How can I protect copying & sharing of videos I give to my students?

Ayman Mahamoud June 10, 2013
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I’m working as instructor and I offer downloadable video courses for my students. The files are protected using application named “All.In.One.Protector.” Of course the trial version since this application costs 1500 $ Per year. It works perfect since it prevents screenshots and also allows me to put an expiration date on the files.

My main problem is how to monitor the download of these files and how to prevent students from sharing the download links? Currently I’m using Dropbox, but I’m thinking to move my files to box.net or any other services.

Is there any application that performs the same function such as All.In.One.Protector, but a free or open source?

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  1. Tim Brookes
    June 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I think there's very little you can do to "protect" a file which you have given to someone, digitally. You might just want to operate on the basis where you can tell your students not to copy or share the materials, and have faith that they won't. In the same way that a photographer has faith a client won't simply photocopy a photograph (photographers rarely sell the rights to reproduce the photos), I think someone in your position must be bound by having a similar level of faith.

    As an instructor, I assume your students are mostly paying for your insight and hands-on approach, as well as personal time with a qualified individual. I am sure the videos are very useful, but if learning was that easy we'd all be using videos to learn everything from language to driving. So, even if your videos are shared online, there should still be a demand for your services. If anything, why not ensure that anyone who does download the videos online knows where they came from and how they can contact you should they be interested in your services too.

    I suppose another good question to ask would be: do you think you stand to lose more money than the price of expensive, restrictive software would cost you? I honestly don't think paying for such software is worth it, what if someone is able to circumvent the protection? You'll just end up wasting money!

  2. Leland Whitlock
    June 11, 2013 at 4:11 am

    You could use https://www.yousendit.com/ which will delete the file automatically after 7 days at least with the free account. The max file size is 2GB which is probably enough in most cases.

    • Ayman Mahamoud
      June 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      this service is blocked in my country , so i can't use it and it also provide a small file size , so it's not my best choice

  3. ha14
    June 10, 2013 at 9:14 am

    i doubt you can stop them from sharing download link.
    you can ask them to email you to request a download link, a link that will be expired after xxxhours.

    How to Protect Your Digital Download Products
    http://www.wikihow.com/Protect-Your-Digital-Download-Products

    • Tina Sieber
      June 10, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Sharing a link that will expire rather than one general download URL is a very good idea!

    • Patrick Jackson
      June 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Well, still you can't stop anyone to download the videos from that link and share it with others in some other way. Like reuploading it somehere else, maybe in their own Dropbox account.

    • ha14
      June 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      quite right protecting video against download and use is difficult if there is a copy out there in their hands. The only way is to ask students not to do that....

      even you do streaming video server they can record it?
      How to Protect Streaming Video From Being Stolen
      http://www.mediacollege.com/video/streaming/protect/

    • Ayman Mahamoud
      June 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      @ha14
      thanks for you help , actually I have made a shared folder using drop box and i add only selected students and also I prevent those students from sharing that folder , yet they can still access the files from direct link and share it .
      the main limitation in drop box that the shared folder can't be set to read only permission , it's only a read write which means the students can delete the files and add another files

    • Ayman Mahamoud
      June 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      @ha14
      thanks for you help , actually I have made a shared folder using drop box and i add only selected students and also I prevent those students from sharing that folder , yet they can still access the files from direct link and share it .
      the main limitation in drop box that the shared folder can't be set to read only permission , it's only a read write which means the students can delete the files and add another files

    • Ayman Mahamoud
      June 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      @Tina Sieber , i think this will be the best choice in addition to using box.net instead of drop box since it allow using read. write permission and so i can prevent them from deleting the files as they did many times

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