Piracy has been a big issue for cable operators with third-party Kodi add-ons being the fastest growing source of piracy in the US right now.
Now Cisco claims to have developed a system that will automatically block live pirate streams as they occur. The new system will allow Cisco and Internet service providers to block piracy streams from reaching your house.
Pirate streams of sports and other cable channels often pull straight from the subscriber’s account who is streaming the content online. That is the weak spot Cisco plans to take advantage of.
Here is the overly simple version of how this will work: Cisco’s system works by monitoring all streaming going through their systems and looking for a watermark. If they detect a digital watermark in the image not coming from an official source they will block the transmission of the stream over their networks.
This moves the fight over sites and services that stream live TV and sport events from trying to shut down the servers to just blocking the streams.
“Traditional takedown mechanisms such as sending legal notices (commonly referred to as ‘DMCA notices’) are ineffective where pirate services have put in place infrastructure capable of delivering video at tens and even hundreds of gigabits per second, as in essence there is nobody to send a notice to,” the Cisco explains.
“Robust and unique watermarks are embedded into each distributor feed for identification. The code is invisible to the viewer but can be recovered by our specialist detector software,” FMTS explains.
“Once infringing content has been located, the service automatically extracts the watermark for accurate distributor identification.”
“The process is fully automated, ensuring a timely response to incidents of piracy. Gone are the days of sending a legal notice and waiting to see if anyone will answer,” Cisco said in a blog post.
As with all things questions remain: how reliable will this new system work and will pirate sites find a workaround? The issue for pirate sites is if they do find the watermark in the image and remove it will it block an important part of the picture? Also cable operators can easily move the watermark and could do it every hour if they wanted to.
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