Geo-location piracy prevention specialist GeoGuard and behavioural location intelligence company Skyhook are collaborating to provide the content industry with what they describe as the first solution that ensures viewers are verifiably watching films and TV at home. The solution combines precise location data from Skyhook with geo-piracy defences from GeoGuard.
The collaboration is a continuation of the existing relationship between GeoGuard parent GeoComply and Skyhook, through which the companies provide geo-location services for the gaming industry.
By enabling content distributors to verify that content is being watched at home the solution provides a critical element of security required by movie studios before movies launch simultaneously in theatres and in the home. With new services entering the consumer market – such as the recently launched Screening Room – which aim to offer early release and cinema release films to viewers at home, tools that accurately detect geo-location fraud are set to become increasingly important for the protection of digital content rights.
The pair note that piracy continues to be a growing problem in the film industry. According to a 2016 Statista survey, 24 per cent of US respondents pirate movies while the film is still in the theatres. Another 48 per cent pirate movies after the movie has left the theatres, but before it is available to watch at home legally.
“Before UHD movies are made available for early release, studios need to be absolutely certain that the content is safe from piracy,” said David Bairstow, VP of product, Skyhook. “To meet the standard set by the studios, a number of security measures must be in place. This new solution with GeoGuard, the first of its kind, ensures that a home cinema viewer is actually at a viewer’s home – and not spoofing a location in order to broadcast the movie in a public place or to illegally distribute proprietary content.”
The solution works to address historical weaknesses in conventional IP Geolocation systems (such as accuracy and spoofing via VPNs, etc.) via a jointly developed SDK which combines Skyhook’s Wi-Fi access points database with GeoGuard’s studio-approved and third party tested anti-fraud toolkit.
“The joint solution is designed to enable studios and network operators to plan the launch of early release UHD home cinema with the comfort of knowing that the early-release content will only be shown in the homes that it is intended for,” advised David Briggs, co-founder and chairman of GeoGuard.