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RealTime IT News

Taking On Streaming Piracy

After two years of working under the ambiguous name of Internet Direct Media, with few people outside of the company aware what they were doing, WideVine Technologies today announced the release of their first product, The WideVine Cypher, at the Digital Hollywood Conference in Los Angeles.

The release of the product brings what WideVine executives believe will be a revolution in streaming media.

"There's been this glaring gap between technologies and the needs of content providers, and this company is simply focused on bridging that gap," says Brian Baker co-founder and president of WideVine. "Media Cypher provides a true, secure, multi-format, multi-platform streaming solution that allows content providers to use the Internet to its true capacity."

The Cypher product, which sits outsides the streaming server, encrypts data on the fly, and provides a decryption module and client-side security features on the fly as overhead on the stream.

The result of this technology is an end-to-end secure stream, with no plug-in to download, and no noticeable change to the consumer.

"WideVine Cypher provides industry-leading security for preventing piracy of streaming media on the Internet," says John Beyer, CEO of WideVine. "At the same time it's fully compatible with all major streaming technologies, and is virtually transparent to content providers and end users."

Format independence and Bellevue-based WideVine's product's ability to run on the stream are its two major points of differentiation from the other two companies in the space, Passage and RPK. Both of whose products currently require client downloads as plug-ins for the RealPlayer, only support REAL format, and reside on the server.

"They have been working on digital rights management solution for digital downloads," says the WideVine president. "The notion of streaming security is a much more difficult solution to solve."

The environment envisioned by the team at WideVine is one where all streaming media, from digital downloads to videoconferences, will have a level of security similar to that of an ATM.

The technology used on Cypher, adds code to the stream to secure both the end-to-end stream and the playback.

"Currently when content is distributed it can be capture anywhere along its route, or rerouted anywhere, and can also be captured at the client machine," says Baker. "We secure this transmission through a very strong form of encryption, and are also constantly monitoring the client, and looking for known hacks that would allow someone to save those packets to disks."

According to Baker the uses for the product are countless.

"From a content providers perspective, it's an absolutely critical tool in the subscription service arena, it's a critical tool in providing access to valuable content on a non-subscription basis and it's also prime importance to anybody trying to transfer sensitive communications via the Internet," says Baker.

The company's executives are very excited about the possibilities the Cypher product holds. They chose the Digital Hollywood conference for the release, because of the great number of large content companies.

"Digital Hollywood has attendees that include almost all the major content providers as well as the premiere Internet streaming media companies and infrastructure providers, which covers a lot of beta clients, partners and potential customers," says Baker.

The company has already arranged a number of major partnerships with beta customers, whose names will be released later this week.

According to company executives, among the partners are major production companies.