NAB Reflections: Nagra Embraces Comprehensive Approach for Battling Piracy

The company combines technology with investigative and legal efforts

Nagra has moved to bring together what were previously two separate efforts: the historic business of protecting content distributed in cinemas and protecting content being delivered via set-top boxes or streaming.

“We now have one entity, and it makes a lot of sense because they are intertwined,” says Jean-Philippe Plantevin, VP, products and services, Nagra anti-piracy and NexGuard, Nagra Kudelski. “And it is very clear that sports[-content creators] are starting to understand what the movie industry has known for some time: you have to look at piracy on a global basis.”

Nagra’s Jean-Philippe Plantevin says the company’s combination of technologies and legal clout make a difference when fighting piracy.

Featured solutions include NAGRA CONNECT, the hybrid CAS/DRM client for connected networks and devices, and the NAGRA Security Services Platform, the cloud-based, modular, scalable CAS and multi-DRM command center for the modern multi-network operator. Services include watermarking by NexGuard, helping both service providers and content owners create a closed-loop approach to combating piracy: secure, mark, monitor, detect, identify, and act.

According to Plantevin, the Nagra Kudelski offering comprises not only the technology, like watermarking and DRM, but also the investigative and legal aspects.

“The combination makes us interesting partners, and we are also working with alliances that give us a lot of experience,” he says. “We’ve won cases where the intent of the set-top box is distributing pirated content, and you need a legal case to show that.”

The impact of piracy on the industry is more complex than ever. For example, the most obvious impact is a loss of subscription or PPV fees as consumers steal the stream. But there is actually a double whammy: the stolen streams put a demand on the bandwidth, leading to a degradation of the quality of the signal that legal, paying customers receive.

“Piracy hurts the entire chain,” notes Plantevin.

Today’s anti-piracy efforts involve watermarking that allows the content to be traced from contribution to distribution and focusing on the large pirated pay networks. One strategy is to degrade the quality of the pirated service.

“You want to make sure it is degraded so it is not of interest anymore,” he explains. “It’s a complex job but important for the industry to mix watermarking, monitoring, and certain takedowns, block the host servers and domains, but also analyze the networks of the pirated sites.”

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