Cisco Creates System To Clamp Down On Video Piracy

watching video PC

Bootleggers beware, as Cisco touts system to take down growing threat of pirated video content

The days of watching a live stream of pirated TV and movie content could be numbered thanks to a new system from Cisco.

The development comes as the tech industry seeks ways to help Hollywood Studios and TV channels protect their content from the ever increasing amount of video piracy.

Pirated Content

Pirate flag closeupCisco promised its system will automatically close down live streaming private networks and the “illegal redistribution of content on the open internet.”

The networking giant points out that online video piracy is becoming one of the most significant threats facing Pay TV service providers.

It says that previously bootleggers used to concentrate on offering pirate live streams of large sporting events, but now they are increasingly offering “whole channel packages into smart devices (mobile, tablet, smart TVs), IPTV set-top boxes, and plug-ins for video streamers and other such devices.”

It pointed to stats from piracy monitoring specialist Friend MTS, which found that in the last month it had found over 12,000 unique instances of HD channels on pirate services, being sourced from Pay TV service providers around the world. Remember, this is HD content alone, not standard definition content.

To tackle the pirates, Hollywood Studios and Pay TV channels have relied on issuing legal notices (known as ‘DMCA notices’), but these often prove ineffective when pirate services can stream huge amounts of content very quickly, or alternative move their servers to another geographic location.

Cisco did admit that “escalation to infrastructure providers works to an extent, but the process is often slow as the pirate services will likely provide the largest revenue source for many of the platform providers in question.”


So Cisco is calling for a new paradigm for dealing with illegal redistribution of content.

It said that its Streaming Piracy Prevention (SPP) service “utilises technology to locate illegal redistribution of content on the open internet and closed pirate networks.”

“Using a forensic watermark it identifies the subscriptions/sessions used to source the content, and shuts down the source through the video security system – all in real-time,” blogged Cisco. “The process is fully automated, ensuring a timely response to incidents of piracy.”

“Gone are the days of sending a legal notice and waiting to see if anyone will answer; SPP acts without the need to involve or gain cooperation from any third parties, enabling an unmatched level of cross-device retransmission prevention and allowing service providers to take back control of their channels, to maximize their revenue,” wrote Cisco.

The firm said that it had partnered with Friend MTS (FMTS) to put their respective technologies to work. It will use FMTS’s piracy monitoring capabilities to feed the Cisco SPP service with real-time pirated video feeds found on the open Internet. Once found, these leaks be shut down.

Video Future

sky q app ui carCisco of course made its reputation in the networking sphere. However increased competition from the likes of Hauwei and other networking rivals forced it to examine other markets.

It is a noted player in the video conferencing sector and many years ago identified video as one of its core markets going forward.

Indeed, Cisco is already helping to power Sky Q TV service, after it revealed earlier this year that is targeting broadcasters with its ‘Infinite’ range of cloud software.

In October 2015, Cisco acquired 1 Mainstream, whose cloud-based video platform allows broadcasters to quickly launch live and on-demand services on a variety of devices, with content viewed seamlessly across multiple end points.

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