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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Preventing promo videos from being downloaded and saved (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rimbaud
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I was hoping someone could help me with a technical question about web design.

I'm in the process of putting together a web site to send potential customers to, and on it, naturally, I plan to have a few promotional videos of myself in action.

I'm not using YouTube (can't stand it). I'm just hosting the .AVIs on the server. Obviously, when you right click a video link, one of your choices is "Save Target As" so you can save the file locally.

Now, the videos are just normal performance vids and it isn't like I think I'm doing anything particularly groundbreaking or anything, but, given a choice, I would just as soon have these videos be viewable only, and not be downloadable. I'd like to retain some control over what happens to the files themselves. (In other words, I don't want them on YouTube.)

I'm still just stumbling my way through the HTML and I have no idea if this is possible or not.

Does anyone know the technique for making them viewable only?

If I put the video files on a server and set the permissions for that file, or that folder read-only, will that solve the problem? or is there some other way?

Thanks!
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
Spellbinder
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The trick seems to be to convert them to flash videos. So far your average hacker seems unable to copy them in that format. Of course, there is always the old "set the camcorder focused on the computer screen and videotape them live," but that would be too much like work for all but the most determined hacker.
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Rimbaud
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You know, I hadn't thought of converting them to flash. I should give that a try.

Thanks!
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
Micheal Leath
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Quote:
On 2007-11-09 12:54, Spellbinder wrote:
The trick seems to be to convert them to flash videos. So far your average hacker seems unable to copy them in that format. Of course, there is always the old "set the camcorder focused on the computer screen and videotape them live," but that would be too much like work for all but the most determined hacker.


Last I checked it was easy to download flash as well. There are free programs that do it and are very simple to use. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=na......h+videos
Rimbaud
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Oops. Back to the drawing board...
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
Micheal Leath
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I think you are going to have a tough time doing what you want to do. It is said that if you can watch it, then you can copy or download it. Most the methods used to download or copy video are very simple.
Banester
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That is correct, if you can watch it there are ways to copy it. There are many capture types of software out there. While your average computer user is not going to have that software or want to purchase it there will be a few of them here and there. Flash is your best choice though, so anything to keep more people at bay the better!
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
kaigan
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Bit technical on the web side, but you might embed the video rather than link directly to it (via the embed, object, or similar tag) and configure the server to not allow access to video files directly.

Not sure what server your site is running, or if you have access to its config files, but typically you can limit access to only certain file extensions (.html, .php, etc) and anything else will show as forbidden.

Won't stop recording or very determined visitors but will stop the most widespread methods of downloading.
Spellbinder
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Try hacking into a few flash videos yourself using some of these free products and you can see for yourself how easy or difficult it is, then evaluate if that's the method you want to use. If it is truly free and truly easy, then forget it. But you're dealing with magicians who want to steal secrets. If there are no secrets to steal (you only show the finales to tricks, for example, and leave out any steps leading to the finale that might give away information) they will move on to easier targets.
Professor Spellbinder

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http://www.magicnook.com

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Rimbaud
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Thanks, everyone, for the advice.

I'm probably just being a bit overly cautious--like I said earlier, it isn't like the videos are anything particularly special--I just tend to be a bit of a control freak.

Thanks, again.
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
ScottRSullivan
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Ok. Here's just a few comments.

First, companies like NBC spend a fortune trying to prevent you from "keeping" the video you watch and, thus, forcing you to visit their site to watch.

As several have pointed out in this thread, all videos can be downloaded with hacks. Think about it. In order to WATCH the video, you must have those frames downloaded through the magic pipes called the Internet and delivered to your computer's hard drive and displayed on your screen. There are MANY places along that pipe where someone can copy the video.

Yes, Flash video will make it harder to copy the video, but as was mentioned, there are many solutions around this and will only slow the determined download by a few minutes.

All "copy protection" does is place restrictions on the viewer. Which brings me to my main point.

Let your video be downloaded. Let it be free. Face it, the world of video is changing. People are watching video in places never imagined 10 years ago. We watch video on our iPhones, iPods, cell phones, desktop computers, laptops, PSPs, XBoxes, televisions and much more.

Media wants to be portable. And more and more people are wanting to take their media with them to watch and share with others.

So why not let them download it to their PSP/iPod/cell phone and let them share your video. That's the whole point about viral marketing. Just attach a slate at the end with your website and a "For more videos please visit ......" or even place a watermark with your site's address on the entire video at the bottom of the screen.

Want proof that this works? Just look at NBC's recent action. They were on iTunes. People watched shows while at the club working out. Now NBC makes you watch on their website only. Sorry, but I don't carry a laptop around with me to the club when I work out. I'm NOT going to watch a show sitting at my computer.

Sorry to go off an a long post like this, but I felt that we are in a shifting world and people are watching media in a much different way today. We should be taking advantage of all the wonderful ways to start a viral buzz around you.

Good luck!
Scott
Tina I
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What's the difference between someone downloading the file and someone reloading the page a hundred times... except stick you with the bandwidth usage? As for flash it's as easy as adding a plugin to the Firefox browser. One click and you're offered to download the flash animations on the page.

I agree with Scott, let your files be free and shareable. And if it's a promo video wouldn't you benefit from people downloading and share it? Isn't restricting promotion material a bit counter productive?

Whatever you decide, good luck! Hope you'll get loads of new customers Smile

Tina
Rimbaud
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Scott and Tina, Thanks! You both make very good points--there really isn't any good business reason to try to limit the access, is there? I figured I was just being a bit of a control freak, again.

I really appreciate the advice.

Dan
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
palaceguard
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I also agree with using a watermark on the video. And, as Tina I pointed out, it is free advertising without you paying for the extra bandwidth.

Good luck.
gfdiamond
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Hi,

if you don't want anyone to see your showreel or distribute it, why make one?

I think a showreel should be seen by and downloaded to as many people as possible.

we will host your showreel for free on our magic tv channel at http://www.tvmagicians.com

just like many others have done and its a great way of getting your act noticed.

regards,

geoff Harrison
http://www.tvmagcians.com
Check me out on Google. Geoff Diamond Magician.
ClintonMagus
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I like to download and save particularly good promo videos just to watch later, or to get ideas (not to copy) for prop finishes, lighting, stage setup, theming, etc.

If I were you, I would be more worried if no one WANTED to download my promos...
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
The Burnaby Kid
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There's no way around it. In order for the video to be viewable, you have to deliver video data to the person on the receiving end. Whether it's a whole file or chunks, they still get the data on their end, and if the format becomes popular it's only a matter of time before somebody can figure out a way to make self-contained videos out of it.

Honestly, I think if you've got a good product and you want to keep things secretive, the only way to deal with this is twofold. First, don't show a complete demo video. Show the reactions, use the best angles, edit out the get ready, whatever. Second, get in touch with reputable reviewers and get them to testify as to the quality of the DVD, and to talk about what's missing from any promo videos. If your product is good, ideally they'll know why you edited it out, and be able to assure potential consumers that the effect is good and the stuff not in the promo video is immaterial in a live performance situation.
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Futureal
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You can't do it. If you put a video on your site it is able to be downloaded. No matter if it's YouTube, a direct link to an .avi or .mpg, RealVideo, Flash, whatever.

More to the point - why care if someone downloads it? The only people who would do that would be magicians, but only if you've got something really worth stealing.

Just put your video on and don't worry about it.
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