Video piracy has surged dramatically in the last decade or so, as the internet became more widespread. Creative studios must now use content security solutions like video watermarking as a matter of course.

However, pirates have been known to get around these security measures, resulting in significant losses for content providers. In-theater recordings, copying from Blu-rays and DVDs, and streaming recordings of SVOD DRM protected content are some of the most common methods.

Piracy is a business model for those who seek to profit from the unauthorised sale of goods and services. They rely on a variety of methods to raise money:

Uploading pirated material and getting paid for it

There are often compensation schemes offered to people who upload copied content on pirate websites. While web traffic brings in money, the majority of it is generated by cyberlockers, companies that host digital content online.

Pirate websites, like most other online content sites, charge for advertising on their pages. Ad networks are often tricked into displaying ads from branded campaigns by scammers. With this strategy, they are able to profit from ad impressions, as well as from the number of views of pirated content (if advertising is present within the audiovisual file itself). There are also techniques like “Pixel Stuffing” in which an ad is displayed in an unnoticeable way on the website that the users will not see, but it still counts as legitimate viewing.

Users’ personal information is sold to third parties.

Data on user profiles can also be collected and sold by pirates to third parties, such as ad networks that track user behaviour to deliver more relevant ads.

Additionally, some online pirate retailers sell pre-configured illicit streaming devices that can display pirated feeds. Younger audiences are a big fan of these kinds of devices.

Subscription to a deluxe membership service

Users can also pay a monthly fee to pirates to get access to illegally obtained hosted content. Similar to Netflix, but without DRM protection or video watermarking.


App stores that have a great user experience can be sold to broadband providers as value-added services. This is the most advanced form of revenue generation. These services are repackaged and resold as a genuine package with a proper logo.

Forensic watermarking, on the other hand, can deter or identify these practises. When content leakage is discovered, law enforcement agencies can be alerted and take appropriate action against the perpetrators. Additionally, content providers have the ability to shut down distribution channels or user accounts that are deemed to be infringing.

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