Studio Canal Goes To Nagra For Protection Of International Content Distribution

Studio Canal, the part of the French Canal+ group responsible for international feature films and TV series, has deployed NexGuard forensic watermarking technology from Kudelski’s Nagra to protect international distribution of its content.

One reason for choice was that the watermarking technology was tightly integrated into the transcoders, according to Kudelski. This made the deployment easier and now allows Studio Canal to embed a unique, imperceptible and robust watermark in each pre-release content asset before its international distribution.

“The addition of NexGuard watermarking gives us the peace of mind that our valuable content remains protected during its downstream distribution, by deterring anyone from leaking content as any potential leak can be traced back to its source,” said Jean-Pierre Boiget, Head of Distribution Services at Studio Canal. “This enhanced content security also allows an increased time window for promotional and marketing activities by our international distributors, and ultimately contributes to the protection of our creative industry.”

As Jean-Philippe Plantevin, Vice-President, Nagra Anti-Piracy, noted, leaks in pre-release and distribution workflows have substantial economic consequences, allowing him to argue that Studio Canal must protect its assets at the time and place where they are most valuable. Content can be pirated at any point in its lifecycle, including during production, post-production, promotion, contribution, distribution and at the point of consumption. In order to fight commercial piracy, it is therefore important to be able to mark content at different stages of the lifecycle so that the source of a content leak can be identified quickly and efficiently wherever it occurred. Only then can effective anti-piracy action be taken.

Kudelski Nagra is a relatively recent entrant into the forensic watermarking field compared with rivals in content protection such as Verimatrix and Irdeto. However, as it became clear this was going to become an essential tool for combating piracy the company moved swiftly to close this gap by acquiring Dutch specialist in the field NexGuard Labs in July 2016.

Formerly called Civolution, NexGuard already had mature watermarking technology deployed by some pay TV operators, covering pre-release and Digital Cinema, as well as contribution and final distribution. Civolution in turn was formed in October 2008 as a spin-off from Royal Philips Electronics.

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