Enhanced Safety through the Utilization of Digital Rights Management


Encrypting premium videos is not sufficient for over-the-top (OTT) players to avoid content leakage; they also require a safe handling system for licences and decryption keys.

When it comes to the realm of over-the-top (OTT) content, ensuring the safety of audiovisual assets is of the utmost essential. This is due to the fact that there is a big demand for premium content on the grey market, which is a market in which individuals want to view popular television shows and movies without paying for access to them. It has an effect on the amount of money that market leaders in the industry such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and others generate in revenue because these companies invest a significant amount of money in order to gain exclusive distribution rights for premium content. Consequently, it has an impact on the amount of money that these market leaders generate.

OTT players encrypt video streams using multiple Digital Rights Management (DRM) services and manage DRM licences from industry heavyweights such as Google’s Widevine, Apple’s FairPlay, and Microsoft’s PlayReady. One of these significant players is Apple Inc. A trustworthy multi-DRM solution will additionally protect video files by appending a video watermark to them. This makes it possible for the organisation to more easily identify potential leakage spots and conduct the necessary corrective action.

A significant number of players encrypt video content using the AES-128 encryption standard; despite this, these players frequently face difficulties protecting the confidentiality of the decryption key. Even if the encryption standard is of the greatest quality, content leakage and unauthorised use of video streams may still occur if the decryption key is not adequately safeguarded. This is because unauthorised use of the video streams could be used to steal the material. OTT players have resorted to using multi-DRM services as a solution to this problem in order to address it.

Enhanced Safety through the Utilization of Digital Rights Management

The term “digital rights management,” or DRM for short, refers to a set of capabilities that include the distribution and administration of encryption and decryption keys, as well as backend licencing servers. The Advanced Encryption Standard, sometimes known as AES, is the encryption mechanism that is utilised by commercial digital rights management (DRM) systems. It requires encrypting the premium content in such a way that it can only be read with a decryption key that has been issued by a third-party digital rights management provider that the OTT platform has selected. This method is referred to as a symmetric key algorithm since it employs the same key for both the encryption and the decryption processes. When not in use, the encryption keys are safely kept on the licence server. Also read how understand which blood pressure rate is best for human health.

A cryptographic key containing 128 bits of AES is frequently used by content owners when they want to encrypt their films. When it comes to the end user, they are going to be required to use the same key in order to play back the video content. Only those who physically possess the key will be able to access the content of the page. Before sending a licence response that includes a decryption key back to the user, the server that belongs to the multi-DRM service provider makes sure that both the user and the device in question are approved.

Because digital content needs to be encrypted to prevent it from being misused or played back illegally or without authorization, it should be packaged in a format that is compatible with other media, such as MPEG-DASH or HLS. This will ensure that it can be decrypted and played back appropriately. This guarantees that the content can be decrypted whenever that may be necessary. A couple of examples of streaming protocols that are developed on top of HTTP include MPEG-DASH and HLS. Using the cloud encoding method, the source files are encoded into a number of different adaptive streaming formats. The encoder protects the files by encrypting them with encryption keys obtained from a wide variety of DRM suppliers.

In order to encrypt any digital content, the multi-DRM packager will first submit a request for an encryption key to the DRM system. One example of such a system is Google’s Widevine. As soon as the DRM system has finished giving the encryption key, that key will immediately be linked to the media content ID. There are situations in which the encryption keys are generated within the packager itself before being sent to the DRM system for the purposes of storage and distribution to the users. In these cases, the packager is followed by the DRM system. The packager will then use the encryption key to encrypt the material after that.

The content needs to be decrypted before the client can play it back; this step comes before playback. Thanks to the digital rights management system, the customer has access to the decryption key for the particular content ID that was utilised in the encrypting process of the video (DRM). The Content Decryption Module, more commonly abbreviated as CDM, is a specialised piece of software that the user’s device or web browser typically incorporates as a built-in feature. The deciphering of information is the responsibility of this component. CDM is preinstalled on all devices that are compatible with the Encrypted Media Extensions standard (EME). After it decrypts the video content, the player will be able to use it after it has been made available to them.

Although it is technically possible for a studio or content producer to use AES protection for their own content on their own, it is possible that they will not be able to plug the hardware-based leakages or stop the insecure transmission of AES keys between devices or between the server and the client device. This is because hardware-based leakages can only be plugged by a third party that has access to the hardware in question. The option that closes this gap is a multi-DRM solution, which is used when it comes to securing video content with an AES layer.

Importance of the AES-CTR and AES-CBC format configurations

Leading digital rights management (DRM) systems have now incorporated Common Encryption (CENC), a standardised approach for providing protection for digital content. The use of this technology permits the protection of digital content. With the help of CENC, it is possible to encrypt a single content file-set only once, which paves the way for the content to be shared across several devices or platforms, each of which may employ a different DRM scheme. The CENC encryption specification provides support for both the cypher block chaining (CBC) and the counter (CTR) modes of operation.

The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is now the most widely utilised algorithm for block encryption (AES). Block cyphers are a special kind of protocol that can perform the tasks of both encrypting and decrypting data. One piece of plaintext can serve as its own block, and this block can be used to generate ciphertext chunks of the same size as the plaintext chunk it was derived from. The size of the encryption block that is being used currently is 128 bits. It is feasible to defend oneself against an attack that makes use of padding by utilising the CBC mode. There are a number different strategies that may be employed for padding blocks when the plaintext does not provide enough of a block. The cypher feedback (CFB), output feedback (OFB), and cypher text replay (CTR) modes all function in a manner that is analogous to how the AES mode can be utilised to support a stream of plaintext. Both AES-CTR and AES-CBC are utilised in the process of encrypting digital information; however, the two methods are not always compatible with one another. This is the case despite the fact that both modalities serve the same purpose, which is to encrypt content for the sake of security and permit decryption by a player with the use of DRM licencing. The only cypher that may be used with HLS and Apple devices is AES-CBC.

During the process of encryption, the video file will be rendered unusable since it will be mixed up using an algorithm. This is made possible with the assistance of a key, which, in conjunction with the algorithm, is utilised to encrypt and decrypt the digital information. Every video and asset component, such as audio, video captured in standard definition (SD), and video captured in high definition (HD), utilises its own special key. As a result, the process of encrypting or decrypting a video is classified as a symmetric cryptographic operation.

Making the Most of Multiple DRMs to Your Own Advantage

Video content can be streamed through a DRM solution, and users also have the ability to replay the content in an offline environment. It is a cloud-based solution as a service (SaaS) facility that controls the digital rights management (DRM) packaging of the source content. This is a service that is provided to both OTT players and digital content providers. It frequently comes pre-integrated with key cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services Elemental Media Services, which it does using its SPEKE API. This is the case in a wide variety of contexts. Because of this, the communication standard between those who encrypt and package media assets and those who issue DRM keys has been brought into the light.