Intertrust Technologies Corporation announced on February 17th, 2016 that it has added session-based video watermarking capabilities from NexGuard to its ExpressPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) service. NexGuard watermarking technology allows copyright holders to identify the source of unauthorized distribution even after a movie leaves the encrypted digital domain of a DRM system. The accountability provided by NexGuard session-based watermarking has already proven effective in reducing the volume of video piracy, and will be a key aspect of content protection as the distribution of streaming video increases globally. ExpressPlay using Marlin DRM is currently the leading video DRM in rapidly growing markets such as China.

“Session-based watermarking is critically important, particularly in a large market such as China,” said Hanno Basse, CTO of 20th Century Fox. “ExpressPlay’s offering allows us to aggressively pursue new distribution opportunities that consumers want, such as early-window movie releases that are much closer to theatrical release dates, while appropriately managing the piracy risk that comes with them.”

ExpressPlay’s first watermarked deployment will support early-window TVOD and SVOD under a recently announced, exclusive licensing agreement between 20th Century Fox and iQiyi, the largest Internet and mobile video service provider in China.

NexGuard embeds imperceptible identifiers – or watermarks – in a video stream that may be detected at any time. The watermark is applied to a video as part of ExpressPlay’s cloud-based service before the video is deployed. NexGuard requires no client-side technology, and almost no change to the service provider’s ExpressPlay-based workflows.

“We are delighted to offer session-based watermarking to our content partners. Watermarking extends the reach of a DRM system by adding the power to track content after it has been decrypted,” said Talal G. Shamoon, Intertrust’s CEO and one of the early pioneers of digital watermarking. “We chose Civolution because we found its NexGuard watermarking to be best of breed, highly secure and robust in a variety of cases, and easy to use and integrate.”

ExpressPlay is used globally in a variety of video, audio and eBook services and has a significant market footprint in China. While China is an important early market for these features, ExpressPlay offers watermarking capabilities to all its users, and Intertrust expects global adoption as studios deploy more high-value content through the service.

“NexGuard is very excited to partner with Intertrust in expanding the use of watermarking to protect digital content,” said Harrie Tholen, NexGuard managing director and SVP Sales & Marketing. “The combination of our watermarking solution and Intertrust’s ExpressPlay cloud service represents a complete, forward-looking content protection solution.”

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