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Content Protectors: Instant Access Key to Preventing Piracy Irdeto - 11-December-2010, 18:40

Content Protectors: Instant Access Key to Preventing Piracy
December 9, 2010
By: Chris Tribbey

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. Video pirates, meet Alex Terpstra, Jan Steenkamp and Yangbin Wang.

They and their companies are here to make sure content owners know where pirated material comes from in the first place. They were also at the Entertainment Content Protection Summit Dec. 8 to suggest to content owners how they could turn pirates into law-abiding consumers.

I think weve realized that all pirates dont necessarily want to be pirates, said Steve Weinstein, moderator of the panel and president and CEO of MovieLabs. They want access to content

Panelists here had one overwhelming point: if content is made easily available in the first place and in an attractive manner piracy can become less of an issue.

This early window idea is a good example, said Terpstra, CEO of content watermarking company Civolution. His companys work has been able to routinely identify where content was illegally recorded, even if it was just with a handheld video recorder in the theater, and his comment refers to some studios idea of a post-theatrical, pre-disc VOD offering of content for a premium price. If its a one-click experience, people would be willing to spend money on this.

Sometimes, all it may take is more quality content and more of it to prevent piracy, Steenkamp suggested. His software security company Irdeto protects content on a variety of platforms. If you increase the experience more people would be willing to pay, he said. He pointed to Netflix and its streaming model, and its instant gratification. The way consumers consume media must be one click, he said.

Wang, founder and CEO of content identification company Vobile, stressed that it piracy reaction depends on what type of content pirates are moving around in the first place.

The industry over the years has come to a [question] when they find this content online: Do we kill it all, or do we find [a way] to make money? Wang said.

The theatrical window, obviously, has a lot to do with it, Steenkamp said. First-run films and live sporting events are examples of where content owners should strive to block all pirating. But content in later windows should be treated with more finesse, he argued.

Were moving from a rigid, controlled environment to a new model where the consumer is in control, Steenkamp pointed out.

Terpstra said the ad-supported model for online content continues to be an attractive one for content owners, allowing for them to capitalize on content later in its life.

We have to make the ad-supported model more interesting, he said. [And] the concept of adding more value, by linking to the content, its going to grow in the next year.

Regardless of how content owners address piracy, they must address it, panelists and speakers at the conference agreed. Consumers are going to seek out what they want, and, increasingly, they want it now.

We know what people are doing and we continue to fail to give them what they want in a viable format, concluded Larry Kenswil, a former Universal Music Group executive. And while he may have been speaking about music in particular, his message should be taken to heart for content in all forms.

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