Embedding premium video in social streams
Abstract: Digital videos are a sequence of bits encoded in a universal recognized format. Bits are easy to copy, duplicate and reproduce. However, certain videos have a very high financial value and therefore the respective owners want to protect them according to the Copyright law, in order to acquire the exclusive rights to publish and to reproduce them. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the technology used nowadays to protect video distribution and to maintain at the same time a complete control over the usage of the owned resources. Another actual phenomenon is the increasing number of social users, in all the different age ranges. Since social networks are moving towards becoming publishing platforms and many allow third party applications and integration, the project aims to achieve a safe and secure integration of DRM protected videos into social media. In fact, as now this kind of videos are accessible only from proprietary applications, after the payment of a subscription. The major challenges that prevent an easy integration of these technologies are represented by the poor APIs offered by social networks and a market fragmentation created by the existence of several DRM systems and Adaptive Bitrate protocols. After an extensive analysis of video streaming technologies and social networks, we chose Facebook as social network of reference and we described both the backend architecture and the frontend requirements of a web application aiming to stream DRM protected videos in Facebook. However, the solution has to face the following impediments: the impossibility to embed DRM technologies in social mobile platforms and to show protected video content directly from the social News Feed. To this extent, we proposed two alternative solutions by looking at the problem from the social network point of view. Finally, in order to evaluate the quality and the utility of the proposed web application, we conducted a user experience test. The results pointed out a diffuse interest and appreciation. However, the two drawbacks mentioned above are perceived as a negative factor. The proposed application results instead portable on all the desktop browsers and on the 90 percent of social mobile platforms.
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