made to impair watermark communication or detection. Some of the most common types of watermark attacks are legal attacks, basic attacks, geometric attacks, removal attacks, and protocol attacks.

The forensic watermarking service you select should also have adequate protection against these common attacks. This will ensure that the watermark can function as expected and aids in significantly reducing the chances of illegal content copying or distribution.  

Making a Decision

Make sure that you consider all the important factors listed above when selecting a watermarking solution or service. Prefer service providers that adequately meet your requirements and also offer a free trial of their services. The trial would help you understand the effectiveness of the service, allowing you to pick the best for your content.