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Cisco Working on Automated Piracy Stream Shutdown Tool

Posted by: , 19:11 AEDT, Thu October 27, 2016

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Cisco to bring new system that auto-bans cable accounts suspected of being the source for illegal online streams
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Networking giant Cisco has promised to deliver content providers a new way to prevent streaming piracy, in what the company believes is a "new paradigm" for dealing with this kind of piracy.

While downloads, torrenting and streaming of pre-recorded content is still the most popular type of video piracy online, the pirating of live content including pay and free TV channels has increased in popularity in recent times. Pirates usually have a paid for legal stream or broadcast, but then shares the stream on websites with others, profiting from advertising in return. Major sporting events such as the Olympics or the World Cup, for example, are particularly prone to this kind of piracy.

Anti-piracy efforts for this kind of piracy has mostly been of the reactive kind, with take-down notices being issued usually after the live event has already ended (which works for major, long lasting events like the Olympics, but not for once-off events like football matches). Content holders have even tried pre-piracy warnings (sending take-down notices before pirated content has even been put up, to sites that are most likely to host this type of content in the future), with mixed results.

But in a blog post on the official Cisco website, the company says they're ready to offer a new solution to this new and growing problem.

Calling it Streaming Piracy Prevention (SPP), Cisco says they will have a technique where, using forensic watermarking technology, they will be able to trace illegal streams back to the paid for account that is the source for the video, and then to shut down the legal paid for stream to prevent it from being shared illegally, "all in real-time".

"The process is fully automated, ensuring a timely response to incidents of piracy. Gone are the days of sending a legal notice and waiting to see if anyone will answer; SPP acts without the need to involve or gain cooperation from any third parties, enabling an unmatched level of cross-device retransmission prevention and allowing service providers to take back control of their channels, to maximize their revenue," Cisco's blog post states.

Reactions to the announcement, in the form of comments to the blog post, have been largely negative. Many worry about the prospect of false positives, censorship and the notion that pirates may find a way around it anyway. 

Others suggest that the high cost of pay TV may ultimately be responsible for the high rate of piracy, and that's something Cisco's SPP will never be able to address.

[via CiscoThe Inquirer]


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