Media Rights, Politics & Governance, Video, Global

Protecting against digital piracy: the importance of recovering your content’s value

Javier Capilla González, Smart Media Protection chief product officer and co-founder, on protecting sports rights holders on social media.

by Javier Capilla González
Protecting against digital piracy: the importance of recovering your content’s value

The live sports viewing habits of millennials have raised the increasing problem of piracy.

Consumption of illicit content is a growing tendency, a recent SMG Insight report stated more than 54 per cent of millennial sports content viewers consume it illegally through streaming platforms, websites and apps.
Before the birth of social media, the consumption of illicit content via streaming took place on websites that allowed the broadcast and visualisation of content. These presented a hostile environment for users due to the low quality of the videos, the publicity that bombarded all users in order to finance the service, the viruses that came along with it and the high levels of data extraction and fraud perpetrated in them. 

What’s changed?

When Smart Protection came into the picture, deleting this illegal content from websites and making it even more bothersome to watch the live event online, users turned to other websites but ran into the same problems.

With users no longer able to find the links via the leading live streaming websites on Google thanks to Smart Protection’s partnership, they turn directly to YouTube or Facebook to see if any generous soul is sharing the broadcast there. This is where Smart Protection is offering something nobody else is doing (or if they are, they are not doing it well enough).

The solution eliminates all the videos retransmitting the live event across all the social media platforms. The posts with links in Facebook, the tweets with links and in some cases we even eliminate the accounts altogether. Smart Protection carry out this work during, after and before an event, tackling more platforms than anyone else and delivering an integral service by mitigating more piracy than any other anti-piracy provider.

On social media platforms, content has become easily accessible without security risks or any additional costs, with publicity and phishing eradicated. Images are in high definition and there is a video continuity that consumers appreciate (usually 30FPS). Not only do the consumption habits change, but so too have the objectives behind the sharing of that content.

Social media is currently the main form of communication around illicit content; these sites redirect traffic and market services, as they also do with IPTV services and decoders. Controlling and managing information within this stage of the process eventually enables you to control the distribution of digital content, and knowing the different sources catalyses the efficiency of the protection campaign for certain assets, or a group of them.

Smart Protection guarantees a solid level of efficiency and effectiveness regarding protection strategies due to the implementation of several innovative processes, apps and technologies.

How does this differ from other content protection services?

In order to identify live infractions, there are several different approaches Smart Protection employ in order to mitigate the impact of piracy’s risks.

The analysis and image recognition system designed by Smart Media Protection is a combination of self-developed technology complimented by external resources from the social media platforms themselves. Using the live images of the detected item creating internal rules, we can eliminate or stop the distribution of illegal content.

On the other hand, the analysis and audio recognition is another innovative variable. Whenever the image recognition cannot be implemented due to a poor recording quality, the sound wave recognition becomes fundamental enabling the analysis of a larger quantity of content.

If both prior techniques are unavailable, the semantic analysis, assessing the descriptive titles and comment sections, is fundamental. Illegal broadcasters expose their events through key words related to the title of the live broadcast and follow a determined pattern that Smart Protection are able to detect. Thanks to this system, Smart Protection are able to reach a larger number of platforms daily.

What’s the secret?

Smart Protection’s efficiency is due, not only to the Google partnership, but also to membership in its exclusive TCRP (Trust Copy Right Program). This allows Smart Protect to reduce the delisting time of infringing Google results to under 30 minutes, allowing monitoring of sites prior to the event.

Delisting unlimited URLs from Google is not the only advantage, Smart Protection is able to perform its live event protection across 20 platforms at the same time.

Smart Protection’s experience and relationships with Facebook and YouTube has seen the development of a fast-track system. Those platforms know who are happy to collaborate on the fight against piracy. This direct support from the social media platforms is reflected in our daily work: taking down a video from YouTube takes 30 seconds, Facebook and YouTube only takes one minute to delete videos from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and a mere between two to three minutes to remove infringing content from platforms such as Vimeo, Live Stream or BlogSpot.

Although technology is vital, humans have a fundamental role in Smart Protection, spotting those things that our automated software does not, and they are able to communicate directly with right owners and other parties affected by piracy much faster via phone call, WhatsApp, or other means. While streaming a game or match, right owners are able to eliminate those infringing links in real time while it airs, and therefore directly tackle thousands of illegal servers and viewers.

Gol TV case study

Working with the largest soccer rights owner in Latin America, Smart Protection utilised its platform on fixtures from Ecuadorian soccer’s top-flight Serie A and second-tier Serie B. The results of this protection campaign were outstanding, with an effectiveness rate of 96 per cent, eliminating 4.4K out of 4.6K infractions. Of the 4,595 total infractions detected, 211 were eliminated from search engines and websites, and 4382 were eliminated from posts, tweets and videos on social media sites. In addition, we were able to spot more links within the comment sections of those platforms with our human workforce. By platform, we found and eliminated infractions as follows:

YouTube = 96 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 827/860 E. I. (Eliminated Infractions).
Facebook = 97 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 2.3K/2.4K E. I.
Twitter = 93 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 686/735 E. I.
Blogger = 98 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 272/278 E. I.
Vimeo = 100 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 7/7 E. I.
Google = 100 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 211/211 E. I.
Instagram = 65 per cent of infractions eliminated, with an exact number of 45/69 E. I.

A prime example being, Smart Protection software spotted an Instagram account that earned 6,182 followers with just one post, having had no followers prior. In this user’s Instagram story, there was a message directing users to click on the link in the bio in order to access the video. This link led to a video stream on Twitch that belonged to a Facebook account, both of which we eliminated just one minute after we located them. If an Instagram account constantly shares illicit content on its space, and after three times of us reporting the illegal activity to Instagram, the account will be eliminated. The username of the account was filed in Smart Protection’s records in order to create our own internal blacklist of Insta-violators for live events taking place in the future.

Gol TV was also able to communicate in real time through an instant messaging platform with the Smart Protection analytical team, sharing illegal links that represented a priority for the broadcaster. The high speed communication both ways saw the infractions eliminated in real time.