Payal Kapoor
by on January 19, 2023

The most significant piracy ecosystem threat today comes from an open software platform that operates under the Kodi brand. Kodi is a completely legal initiative and can be installed on various devices to deliver a unified experience, similar to Chromecast or Apple TV, but without the restrictions imposed by those systems. Unsurprisingly, the ease-of-use and popularity of Kodi boxes translate to Kodi accounting for 95% of the illegal live consumption in North America.

In our blog post An Anti-Piracy Security Strategy for Live Sports Content, we discussed the principles of video watermarking as an essential tool in the battle against live streaming piracy. Watermarking is an important complement to DRM, and the two work together to protect content before and after rendering on the viewer’s device. Further complicating matters is the fact that pirates are constantly coming up with ways to defeat the effectiveness of watermarks, even when undetectable. Recent approaches to attacking watermarking effectiveness include intermittent blurring, chopping off the top and bottom of the screen, and combining multiple streams of the same piece of content into a single stream through a process known as collusion. 

Another technique involves obscuring the source identity through direct penetration of the distributor’s client app. In such cases, the watermark remains intact but becomes associated with a phony ID. 

Posted in: Technology
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