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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    42

    Digital Rights Management!

    Hi, I am about to launch a well marketed porn site in the next few weeks.

    One of the major issues is the need for digital rights management of the hosted videos.

    We decided not to stream the content to save bandwidth but instead we are looking to serve encrypted media files that will check an online database to see if the account is active then play the video, and if the account is expired, the video should not play.

    This doesnt have to be *fool proof*. We are not trying to thwart hackers. However, a feature like this keeps the subscription retention rate much higher, and thus, makes more money.

    I am running FreeBSD 5.4 so I cant use any windows solutions Please let me know what you guys think, after searching around for a bit and not finding much, this seems like its going to be a difficult feature to implement.

    ALSO: a small monthly fee to license this technology is acceptable.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2004
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    Haven't dealt with this in depth but AFAIK you can stream from a Unix box, but you must license from a Windows machine if you want to use Windows DRM. I believe MS have patented their product...

    To be honest on this one, one of the most effective ways of doing what you want is probably do use flash video, as that can't easily be copied directly from a website, and it's pretty low filesize too

    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    42
    i wouldnt mind licensing from a windows machine, but i also dont want to jump through hoops dealing with other companies syncing my user database with them, etc.

    I will do what i have to, but if theres any way to manage this on my own server it would be much better.

    I am also not afraid to play around and hack together some unpolished solution, as long as it works...

  4. #4
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    Like I say, have a play with flash video, it's probably a totally different route for you to take, but it'll do the job nicely, Linux/Mac users for once will actually be able to see your media, and in most cases the files are smaller than with other codecs - so you save on bandwidth.

    If you wanted to make it totally hack proof you could simply do something like this (flash video):

    -User logs in
    -Username, logon time, IP are logged into an SQL DB.
    -User goes to flash video
    -Actionscript in flash video checks current IP is authorised before allowing the movie to play.

    And the great thing is, it's so simple to do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    42
    WOW i never thought of anything like that.

    the thing is, they wouldnt be able to download it and play it later then would they?

  6. #6
    Hello,

    I would like to recommend a really good script that may be able to help you out alot.

    This script is called aMember and can be found here www.amember.com. Basically it is a subscription management php script and full billing system.

    I use it on a website that serves music to paid users, and this script is perfect to protect media files to active paid users online.


    As taken from their website...


    aMember is a flexible membership and subscription management PHP script. It has support for PayPal, BeanStream, 2Checkout, NoChex, VeriSign PayFlow, Authorize.Net, PaySystems, Probilling, Multicards, E-Gold and Clickbank payment systems (complete list can be found here) and allows you to setup paid-membership areas on your site. It can also be used without any payment system - you can manage users manually.

    aMember Pro also supports integration plugins to link with third-party scripts databases (like vBulletin, Invision Board, you can see complete list here). aMember is a perfect membership software for selling digital subscriptions and downloads, and it can be used for other applications as well.

    # Integrated with multiple payment systems. Able to support multiple payment systems simultaneously.
    # Password sharing prevention built-in ($80 value!)
    # Free installation included ($74.95 value!)
    # Free downloadable trial available
    # Special cookie login interface where members can login, review payments, renew subscription. Your visitors will never see the ugly browser log-in window again!
    # Automated signups and mail to new and expired users
    # Can be used to setup free areas on site, requiring only registration, not payment (possible after admin approval)
    # Easy web based administration, all management is done through your browser
    # Protection plugins. The script handles authorization using plugins. Additional plugins can be easily added to provide integration with customer support software, forums, etc. feel using your favorite web site editor

    You can check out all the features here....
    http://www.amember.com/p/Main/Features


    We are currently using it for an adult website. It works for media files perfectly. If a user tries to hotlink a file it will not work. Only currently logged in users, with valid paid subscriptions may access anything in a folder or directory that you want protected. We have it setup so that any file or item in the members directory is protected, and then we put all our media files inside of that.

