April 18, 2011

How to know who is restreaming your content

In the previous article we described how to prevent unauthenticated usage of your computational resources. Here we'll try to define the next imminence - your users can capture and restream your content. In the next article in our technical blog we'll try to cover common approach used by re-streamers but meanwhile let's assume (and this is a truth) that re-streamer's software pretends to be a regular player (Windows Media Player, Set Top Box player etc).

    How can we determine that somebody is a re-streamer if he is an authenticated user and his software looks like regulair players? There's no simple answer here. But there are some observations about restreamers what we can use to distinguish:

  1. re-streamer typically watches many channels at the same time;
  2. re-streamer watches almost 24 hours a day everyday;
  3. if you're almost sure that you've find re-streamer try to disconnect him from his channels. His software will try to connect immediately. Human cannot do this for example in early morning and most probably this is re-streamer' software that tries to reconnect your channels as soon as it's possible to proceed with stealing your content.

These markers above are very weak in particular but together they can help us to find a violator.
So what should we do from technical point of view? We need to collect all statistics about players and analyze it. We need to get information from all servers in your WMS farm but not from individual servers since only common report from all servers can show actual picture. These statistics are very important not only for re-streaming prevention. Knowing what user watches we can process him in a special way, e.g adding appropriate adds, showing updates about new available materials he probably wants to view. As you can see re-stream prevention is much more complicated than link republishing defense - but it's not impossible though.

Currently we are in active development and testing of such analysis system and if you want to get more details about it - let us know. Once we finish we'll provide an appropriate review of this system and let you try it.

The next article in our technical blog will try to cover common approach used by re-streamers: their tools, methods etc. You need to understand what you're defending yourself from to apply appropriate methods. If you want to setup your streaming environment securely - we can help you here.

Take a look at WMSAuth plugin for Windows MediaPaywall framework for Wowza Media Server and hot-linking protection for Nimble Streamer.


Related documentation



Paywall for WowzaGeo and IP range restriction for WowzaWowza hotlinking re-publishing and re-streaming protectionNimble Streamer HTTP hotlinking protectionNimble Streamer geo-location restriction Pay-per-view for Wowza Media Server, WMSPanel control and reporting panel for Wowza Media Server

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