Higher resolutions and increasing broadband bandwidth are combining to deliver a perfect storm for content owners that is opening a new front in the ongoing battle against piracy. In the early days of pay TV the main threat came from cloning, where a pirate replicates part of a device’s software or hardware such that control words can then be extracted and used to decrypt content.
Then the arrival of mass broadband services shifted the balance of risk towards control word sharing, where a pirate discovers a common key used to decrypt the content and distributes it, typically via the Internet. But now a third wave of piracy is breaking as increasing bandwidth combined with ever higher resolutions is making it feasible for pirates to acquire high quality content, often legitimately, and then redistribute it over the Internet.
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