Motion Picture Academy uses cutting edge technology to keep Oscar nominees safe

With the increase in the use of video in all fields, new technologies are being deployed to prevent it from being hacked or appearing in places where it shouldn’t.

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Like so many other things in our professional lives, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way businesses use video. With so many face-to-face interactions curtailed by travel restrictions and people working from home, businesses have turned to video to do everything from broadcasting live events to hosting meetings, perhaps. be for the first time, with the purchase of large tickets with prices north. for $ 50,000, according to McKinsey & Company.

“The amount of revenue generated from video-related interactions has jumped 69% since April 2020,” McKinsey reported. “Together, e-commerce and video conferencing now account for 43% of all B2B revenue, more than any other channel. Customers also made it clear that, if given a choice, they preferred video over phone.

Somewhat oddly, given the nature of their work, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has only recently started to move away from the use of DVDs and streaming platforms based on one. browser to share movies with its members around the world. A big part of the reason is that security, not ease of use, is its top priority, said Beverley Kite Academy IT director in a breakout session at the Play ‘virtual conference. 21 from Brightcove this week.

“Obviously for me the pressure was to make sure that we didn’t build a platform that didn’t meet the studio’s requirements or somehow damage the academy,” he said. she declared.

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While most people think of the Academy as uniquely American, it actually has an international reach. This means that it must safely distribute the first-run films that are contested for an Oscar to members around the world.

It wasn’t until 2019 that the Academy made its Academy Screening Room streaming app available through Apple TV and, more recently, on Roku streaming devices.

The challenge for the Academy is to ensure that the films members receive are not pirated or released prematurely. It does this by using a host of security techniques, including digital rights management technology, so that videos cannot be shared and played only on trusted devices using trusted technologies. DRM also limits the domains and content delivery networks from which content can be downloaded, allowing the Academy to maintain tight control over distribution.

In 2020, the Academy dramatically improved its security game by partnering with video platform provider Brightcove, security company NAGRA, CDN provider Akamai, and DRM provider BuyDRM to develop watermark technology. forensic in order to further control hacking on its filtering platform.

Kite said the new technology improves on the standard watermark, which simply tells them where the video is coming from and who owns the copyright. Thanks to the new technology, the Academy can identify the member who downloaded the content. This information is then transmitted to the video player used. Due to the forensic watermark technology, the player itself has to treat the content differently because it uses different transcoding technology, she said.

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When Brightcove transcodes the content, it is secured using AES encryption, “which then travels with the video content as it passes through the Internet to the viewer. When playing, the device or the user’s PC user acquires DRM license key from BuyDRM MultiKey service to start playing, ”the company said. When content is uploaded from Akamai Intelligent Edge, it applies the Academy’s unique forensic watermark template.

“The Academy can now prevent users of its streaming platform from participating in pirate activities, such as recording screen content, recording with other devices, and deleting video clips from the player. video from Brightcove, ”said Brightcove.

For Kite, making sure the Academy’s streaming platform is of paramount importance. If content creators and studios cannot believe their work will only be seen by Academy members, they will not be using the platform, hampering the Academy’s ability to do its job. .

“It’s legal and financial and the perception of your platform and the willingness of content owners to distribute through your platform,” she said. “Our job at the Academy is not to do anything that could harm the industry.”

For those looking to develop similar content delivery platforms, Kite said the first thing they need to think about is security.

“Definitely think security first in the design of the overall platform architecture,” she said. “Find good partners who understand this space and its importance. It’s been a great working relationship for us with Brightcove, Nagra and Akamai. It is also important to continue to test, re-audit and recheck your controls. Continue to assess what you have in place and make improvements. ”

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