    We also had a custom plugin that limits a users ability to download only 500megs worth of video per day, and once they exceed that, their account is disabled for 24 hours.

    Finally it has a password sharing prevention system that disables a users account if they log into their account with 5 different IP's in a certain amount of time (we set it to 48 hours)



    I am writing this because I use the script myself personally on a few websites, and absolutely love it! This solution will protect your adult videos and manage all your members and recurring billing.


    Simply could not praise this script enough, and I think it is exactly what you need.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    42
    interesting, i am reviewing the site right now and I dont see anything about protecting the media file *after* its downloaded which is the main feature im seeking.

    Once the video is downloaded, i want it to check with my server each and every time it plays to make sure the account is still valid.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by flameboy
    interesting, i am reviewing the site right now and I dont see anything about protecting the media file *after* its downloaded which is the main feature im seeking.

    Once the video is downloaded, i want it to check with my server each and every time it plays to make sure the account is still valid.

    Hello,

    I'm not sure about checking with the site after it is downloaded. However, if you use asx files which are only 1K in size, then this would check each and every time it is viewed, however the user would have to be online everytime they watch the video.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    42
    But using asx files means that they will be streaming the file every time.

    Im looking for a way for them to have the whole 100meg movie on their harddrive and only be able to play it if their subscription is active

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Georgetown, Ontario
    Posts
    1,761
    Originally posted by flameboy
    But using asx files means that they will be streaming the file every time.

    Im looking for a way for them to have the whole 100meg movie on their harddrive and only be able to play it if their subscription is active
    That doesnt sound like it is possible without creating your own file format.
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  11. #11
    Originally posted by Pheaton
    That doesnt sound like it is possible without creating your own file format.
    Well, an asx file is only a redirect, and if you "were" to open up the file in notepad you could expose the actuall url of the video.

    The way we set it up with aMember, is that a user can download an asx file which is 1K in size so it takes about 1 second to download on dialup, then whenever they want to view the file they have to be online, they click ont the asx file, it calls into the server to stream the file, and the amember script would verify that the user has an active account and then allows access to the file.


    I would get in contact with the owner of amember as he has alot of other mods and methods to protect media, he usualy can design a custom mod for about $100. We had the mod that limits the users daily bandwidth to 500 megs per day.

  12. #12
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    May 2005
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    42
    This is most certainly possible with existing formats. I'm very dissapointed there are not more solutions for something like this

  13. #13
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    Apr 2005
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    Oz
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    What about just getting a server with unmetered bandwidth? It shouldn't cost you too much more.

  14. #14
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    May 2005
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    i would want an unmetered server with good quality bandwidth and IRC access, which would end up costing significantly more :-\

  15. #15
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    Mar 2004
    Location
    New York City
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    He's not worried about cost, he's worried about three things:

    A) User convenience (Can store movies for later playback without being online)
    B) Copyright Infringment (People downloading videos and redistributing them)
    C) Revenue Protection (After said user downloads the video, why would they continue to pay for a membership if they can just view the video whenever?)

    Basically, he wants a Napster-style subscription service with videos that 'expire' with the membership.

    That being said, I'm not really sure what's out there regarding that, I imagine not a whole lot that is low-cost.

    -Sam
    Sam Machiz / Director, Product Development / Ubersmith
    smachiz[at]ubersmith.com / [direct] 212-812-4194

  16. #16
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    May 2005
    Posts
    42
    i have seen a couple companies offering these kind of services but they dont seem very well polished and required i contact them personally to discuss.

    I have sent out a few emails already. However, i am very upset that there is no open source solution to something like this. I guess the open source community doesnt value the whole DRM thing :-\

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    226
    Originally posted by flameboy
    I guess the open source community doesnt value the whole DRM thing :-\
    That's the understatement of the year. The open source community hates DRM with a passion.

    As far as Windows Media and DRM goes; have a look as MS' Windows Media SDK's. They go though how to set it up. From the sound of it however you're probably better off going through a third party.

