iOS 11 Screen Recording and Video Piracy Concerns

By Steve Biondolillo on Oct 04 2017 at 2:45 PM
Apple has added a new screen recording feature in iOS11 that makes it easy for users to record a video playing on an iOS device. This feature includes enabling recording of audio and video during playback, no matter what video player you’re using, when not using DRM encryption. 
 
While this feature has been well received by consumers for its general utility, it has created a lot of concerns and headaches for publishers.
 
So what can you do?
 
We are in communication with Apple about the issue and remedies, but unfortunately options are somewhat limited today. 
 
Currently, the only remedy that effectively blocks recording of video content is to utilize FairPlay DRM on videos that play on iOS devices. This is only applicable however with native iOS applications, as the Safari Mobile browser does not support DRM.
 
If adding DRM is not possible, here are your current options:
 
iOS Applications: While there is no way to prevent screen recording on iOS 11 native apps, there are new APIs on UIScreen for native iOS applications that can be used to detect when the screen is being captured. You can then take appropriate steps to prevent recording, whether that’s stopping playback and notifying viewers or simply logging that a recording took place.
 
Mobile Web: For playback on Safari Mobile, there does not appear to be a way to block the iOS 11 feature for recording video playback, nor is there a method for programmatically detecting that screen recording is occurring within a web page. We will continue to look for a solution here. As noted above, FairPlay DRM is not supported on Safari Mobile so there are currently no DRM options to block recording of video in the Safari Mobile environment.
 
If you’d like more information, please see our Ooyala Community post. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
 
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