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How do I protect my videos from Pirates and Thieves?

Can streaming video be protected or is that a myth? I've heard that when people know where they can find downloaded files on their hard drive, it's pretty easy to steal.

Can eZs3 prevent thieves and pirates stealing my videos hosted on Amazon S3?

Unfortunately it is not possible to prevent this using Amazon S3.

When embedding video, there are two solutions that you can use - streaming and progressive download.

Progressive download - the user downloads the video file to their computer, but is able to begin playback before the full file is downloaded. Once the file is downloaded, it remains in the users cache so it can be played back quickly in the event the user wants to watch it again. Unfortunately, due to security concerns it is impossible to go into the cache and delete the file.

Streaming - the video is delivered as needed to the viewer and is not delivered to their cache. The viewer can jump to any point in the video and playback will start straight away.

Progressive download means that the viewer will have a copy of your media downloaded to their local computer.

On the flip side for streaming, while it would protect your file from being downloaded to the users cache, there's absolutely nothing to stop a user from using Camtasia, or another screen recording program, to simply record your video as it plays, at which point they are in the same position as someone obtaining the file from their cache.

The highest level of security we can offer, is to protect the URL of the file at Amazon in the event someone tries to embed one of your eZs3 players on another site.

I guess the best advice we can offer on this front, would be to not obsess about someone stealing your content. Since the majority of your content will be in the members area of your site, you can be sure that anyone who steals your video will be members - and you will have their contact details. Unfortunately, there's no way to fully protect your content - just look at Hollywood who have spent years of effort, and millions of dollars trying!

However, I would advise you also include a bug/logo/watermark on your videos, including your URL so even if someone does steal your content, there's always a link to drive traffic back to your site.

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Another strategy we've used in the past, is to actively encourage members to get involved in the protection of your videos. Since it's a niche site, you can be pretty sure from time to time they will look for source materials elsewhere. Actively let them know that if they see one of your videos on another site, you'll give them a prize (a free month's membership or something). It doesn't really cost you anything, but you effectively develop your own police force for your content, and you can then take action against the offending site.

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