Imagine: You put your heart and your soul into crafting your online course. You do the research. You plan the structure. You get through the this-is-a-bit-awkward feeling of standing in front of the camera. And in the end you’re left with a course you can be proud of. With videos that engage your subscribers. With content that stands head and shoulders above the rest. With a course that sells.
Now imagine the heart-sinking, panic-inducing, brain-melting horror when you discover that your course has turned up on another platform. Subscriptions will dwindle as students go elsewhere to view your content. Someone has stolen it, and they’re making money from your course.
Money that should be yours. Out of content that is yours. Content you slaved away at through moments of doubt, through countless uncertainties until finally, elated, you made it through to the other side.
Content theft and piracy is a very real, very alarming threat. Many online courses suffer from hackers, seeking to use the course for their own ends. Whether it’s subscribers illegally downloading the course to spread among their friends so nobody has to pay. Or, even more sinister, pirates looking to make a quick buck from your hard earned content.
It’s soul destroying when it happens to you.
Take Rob Conery, founder of BigMachine & Tekpub. He discovered one of his courses on a rival platform (despite it being copyrighted). 993 students had enrolled.
“We’re not talking about cat pictures, we’re talking about hours of very hard work that they sell for a nice profit” – Rob Conery.
Or Troy Hunt, who discovered his online course on Udemy under the name ‘Roy H.’. And very publicly called the platform out.
Stunned that @udemy is selling a pirated copy of my course under another author's name. Keep that in mind when choosing where to learn from.
— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) November 27, 2015
In fact, a study by Learnyst found just how widespread content piracy really is:
- Approximately 70% of Internet users find content piracy acceptable
- Around 20% of global Internet bandwidth is used for streaming, uploading & downloading pirated content
- Around $50 billion in potential income is lost worldwide thanks to copyright infringement
If you work hard you deserve to profit from it. And nobody else.
The situation can usually be remedied (Udemy apologized and removed the offending courses in what must have been a PR nightmare for them). But why put yourself through all that stress?
The trick is to never let it get this far in the first place. You need to put safeguards in place to secure your videos, right from the get go.
Of course, whenever you put something out there on the Internet you run the risk that it can be stolen. Nothing online is 100% secure and be wary of services that claim to be (they’re lying). If somebody really, really, realllly wants it they’ll likely be able to rip your video and use it for their own ends.
But why make it easy for them? You can deter the vast majority of wanna-be hackers with some simple video security tools. A secure video hosting platform should have these as standard:
- Encrypted Streaming
- Domain Control
- USS Signed Keys
- Password Protection
- Video Scheduling