Online piracy has economic consequences far beyond income loss for companies in the entertainment sector. Despite laws that protect the digital rights of entertainment streaming providers, e-book publishers, and online game developers, media theft remains on the rise. One way to combat this problem is by using location data gleaned from a geolocation database download service with purposes such as:
- Enhancing digital rights management (DRM) systems
- Limiting user access rights and privileges
- Location-based website redirection
Let’s take a closer look at each of these purposes one by one:
1. Digital Rights Management with a Geolocation Database Download
When a user requests to access DRM-protected contents, it passes through the DRM license server, which scrutinizes user data against its database. If the license server confirms the user has viewing rights and his/her data is valid (e.g., correct username and password and corresponding subscription plan), then the content is decrypted, letting the user view it.
Therefore, someone in Asia could access any content, even those that are licensed for U.S. distribution only as long as he/she provides the correct login credentials and has the right subscription plan.
However, enhancing DRM with IP geolocation will prompt the license server to check the user’s location data and other vital information, too. As such, users can only view media content that is legally available in their respective locations. You can see this implemented famously on Netflix. For instance, U.S. subscribers of the streaming service provider have a different video library from those in other countries.
When someone with the IP address 188[.]176[.]250[.]143 tries to access Netflix U.S., he/she is unlikely to be allowed to do so. The DRM license server would find out through the IP geolocation database that the user behind the IP address is located in Tranbjerg, Denmark.
2. Limit User Privileges with an IP Geolocation Database
IP geolocation data is widely used to enhance user access management (UAM). For instance, Salesforce clients can specify a range of IP addresses allowed to access salesforce[.]org. They can also specify trusted IP ranges that users can use to log in without additional verification. These IP ranges can be obtained from an IP geolocation database.
In the same way, media publishers and producers can use a geolocation database download to restrict what users can do when they access content. Are they allowed to download or share files? Users can further specify trusted IP ranges (IP addresses of authorized content distributors) permitted to download or share content. Those that do not fall under the trusted IP ranges are categorized as end-users and should only have viewing rights.
3. Geolocation Database Download Use in Website Redirection
To further prevent media theft, media producers such as streaming sites, e-book publishers, and gaming developers can configure location-based website redirection. When a user located in an unserviceable area visits the website, they would be redirected automatically to a page that says, “Service is not available in your area.”
Sony’s Crackle is an example of a geolocation redirection user. When visiting its website using the IP address 2001[:]4454[:]6cc[:]2b00[:]553d[:]29eb[:]8f5c[:]cef8, an overseas IPv6 address, the following page would greet the user:
Location-based website redirection also makes web content personalization more convenient and effective.
Media theft is a real problem. What’s more, the entertainment industry isn’t the only one that suffers from its economic impact. Experts estimate that video piracy alone has resulted in a domestic revenue loss of almost US$30 billion, and a loss of 230,000 jobs (in the U.S. alone). Using providers like https://ip-geolocation.whoisxmlapi.com/ to prevent media theft can help reduce these losses.