Video Protect: Easy and Affordable Anti-Rip DVD Protection for Video Producers
As live event video producer working in the stage, sports, or worship market whose business depends on volume sales, how do you prevent one customer from buying a single DVD and duping 100 copies? Rimage Corporation has a solution they claim to be strong, seamless, and reasonably priced.
Producers who work live events that require quick (or even immediate) turnarounds need copy protection solutions that work fast and don’t alter or interrupt their existing workflow. Rimage Video Protect is tightly integrated into the Rimage software suite when using QuickDisc or Rimage Rapid API authoring operations. “We’ve made it so simple within QuickDisc---there is a check box that asks if you want to copy protect the disc,” says Rimage CTO Dave Suden.
As a passive software solution, Rimage Video Protect encapsulates data files on a DVD disc, causing access to the content by common ripping programs to be controlled. The original media content is not modified; rather, copy controls are written in areas of the disc that are not read during playback.
Suden emphasizes that independent test labs, such as Intellikey, have verified that Rimage Video Protect achieves a very high level of playback compatibility and that it does not install software or modify user’s computers. Rimage senior system architect Tom Sherman reminds users that “not every set-top box plays a DVD-R. However, our testing shows that every set-top that plays a DVD-R can also play a disc with Rimage Video Protect. We have 100 percent compatibility with set-top players that play DVD-Rs.”
While Sherman says he is always a skeptic when it comes to the long-term viability of any copy-protection scheme, he is confident about this product. “Any hacking tool that is out there is blocked. Of course, we are aware this protection is just a speed bump. Anything that is in the hands of people, will be cracked eventually.” Rimage’s strategy is to always have two new versions on the shelf, so once this version is hacked, there will be a free update immediately available.
Rimage treats every disc that’s made as a unique entity rather than just a duplicated product. “We are publishing unique discs on demand. With the anti-rip technology, there is a slight variation on each anti-rip that goes out preventing or at least significantly delaying piracy. So, if you hack one, big deal ... you didn’t necessarily find the secret to hack all of the discs. Publishing a disc with Rimage Video Protect on it is a far better solution than mass replication. Further, if you combine Rimage Video Protect with watermarking, you can truly make every disc unique and traceable,” Suden explains.
To make the decision to use Rimage Video Protect even easier, Rimage has already included it as a menu option in its new 7.5 software. Ten free burns are also included so that customers can test for themselves. It is a pay-per-burn model; charging per disc, and it is also a full e-commerce. “We see this as a worldwide opportunity, and we didn’t want to send dongles around the world. Instead, customers will buy a group of credits at once. Then, they will log into our site with their own USB Memory Stick, and they’ll register an account for themselves. At that point, that USB Memory Stick will be converted into an encrypted dongle. When credits are purchased, those credits will go onto that dongle,” Sherman explains.
Plans for anti-rip protection for HD products plans are part of the road map, says Suden, but for not this anti-rip solution is a DVD-only product available as a component of existing Rimage production systems. Beginning this month, Rimage Video Protect will be integrated into the Producer III series and 5100/5200/5300 series digital publishing products.
Debbie Galante Block is a freelance writer based in Mahopac, New York.