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August 8, 2017

Location Detection Combats Video Piracy

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The Chairman and Co-Founder of GeoGuard, David Briggs, examines how location fraud detection technology is paramount for OTT and streaming providers to help protect their high-valued licensing and content.

Video piracy is a huge issue for the TV and media industry: $18.5 billion in media revenue is lost per year. With the rise in broadband and OTT platform availability, today’s consumers are as likely to watch film, TV and sports content online as they are on a set-top box – resulting in a propensity to use circumvention tools to get the content they want, when they want it and at the price they want (often for free thanks to the availability of free-to-air OTT broadcasters).

A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the most common ways to spoof a location, enabling users to access data across shared or public networks as if their devices were directly connected to a private network. In fact, up to 40% of Internet users in some markets admit to using VPNs to access content illegally and 60% of them admit to using their VPNs on a weekly basis.

Failing to safeguard against circumvention methods has major implications for those involved in the creative process and on local content providers. Each time piracy is committed, actors, makeup artists, special effects engineers and sound technicians lose hard-earned revenue. Local markets are reduced to passive bystanders with limited ability to control what premium content is seen in their jurisdictions, or accessed beyond its borders for free.

Fortunately, the industry is recognising the threat piracy presents. Earlier this month, 30 high profile content creators and entertainment companies – including Disney, Amazon, HBO and Netflix – launched an anti-piracy coalition, Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. More needs to be done, however, to tackle widespread forms of piracy – like VPN usage.

As the threat of geo-location piracy continues to evolve, coupled with new mandates like the impending EU copyright rules on the horizon for 2018, there is a clear need to improve content protection now.

OTT providers, content owners and rights holders need to identify which of their systems are prone to fraud of all kinds, including location fraud, to ensure that their valuable, premium content remains in the hands of legitimate viewers.

InBroadcast – Vol 7 Issue 7

July 2017