    Here's MS' DRM home page:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowsmed...m/default.aspx

    If you give that a once-over and still have specific questions, feel free to PM me.

    Ryan

  18. #18
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  19. #19
    Originally posted by flameboy
    i have seen a couple companies offering these kind of services but they dont seem very well polished and required i contact them personally to discuss.

    I have sent out a few emails already. However, i am very upset that there is no open source solution to something like this. I guess the open source community doesnt value the whole DRM thing :-\
    Now that's funny You expected to find the FOSS DRM solution
    Free and Open Source Software movement opposes DRM just as
    it's opposes proprietary software, for the very same reasons -
    because it takes the freedom away from the people.

    As a side note: with all the porn websites that allow their paying
    members to download "non self destructable" movies that can
    play after their membership expires why anyone will choose you?

    With a lot of folks using e-Mule to download movies with no this
    DRM crap the only way to compete is to provide new movies
    under the same standard formats like DivX and XVid.

    Now if you still want to go that way you either need to use
    Flash player and to auto generate the files for each request or
    to use some third party player with proprietary format - which
    will provide exactly the solution you need. Third option is a
    plugin for WMP which will decrypt the movie after it verified that
    the account is still active.

    Just don't be too much surpised when your members will run
    away screaming, defeating your "perfect" business plan of:
    "pay me the money forever or all the movies you had downloaded
    will instantly become a useless waste of HDD space".

    As I said there are a lot of pornosites with a lot more user
    friendly policy and they use other means to keep the paying members ... like adding a new content all the time for example.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    226
    Originally posted by secureserver
    Now that's funny You expected to find the FOSS DRM solution
    Free and Open Source Software movement opposes DRM just as
    it's opposes proprietary software, for the very same reasons -
    because it takes the freedom away from the people.
    Right. It's because they're worried it'll make it harder for them to DL pirated copies of the Matrix. Wanting to control something you create has nothing to do with taking ' . . . freedom away from the people.' I'm really getting sick of people referencing the non-existant 'Freedom to be a Pirate' amendment to the Constitution.

    There're tons of encryption apps in the open source. Is it 'taking freedom away from the people' to encrypt a file so only the people I want to have access to it can access it? No. Is making a product time sensitive 'taking freedom away from the people?' No. Even a public library want's their crap back after two weeks.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
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    4,612
    Originally posted by Ryan F
    Right. It's because they're worried it'll make it harder for them to DL pirated copies of the Matrix. Wanting to control something you create has nothing to do with taking ' . . . freedom away from the people.' I'm really getting sick of people referencing the non-existant 'Freedom to be a Pirate' amendment to the Constitution.

    There're tons of encryption apps in the open source. Is it 'taking freedom away from the people' to encrypt a file so only the people I want to have access to it can access it? No. Is making a product time sensitive 'taking freedom away from the people?' No. Even a public library want's their crap back after two weeks.
    I think people who oppose DRM are against the idea of having it forced on them. People should have a choice... they can either use copyrighted material as the author wishes and within the law, or they can pirate it and break the law. DRM removes that choice.

    In the United States, we have the right to bear arms. Does this mean we're all armed robbers? No. But we have the opportunity to choose which path we want to take.

    People should, as you call it, have the "Freedom to be a pirate". This doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it legal, but the freedom to choose must always exist.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

  22. #22
    Well the aMember script I mentioned would definately not work for what you are trying to do.

    But as someone else mentioned above, I would never pay for an adult downloadable movie that I can only view while my subscription is active. I think everyone would agree with me on that.

    Definately think it though about what you are trying to do. There are a million other porn sites that are making millions, and none of them require users to have an active subscription to watch a movie that they downloaded.

    When I download something, I want it for life, want to make backups, without having to keep paying for it every month, especially if I only view it once a year or so...

    Personally I don't think a porn site would survive 1 day once people knew that they are tied to you for life in order to keep the movie. Definately a bad business idea if you ask me...

    But heh..who cares..just my opinion.

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