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Online Teaching – how to deal with content piracy

How many ways a user can copy or share your course content (videos / pdfs) and technologies to use to increase the content security.

The growth rate of eLearning has increased exponentially in past years. This is a huge opportunity for Teachers to sell their courses to the maximum number of students and establish an online teaching business.

But “Content Security” is the main concern for many teachers to teach online. In the last few years, online piracy has increased rapidly. So protecting valuable content is crucial.

Online Piracy or Internet Piracy is a serious problem that online community is facing

How serious content piracy is?

how to deal with content piracy

70% of online users find nothing wrong in online piracy

22% of all global internet bandwidth is used for online piracy.

98.8% of data transferred using peer to peer network is copyrighted.

$50 billion+ is lost every year due to online piracy

33% of the video streams on which YouTube displays advertisements are of videos that are uploaded by fans without permission.

You should be aware of the content piracy and how a student can breach your content.

Once a student bought your online course he can pirate your content in following ways.

  1. Download and share your content publicly
  2. By sharing his login credentials
  3. By screen capture

How to prevent content download?

Answer to this question is Digital Rights Management (DRM). Digital Rights Management is an approach to protect your digital content. DRM prevents all the ways of content copying. Using DRM we can also set the time period in which the content can be accessed.

At Learnyst we are using DRM technology to protect our teacher’s content. Once a teacher load their video/pdf in course builder, we encrypt the video using private encryption keys. And we store these encrypted videos in secure Amazon S3 servers which are accessible by authorized users. While student accessing the content, we decrypt the videos using DRM tokens in custom Learnyst player. Even the student downloads the video he can not play it anywhere else.

How to prevent account sharing?

Below are the techniques that can used to deter user sharing account informations

  1. Limit the number of devices a user can login
  2. Do not allow multiple logins at single point of time
  3. Track user logins & set alarms if user logging in on multiple devices

Unfortunately on the web we cannot enforce users to use one system. But on mobile we can restrict users to access from one device. Also its not a popular method among students as it messes the buyers course progress and quiz marks.

At Learnyst we are following the above techniques and succeeded in preventing account sharing.

How to prevent screen capture?

Students can get a copy of your videos by using screen capture/screen recording.  There are many softwares available in market to capture the screen both on the web and mobile. By printing your user email and phone number as a watermark in your videos you can avoid this problem up to some extent. Watermarking is not a fool-proof method to protect your videos but it will certainly make others think twice before attempting to download and use your videos without your consent.

Screen capture is not a popular method of piracy since its time-consuming task and the original quality of videos are compromised.

At Learnyst we are trying hard to prevent screen capture on various platforms (Android, iOS, & Web). We have prevented screen capture and screen recording on mobile apps. We are working on the Dynamic watermarking feature which will print student email & mobile number on course materials.


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