Advanced Television

Security boost for Oscars screening platform

June 16, 2020

Video technology platform Brightcove is coordinating with NAGRA, Akamai, and BuyDRM to create the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new security feature for the Academy Screening Room, a screening platform for Academy members used as part of the screening process for the Oscars.

The Brightcove Platform, NAGRA NexGuard Streaming forensic watermarking, Akamai Adaptive Media Delivery, and the KeyOS MultiKey Service are the technologies behind the feature.

The new forensic watermarking feature enables the Academy to control piracy across its screening platform by auditing content, as well as tracking down stolen content and distribution channels. According to the collaborators, this is a significant milestone for the industry, as forensic watermarking not only strengthens the security of the Academy’s platform but also deters content piracy as a whole – a challenge the film industry has faced for years, as have content owners and pay-TV operators.

The Academy membership uses its streaming platform to watch movies in consideration for the upcoming award season. The platform allows for desktop and mobile web access, as well as tvOS applications, which were built using Brightcove’s technology.

Leveraging the various solutions, the Academy can now prevent its streaming platform users from participating in pirate activity, such as screen recording content, recording with other devices, and removing video clips from Brightcove’s video player.

Once Brightcove transcodes the content, it is secured using a specific mode of AES encryption, which then travels with the video content as it passes through the internet to the viewer. At playback, the user’s device or PC acquires a DRM license key from the BuyDRM MultiKey Service to begin playback.

The content is stored on and delivered from the Akamai Intelligent Edge platform, which processes and applies the Academy’s unique forensic watermarking pattern per end-user across the delivery workflow. It is integrated with the NAGRA NexGuard Streaming forensic watermarking solution to bring an added level of anti-piracy enforcement and increase the traceability of the Academy’s digital screeners. Thanks to Akamai’s distributed global network, titles are delivered from as close to the viewer as possible, allowing for optimal playback and performance through the Brightcove video player.

“Security is of the utmost importance to the Academy, which led us to partner with Brightcove, NAGRA, Akamai, and BuyDRM as their solutions are the best on the market to protect us against piracy related to the Oscars,” commented Bev Kite, Chief Information Officer, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “Forensic watermarking is a significant breakthrough for the Academy, as well as for the entire film industry because it demonstrates how video technologies have evolved to include critical security functionalities that protect against piracy. As a result of our work with Brightcove, NAGRA, Akamai, and BuyDRM, the Academy can continue to deliver content to our members, while strengthening security measures to maintain confidentiality, and protect artists and intellectual property.”

“Leveraging NAGRA’s strong heritage in the media and entertainment industry, we’re honoured to be selected by the Academy to enable their transition from physical to digital distribution of movies and ensure their content remains secure at every step of the process,” declared Jean-Philippe Plantevin, VP Anti-Piracy, NAGRA. “Our NexGuard Streaming solution is the industry-standard in ensuring the protection of high-value on-demand streaming content. The ability to apply server-side watermarking with no changes to the player enables the widest device and app reach, and allows for seamless and secure digital screeners.”

“The Academy’s forensic watermarking implementation shows how Brightcove, NAGRA, Akamai, and BuyDRM can form an ecosystem that supports enhanced security across the entire content delivery workflow while maintaining the high quality of experience that viewers expect,” added Amit Kasturia, Senior Media Product Manager, Akamai. “These combined capabilities can help protect the Academy against attempts by pirates to steal content and minimise their means of illegal redistribution.”

“BuyDRM takes great pride in working with Brightcove, NAGRA, and Akamai to deliver these security features for the Academy’s secure screener platform,” remarked Christopher Levy, CEO and Founder, BuyDRM. “Enabling Academy members to securely access these types of high-value premium forensically watermarked experiences is an amazing effort which we are excited to have been a part of.”

“Security is of the utmost importance to organisations today. Given the Academy’s prestigiousness, it’s critical for them to rely on service providers that secure their content in a way that the viewing experience isn’t compromised,” said Charles Chu, Chief Product Officer, Brightcove.

“At Brightcove we pride ourselves on our ability to do both, therefore we’re happy we could join forces with Akamai, NAGRA, and BuyDRM to create this complete, all-inclusive security feature that the Academy needs to protect their content. We’re proud that Brightcove’s video technology played such an important role in this collaboration, and we’re excited to see the forensic watermarking security feature come to life for the Academy.”

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