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Preventing Media Theft with an IP Geolocation Database

Since time immemorial, entertainment companies always had to contend with content theft. Bootleggers are nothing new in the industry, and their ways have evolved much along with technology.

These days, however, we see a new era of digital piracy that’s worse than the one we witnessed at the turn of the millennium. Torrent sites are no longer the only ones cannibalizing box office numbers and studio revenues—fake subscription and illegal streaming services are at fault, too. What’s interesting about these services is that apart from raking in millions, their content libraries are even more significant than their victims’.

For a while, digital rights management (DRM) has proven useful in combating piracy. However, it is not without challenges. In this post, we take a look at how companies can bolster their DRM strategies with the aid of an IP geolocation database.

What Is Digital Rights Management?

DRM refers to the technological approach and systems that content publishers implement to protect their copyrighted works. Such methods include using authentication keys, digital products, audit trails, security certificates, and access logs. All types of content in a persistent state, such as protected media, must be stored in a secure environment.

However, companies locate them in hostile environments for performance reasons. For instance, a viewer’s smartphone or computer would save audit logs to prevent choppy playback. Audit trails help them run in privileged mode, which prevents users from editing media files. Software with weak fault tolerance or vulnerabilities, however, may allow users to bypass access controls easily and permanently lift entire songs or media files.

How IP Geolocation Data Feed Helps with DRM

In DRM systems where persistent states are not viable, streaming providers can keep content safe in hostile networks with the help of cybersecurity tools. For example, digital media firms can enhance their DRM stack by adding the insights gathered from IP geolocation and IP netblocks WHOIS databases to their efforts.

An IP geolocation database provides information, such as an IP address’s ownership details, issuing registry, and autonomous system number (ASN). For accuracy, providers cull IP geolocation information from WHOIS, registry, and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) feeds and latency information.

So let’s say that Hulu, which does not provide content outside the U.S. finds the IP address 119[.]95[.]242[.]114 accessing its network. IP Geolocation Data Feed will identify that the IP address is Philippine-based.

In an example like this, with IP addresses coming from outside countries of operation, providers may automatically redirect users to their homepage, or display a warning that their services are not available in their region.

Other Use Cases for IP Geolocation and Netblock Data

Streaming companies can also rely on an IP geolocation database to deliver the best user experience for their subscribers. For instance, they can automatically adjust the video quality based on their users’ connection types to ensure smooth and uninterrupted content streaming.

What’s more, providers can block shady IP addresses with the aid of an IP geolocation database. Their security solutions fed with information from threat feeds can instantly notify them if users’ IP addresses (identified with the help of the database) have ties to malicious activities or attacks.

IP netblocks information, meanwhile, can be used to preemptively block entire IP ranges from accessing content, among other use cases. This approach should also work for content providers who only offer services in a limited number of countries.

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Mass lawsuits and ISP bans can only go so far in preventing Internet pirates from stealing content. Proactively placing role-based controls and threat intelligence solutions at endpoints and on physical and virtual servers may help users avoid content infringement better. That said, IP Geolocation and IP Netblocks WHOIS Data Feed are two valuable tools that should be part of any content provider’s DRM arsenal.

By WhoisXML API, A Domain Research, Whois, DNS, and Threat Intelligence API and Data Provider

Whois API, Inc. (WhoisXML API) is a big data and API company that provides domain research & monitoring, Whois, DNS, IP, and threat intelligence API, data and tools to a variety of industries.

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