How to Copy Protect Video and Movies

ArtistScope provides a variety of solutions for protecting video and movies for different scenarios.

Why Copy Protection Is Necessary

Video is popular entertainment. Everyone wants to watch video but no-one wants to pay for it so piracy is rife with an epidemic lack of respect for copyright or the livelihoods of those who worked to create that video.

Consequently the means of obtaining video are plentiful. In their plight to be popular, browser makers have provided every means at their disposal for saving and copying video online. Also, too many software developers include video grabbers and capture tools as promotional gifts. Consequently, the avenues for obtaining and/or pirating video online are numerous and every author/distributor needs to be aware of the points of vulnerability:

Video Piracy

Producing full feature films can cost millions of dollars. Even simple tutorials can cost several hundred dollars to produce. They can be distributed on a per sale basis or as part of a training course, providing access on a per user basis, without the right to copy or redistribute.

But that is not the way it works in the real world, and anything not protected is considered fair game by everyone, preferring to not only enjoy video for free and illegally, but claim such piracy as their god given right. No-one cares about the video producers earning a living or even recouping costs. The only  solution is to copy protect the video in such a way that it cannot be shared or copied.

Unauthorized Sharing

Sharing and unauthorized distribution is made possible when a video is not protected by secure DRM to properly restrict who can view the video. Bandwidth theft is the term that describes the illegal linking to graphic images on another site. Usernames and passwords can be shared, so only by using computer identification can an author be sure that only the intended viewer is allowed. DRM employed by pseudo copy protect solutions can only differentiate by network address can change each time a user connects to the Internet and will be different between LAN, Modem and Wi-Fi connections. Consequently network addresses are next to useless to use for DRM and impossible to use when viewing offline.

ArtistScope revolutionised DRM by locking access rights to individual computers/devices who are recognised by their unique computer signature, thus preventing and possibility of sharing and unauthorised use.


All content displayed on a computer screen can be captured and downloaded to a viewer's computer by simply pressing the PrintScreen button on the keyboard. By doing this, a snapshot of the whole or part of the screen is captured at the user's monitor resolution, usually 72 to 96 dots per inch (dpi). When captured at such resolution, the images are suitable for use in any computer project and at no less quality than the original. All ArtistScope solutions prevent PrintScreen and screen capture can be prevented.

Screen Recording

Screen recording software, although useful as design tools for legitimate intentions, can also be used to record on-screen video and animations without the authorization or knowledge of the author. All ArtistScope solutions prevent PrintScreen and screen capture can be prevented.

Unauthorized Linking

The very nature of the language (HTML) used for web pages means most content on the web can be linked to from another web site. Such unauthorized linking occurs when a user links to your video and displays it within a frameset on their their web page without your consent. The result of such action is that the unauthorized user is giving the appearance that the legal owner of the image consents to this link and is endorsing the activities of that site.

But because pages using ArtistScope copy protection require use of the Artisbrowser, a web browser especially designed to protect media where all other browser fail, using ASPS they cannot view source, save the page or otherwise exploit the security of teh web page. Consequently, even when streaming video via a "media server" the media resouce links are protected.

Spider and Grab Utilities

File grabbers can spider all links on a page to retrieve a list of all connected pages and the media locations on them. On an unprotected website this means that the user can gain a list of every item on your website, save them to disk and use them without ever visiting your website. 'Grab' programs are also available that will locate and download all the files in a folder to which it is directed. This means that all web page components can be downloaded and utilized on the illegal user's website.

But when using ArtisBrowser to view pages protected by ArtistScope copy protection, they are read only links with no resouce locations exposed.

Popular Web Browsers

Popular web browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and others have always been a hindrance to copy protection because in their plight to be popular, they have expose web page content to exploitation by purposely providing tools and functions for copy and save in every possible way. Today they are much more effecient in doing that and hence absolutely useless for any web project that is to be copy protected. Consequently any alternative copy protection solution will like wise be useless because they are using teh popular web browsers.

Breach of Copyright

Copyright notices are too readily ignored. Videos that are uploaded to the web with a copyright notice attached can still be copied or manipulated by an unauthorized user without the consent of the owner of the video. Even when a video owner notices a copyright breach, the difficulty of working in international jurisdictions means few video owners could police every breach of copyright.

The only way a copyright owner can limit their exposure to such breaches is to use an ArtistScope copy protection solution.

Who Needs Copy Protection?

Anyone who creates content that is then displayed or distributed on the web can use ArtistScope copy protection to protect their intellectual property rights from being compromised. Copy protection secures livelihoods.

Kinds Of Copy Protection For Video

Depending on the media and scenario, different solutions are available from ArtistScope.

How To Copy Protect Video Viewed Online

Please see the ArtistScope Site Protection Software (ASPS) as it is the most secure solution for copy protecting web pages and media. Via the ArtisBrowser pages cannot be saved, copied or exploited in any way, and when SSL is used packet sniffers are left with no clue.

While ASPS does provide the most secure copy protection for web pages, it does not include DRM (access rights control) because most sites already use a CMS like WordPress and the choice of many plugins for membership controls. But if you need to go beyond "password protection" that can be shared, see the SafeGuard DRM plugin for WordPress.

ASPS usually requires a dedicated server or VPS for the rights to install the ASPS server module at system level. But a new solution known as SafeGuard Media can now be used on any WordPress web page that will copy protect video displayed in an iFrame. That video can be hosted anywhere such as Dropbox or Amazon S3 cloud and other file sharing services.

ASPS and ArtisBrowser support all computers and devices including phones. But if your audience is Windows only, then CopySafe Video provides online viewing of encrypted video embedded on web pages. CMS plugins are available for DNN, Drupal, Joomla, Moodle and WordPress.

To copy protect live video streams, please see How to copy protect live video stream.

How To Copy Protect Video Viewed Offline

The only ArtistScope solution for viewing video offline (viewing on the desktop) is CopySafe Video provides DRM to prevent sharing and can be used both online and offline via the use of special token files. Safe from all copy the CopySafe Video Player is required for desktop viewing.

Copy Protecting Video for Online Viewing

Copy protecting video displayed on web pages can actually be more secure than desktop viewing, and when it comes to DRM, authors have much more control over settings with any changes having immediate effect.

There are now several options available for copy protecting video online that can be read from all devices including Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android phones:

  • ArtistScope Site Protection System (ASPS) is a server side solution that requires a dedicated server or VPS that will copy protect all media displayed on a web page.
  • SafeGuard DRM is a WordPress plugin that will add access rights to any WordPress web page or post that can include embedded PDF or video.
  • SafeGuard Media is a WordPress plugin that will add copy protected images, PDF and video to any WordPress page or post.
  • SafeGuard Webmail will copy protect email and team messaging on which images, PDF and video can be displayed. No website required.