While the name Verance might not be particularly well known, the company’s anti-piracy technology is present in millions of DVD and Blu-ray players and the media they play.
Every licensed Blu-ray playback device since 2012 has supported the technology which is designed to limit the usefulness of pirated content. Illicit copies of movies protected by Cinavia work at first, but after a few minutes playback is halted and replaced by a warning notice.
This is achieved by a complex watermarking system that not only protects retail media but also illicit recordings of first-run movies. Now Verance has been awarded a patent for a new watermarking system with fresh aims in mind.
The patent, ‘Watermarking in an encrypted domain’, begins with a description of how encryption can protect multimedia content from piracy during storage or while being transported from one location to another.
“The encrypted content may be securely broadcast over the air, through the Internet, over cable networks, over wireless networks, distributed via storage media, or disseminated through other means with little concern about piracy of the content,” Verance begins.
Levels of security vary, Verance explains, depending on the strength of encryption algorithms and encryption key management. However, at some point content needs to be decrypted in order for it to be processed or consumed, and at this point it is vulnerable to piracy and distribution.
“This is particularly true for multimedia content that must inevitably be converted to audio and/or visual signals (e.g., analog format) in order to reach an audience,” Verance explain.
While the company notes that at this stage content is vulnerable to copying, solutions are available to help protect against what it describes as the “analog hole”. As the creator of Cinavia, it’s no surprise Verance promotes watermarking.
“Digital watermarking is typically referred to as
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