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Old December 10th, 2005, 09:29 AM   #1
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Password protection for video subscriptions

I have a client that wants to sell video training to his clients to support their software. He does not want to stream the video but instead to have them either download the file or access it with a disk. The ideal scenario would be that the client purchases an annual subscription from them for access to this video support. There also needs to be multi-level password protection. For example they don't want everyone in the company to watch the video that teaches them how to write company cheques.

So the first question is, does a program currently exist for a scenario like this?

If not, what programs have password capabilities and can contain embedded video (i.e. .swf or .mov)?

Or, any other possible solutions?

Any help is appreciated - thanks in advance.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 09:59 AM   #2
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It's certainly straightforward to do this on a web server running Apache using the built-in functionality of the password file. You can easily restrict access to different directories on your site, then offer whatever you like on web pages at those locations. Another approach for simple downloads would be an FTP server on a unix/linux box where you could create individual user accounts and directories. Or use a combination of these two techniques where password protected web pages contain links to FTP directories.

Of course this all assumes some knowledge of HTML and unix system admin. Personally I'm an old-style unix type who codes HTML by hand in the vi text editor. I haven't kept up with site building tools, but I'm sure there are some out there which would automate the process. And if you sign up with a commercial web hosting company they will probably even offer some kind of web-driven simple user interface to aid in setting up accounts and permissions. I use olm.net to host a couple sites and they offer this kind of thing, although I don't use it myself. I'm sure there are plenty of others to choose from as well.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #3
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the best way to handle this situation is probably with windows media drm(digital rights management)... it can password-protect the downloadable video file itself, so that it only plays on one computer... his clients should probably password-protect the computer that has the video file on it, if they don't want unauthorized personnel to watch the video... the latter is done easily with windows xp, when the computer first boots up, it requires a password to finish booting.

he would encode the video file with the drm turned on, then put it in a downloadble format, maybe .zip? it can then be served off of any website... when the end user first tries to watch it, the windows media player will go out on the 'net and check in with a windows media drm server, so that the file gets authorized to play on just the computer that it's residing on.

i would suggest googling up "windows media drm", there are a number of companies that offer drm services for as low as 500 files/mo. authorization, for $25??
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Old December 10th, 2005, 08:24 PM   #4
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I remember seeing a company (there are a few) that managed subscriptions for you. They processed credit card each cycle, and reauthorized users. Not sure how hard the interface was, but I think it was a couple of lines on each protected page. They might have some ideas for you, or maybe just let them manage it???

Can't remember the company name, but a LOT of their business was porn sites. Try to google "porn subscription processing" or maybe just "recurring payment processing" or similar.

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Old December 11th, 2005, 07:41 AM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks for all of your good suggestions, much appreciated. The Windows Media DRM looks promising except I haven't found anyone in the $25 range only $200, so if you remember who the $25 company is, please let me know.

The good news is that this clients creates custom software so they are code savy, which should be helpful. Will let you know what we end up doing. Thanks again.
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Old December 11th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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http://www.ezdrm.com/

$19.95/mo. for 5,000 licenses

i had several links similar to that, but i lost 'em all in a hard drive crash a couple of months ago... be sure and search google groups(usenet) as well for other drm providers.

please let us know who you end up with, and how it all worked out.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #7
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Thanks, ezdrm.com looks very promising. I've submitted the info to the client and will let you know the results although it might be a few weeks. Thanks again for everyone's input.
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