Would you use a screwdriver to hammer a nail into a wall? Not very effective. It’s the wrong tool for the job. The same is true in the world of anti-piracy. You need the right tools and services for the different threats.

Understanding what you need
Online pirates are continually adapting. Unhindered by rules and regulations pirates move at internet speed. Too effectively fight online piracy means keeping up to date with their latest activities. For instance, we are seeing a rise in the use of app/plug-ins and devices such as Kodi, as well as online brand exploitation and increasing levels of OTT credential theft.

At the heart of defining your anti-piracy strategy is understanding the nature and threat that you face. A threat assessment completed by specialists is often a good place to start. By having insight into your specific threat landscape you’ll know what tools and services would be most applicable for your situation.

What to include in your toolbox?
As there’s no one size fits all approach, the exact combination of tools and services you need to include in your anti-piracy toolbox will vary. But let me share a couple of examples.

Pirate sites: Many pirate OTT services have a professional looking website. To a consumer’s untrained eye, it’s hard to distinguish a pirate site from a legitimate one.

Key elements in your toolbox here should be latest intelligence gathering and investigation capabilities to identify the sites as well as the intermediaries and entities involved in operating those sites. Enforcement options range from disrupting the pirate network via the intermediaries concerned: hosting sites, payment providers and advertisers to civil or criminal action against the identified pirate parties.

Live streaming: One of the main drivers is illegal sports streaming. Here, speed is the name of the game when it comes to fighting online pirates. After all the value of the sports content is at its highest while it is being broadcast.

Essential toolbox elements are forensic watermarking and an intelligence based approach combined with a scalable automated platform for the rapid identification and removal of the sites. The aim is to redirect illegal viewers to a legitimate platform to continue watching the game.

Your toolbox partner
When it comes to selecting a partner, my advice would be to ensure they have a combination of state of the art technology and proactive services. For example, worldwide enforcement and investigative services aimed at identifying and prosecuting the parties involved in large commercial streaming piracy networks. Make sure they have a proven security expertise across the global, not just in one region. After all online piracy is a highly sophisticated operation that often spans different countries and jurisdictions.

Online piracy is a growing, pandemic problem affecting all global pay-TV operators, content rights holders and consumers. Having a partner in your toolbox who can support you now but also in the future as the landscape changes is critical.