In our last article, we saw that  structural changes in the world of digital piracy are important enough to justify its industrialization. One of the ways in which such a development of a – very lucrative – activity is possible was highlighted by the representative of the Hollywood studios, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in its report.

For the first time, the report mentions, alongside known actors such as torrent sites, streaming portals and IPTV services, a completely new category, which the organization calls Piracy-as-a-Service (PaaS).

This growing category refers to tools and services that allow potential infringers to easily set up a piracy campaign, providing a package of ready-to-use services. These pre-packaged services provide tools and ready-to-go packages, including iptv platforms, video service providers, content management systems – in short, everything that a pirate who wants to get into the business needs to get a service up and running quickly. According to the MPA, these services illustrate “the scale, sophistication and profitability of modern commercial online copyright infringement.”

How bad does it hurt ?

In its report, the MPA mentions among others  XFileSharing scripts, Njalla domain provider, IPTV Smarters management suite or video integration service.

A number of domain names are also listed as being very tolerant of copyright infringers, such as .is .to .io or .tv, which are well known by pirates. The MPA reminds that it is possible “directly or through its contractual relationship with its registration offices” to “remove or deactivate domain names used by websites engaged in massive copyright infringement”. Even if, for now, a court decision is necessary to deactivate a site, according to the MPA, it should be made easier to do so in cases of massive and obvious copyright infringement.

The MPA also points out the sometimes “problematic” role played by advertisers, advertising agencies or hosting companies such as AdsKeeper, Propeller Ads, 1XBET, BlueAngelHost, or Ddos-Guard. 

Even international companies such as,, and Baidu are also flagged as problematic, blamed for not filtering content well enough and not reacting swiftly in response to reports of copyright infringement. “Baidu should apply rigorous filtering technology to identify illegal content, so that it can take more effective action to suspend or terminate repeated infringements,” the MPA notes. Similarly the messaging service Telegram is accused of not having sufficiently effective takedown tools.

Protecting content: a multi-layered strategy

How, in such a context, can we protect content from these malicious actors without compromising user experience? 

Several aspects must be addressed simultaneously.

  • When content is not in use, proper encryption of video files when they are stored and prepared for playback on the user’s device needs to be implemented, to prevent  leakage. 
  • Digital rights management solutions should also be in place. They ensure that content is streamed only to a recognized device and by an approved user. These solutions also protect video content as it travels over public networks. In a traditional DRM system, for example, video content is sent encrypted and cannot be used without a content key.
  • Once the video content is transmitted to the device, it must be decrypted so that it can be processed and displayed for the user. But at this stage, the video can be intercepted – either by a user who is aware of what they are doing and knowingly hacks the video, or by a user who has unintentionally installed a malicious software.
  • Then, the streaming service  assesses the security level of the device to determine if it is eligible to receive the content. If the device does not meet the security level, the content will not be distributed. If the device is assessed as secure, the content will be sent. However, at the time of transfer, other protection techniques must be employed to detect any tampering with the content. Indeed, it is by detecting such an alteration that piracy can be identified.
  • Traceability makes it possible to uniquely identify the content used by each device. In the event of content piracy, it is possible to determine which device is the source of the leak. This is especially useful during live events, where swift action to stop streaming to a leaked device can disrupt the hackers’ ability to provide their service and monetize the hacked content.

Proactive methods are not enough

However, you should not forget that all these methods are burdensome, costly and they marginally impair the user experience, and are not completely efficient.

It is therefore essential to associate them with a thorough search and a quick removal; despite all these precautions, it is indeed very likely that your content will end up on pirate sites anyway.

If you need to protect your content, don’t hesitate to contact one of our account managers. Over a decade of experience in the field of piracy makes PDN the ideal partner to ensure that your intellectual property generates the profits you deserve.

Join us again in November, in our next article, we will look at the role of Cloudflare and its influence on piracy. Have a good read and see you soon!