By Lucila Kominsky, Product Marketing Manager, NAGRA.
Until recently, digital pirates have used both peer-to-peer sites and cyberlockers to upload and share pirated content. But as Internet connection speeds have increased, the piracy landscape has changed, and the appearance of streaming content has proliferated. In a mobile world where people use their favorite apps every day, unlicensed streaming is now the biggest threat, as it reaches a much larger audience. Thus, online video piracy has grown and the wide availability of consumer streaming solutions, such as streaming boxes and live streaming apps, has irrevocably changed the content industry. While these technological developments have helped content owners in many ways, they have simultaneously helped pirates introduce new forms of illegal redistribution that threaten sports rights holders, movie studios, television networks and pay-TV operators.
Looking at one specific example, Mobdro is an online free video stream application for Android phones and tablets. Mobdro searches the web for free video streams and displays them easily and conveniently to the user. There is nothing unlawful about an app acting as a search engine for free legal video content, but apps like Mobdro also provide many illegally streamed channels of unlicensed content whose legitimate owners have not authorized it, and who lose money because of Modbro’s use.
In this context, NAGRA conducted a recent analysis to further understand how the Mobdro app behaves and how it is related to the illegal distribution and sharing of copyrighted content. The focus of the analysis was to identify the servers providing the list of available channels as well as which content was being illegally redistributed. The report was done for a NAGRA client who perceived the app as a potential threat to their business and wanted to better understand and quantify the harm it was causing them.
Our Anti-Piracy Services team analyzed the pirate application and quickly produced a detailed report. The information gathered provided enough insight for effective monitoring of the streaming services. Furthermore, the identification of the IP addresses used by the app and its API provides enough evidence to either be used in legal proceedings or to perform efficient take-downs. The report and its recommendations provided NAGRA’s client with a specific list of follow-up actions that could be taken to put a stop to the use of this app and others like it.
NAGRA’s holistic, end-to-end approach to content value protection helps our clients proactively fight illegal content sharing and return consumer spending to the legitimate value chain. With our Intelligence Portal, customers get a real-time view of worldwide online piracy trends, threat statuses, news and in-depth reports, as well as quick and easy access to a thorough fully ranked list of pirate services and the negative impact they have.