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Cisco wants to kill pirate video streams

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Cisco has partnered with a UK-based company to develop a new technology that it says could prove far more effective at stopping illegal online streaming of content than the current DMCA takedown system.

According to Cisco, the company has joined up with Friend MTS to build a watermarking system for video streams that could help curb the rise of pirated HD content available online, particularly for live events, by allowing the automatic disabling of unauthenticated streams.

In a nutshell, the Streaming Piracy Prevention (SPP) system works by allowing companies to use invisible watermarks to identify the source of the pirated content, which it can then shut down to prevent redistribution online or via hacked set-top boxes.

"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," Cisco said in a post.

The focus of the platform is cutting out high-quality and live streams, which Cisco says is a growing problem. In the last month, it claims to have identified 12,000 unique instances of HD channels on pirated sources.

Naturally, given the 'cat and mouse' game between infringers and copyright holders, it's likely not a fix for all the industry's piracy woes, but side-stepping a slow DMCA takedown procedure could well make it harder for pirates, despite running the risk of potentially taking down a legitimate stream if a mistake is made.

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Do you think pirate live streams are harming content providers or are the risks to the industry overstated? Let us know below!

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