Which Website Copy Protection Software Really Works?

When looking for website copy protection software one used to be faced with multiple choices with some advertised for outrageous licensing fees. ArtistScope released the very first copy protection for web images in 1998 and the following year released the first screen capture protection for images on the Internet. This was back in the day when even the experts claimed that such protection was impossible, but it didn't take long for opportunists to float the concept on the stock market and within no time two new startups emerged, each funded with more than 20 million dollars, who saturated the Internet with their advertising and the hype that copy protection was a billion dollar industry due to losses caused by image theft and plagiarism.

website copy protection softwareSome of those solutions, while seemingly effective, had price tags of more than $30k per site license. But it wasn't the pricing that decided their early fate. Those solutions had to be expensive to assure investors that the return would be worthwhile and while some of the larger players like Disney paid those prices, there was not that many companies who could afford it. ArtistScope's CopySafe solution sold for $2k back then but was little known in comparison to competitors who had huge advertising budgets. They also had hackers trying to bring down ArtistScope web sites and once managed to sabotage a dedicated server the night before ArtistScope's appearance in San Francisco for a digital expo.

Plagiarism was rife and terminology developed by ArtistScope to describe its processes started appearing on competitor web sites. In fact some technical discussion by email with a potential client was published on one competitor's website the next day. That competitor was plagiarizing from ArtistScope and the other competitor plagiarizing and imitating them. Upon closer inspection that second competitor was found to be also copying everything that ArtistScope developed and when threatened with court action disappeared almost overnight. We are not sure if it was the threat of court action or that those competitors decided to quit when faced with the most formidable obstacle of all... the ever changing Internet environment. But they both disappeared.

With each new release of Windows software and constantly changing web browsers, anything as complex as a copy protection solution that needs to remain secure in all scenarios, is always at risk. Developing and promoting site protection software is one thing, but maintaining that it remains secure the next day is a challenge that has only ever been met by ArtistScope. Keeping abreast of the changes in Internet environment is a full time challenge and the copy protection software needs to be designed and maintained accordingly.

Of course imitations do keep appearing on the scene, but their fate is as usual short lived. Windows 10 requirements would have sorted much of the chaff, but the biggest hurdle for any wanna-be website copy protection software would have to be web browser support, or lack thereof. Because by late 2015 all of the popular web browsers dropped support for NPAPI browser plugins. Internet Explorer used ActiveX but that had already been outlawed for web site use, leaving only Mozilla based web browsers able to support copy protection at system level. But without NPAPI that system level interaction is impossible. PPAPI type browser plugins, which are suitable for mobile devices, are incapable of actioning at system level and therefore useless for real copy protection.

How ArtistScope continues to provide site protection software, is by providing a web browser that does support real copy protection. In fact the ArtisBrowser not only provides the only web browser capable of supporting the needed system level interaction, but it provides a more secure solution than any other web browser ever could. The ArtisBrowser has been around since 2012 and was specially designed to support the ArtistScope Site Protection System (ASPS) which provides a secure tunnel between server and web browser. Since the other browsers have dropped support for copy protection, the ArtisBrowser has been made more friendly for normal web surfing so that it can be used as the default browser where it matters.

The ArtisBrowser now looks and feels just like a normal web browser, except that when it encounters copy protected web content, it switches to "copy protect mode". Specially designed for ASPS it now identifies all CopySafe solutions leaving no avenue for exploit.

Today there is only one option for copy protecting web pages and media, and that is the ArtistScope Site Protection System (ASPS) and the ongoing support by ArtistScope can be trusted above all else. But what else would one expect from those who invented "copy protection" in the first place when everyone considered it impossible? What else would one expect from a team whose motive has always been to "protect the livelihood of artists" rather than pose for share market rewards?

Author: William Kent
Date: 22nd October 2019

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