If you are a course creator or are thinking about becoming one, one of your biggest concerns is probably:
What if someone simply steals my courses?
What if someone illegally downloads, shares, and resells my content without my knowledge?
I understand how you feel.
You put a lot of time and effort into creating an online course. You want to protect it from piracy so that you can continue to earn revenue from it.
Once your content is published online, it is vulnerable to being stolen, copied, or accessed by people who have not paid for it.
That is a fact, and I will explain why in layman’s terms, as well as how to deal with it in the best way possible.
While there is no guaranteed way to completely prevent piracy, there are many things you can do as a course creator to make it far more difficult for people to pirate your online course.
In today’s article, we’ll go over a few simple ways to avoid digital piracy and keep your online course content from being shared without your permission.
Why Is Digital Piracy Still Unresolved?
This is a problem that is largely unsolved, and it affects not only the online course industry, but also much larger industries such as the film and music industries.
Even the largest video streaming platforms from the world’s largest companies are not immune to this problem, no matter how many billions they spend trying to solve it.
The truth is that it is still simple to download content from platforms like Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime once you have logged in and have access to the content.
If you can watch the content, it means that the content is no longer encrypted, at least on your computer, right?
Before it can be displayed on a monitor, the content must first be decrypted.
And it is at that precise moment that the content is vulnerable to theft.
The theft can be carried out using more or less sophisticated technology, such as easily installable software. It could be as simple as recording the content on your screen.
And no company in the world can do anything about it; it’s an unsolved problem.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.
Here are some simple techniques to try.
1: Use Heights Secure Course Hosting Platform.
Learnyst Platform is an online course software that provides a safe environment for your content and videos. When you upload a video inside a lesson, Learnyst automatically protects it so that it cannot be embedded or played outside of your program.
This means that only students who submitted their information, created accounts, and paid for your online course will be able to access it.
Furthermore, videos you upload to Learnsyt Platform cannot be downloaded; they can only be viewed.
Learnsyt Platform also protects your digital downloads by not displaying any public or private URL for the download file, preventing students from sharing a link for downloading with others. You can also see which IP addresses downloaded a product from a particular account.
These are some of the safeguards we employ to safeguard your intellectual property.
- Every Learnyst student who enrolls in your course receives their own unique ID and password. This can be used to access the course from both the desktop and mobile, saving them from having to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
- Every URL associated with your course will be available for a limited time only, adding an extra layer of security to your courses.
- L1 DRM, the most recent encryption technology, protects all of your content. This includes videos, PDFs, and other types of files. Learnyst completely prevents unauthorized access and usage.
- Learnyst, like any other secure website, uses OTP to detect any suspicious behavior, such as multiple logins.
- Your content cannot be shared to a secondary screen in the form of screenshots or screencasts from any mobile device.
- All of your links are HTTPS links, which are encrypted and more secure than HTTP links.
2: Make your course as interactive as possible.
Making your course interactive is a great way to protect your online course while also providing a fantastic learning experience to your rightful students.
This entails providing more than just content (video lessons, text, PDFs, etc. ), but also more interactions with your students that only you can provide. If your course is highly interactive, the student’s experience will be unique.
Your course is far more valuable than any video or content you upload. A community, projects, one-on-one support, assignments, and gamification tools such as points and badges would be unavailable to someone who watched a screen-recorded video of your content (as an example).
3: Use Talking Head Videos
Another method for protecting your online course from piracy is to create talking head videos.
Talking head videos, for those who are unfamiliar, are recordings in which you show yourself on the screen directly speaking to your audience.
This could also be an effective method of preventing online theft because anyone watching the video will be able to tell that it belongs to you, which may prevent people from stealing your content in the first place.
You can even include your name, brand name, or any other pertinent information about yourself at the beginning or end of your course videos.
Keep your website’s address and logo there at all times so that even if someone decides to steal or copy your content, it is still easy to identify it, viewers will still see you and your information and may even click on your website link to buy directly from you.
Talking head videos, in addition to protecting your course, can be extremely beneficial for online course engagement.
Because your students can see your face, it is much easier for them to follow your instructions and pay attention to what you say.
4: Use Watermarks
One of the most common and effective ways to protect your online course from piracy is to use watermarks. A watermark is a mark or lettering that can be added as a precautionary measure to any digital content.
It is usually transparent to avoid distorting the visual content.
As a course creator, you can use this on any of your course content, including images, videos, downloads, and so on.
More interestingly, you can add flair to this by creating a one-of-a-kind watermark with your name, brand’s logo, learner information, website URL, or a combination of these.
This adds personality and a sense of ownership to your content, which may deter piracy or theft.
Even if your content is illegally shared, the watermark clearly identifies it as yours, which may drive traffic to your site and benefit you.
Most importantly, the watermark will make it extremely simple to demonstrate to a third-party platform or authority that the video is indeed yours.
5: Register Your Copyright
You can take this a step further by registering your copyright. A copyright grants you legal ownership of your unique, creative work and allows you to monetize it.
Copyright protection is automatically granted upon creation in the EU and the United States. Although not required, it is recommended that a work protected by copyright include a copyright notice, which you can obtain by registering with your local Copyright Office.
Copyrighted work can include videos, images, graphs, texts, your logo, or entire files for online course content creators.
Registering your copyright is simpler than other forms of protection, such as patents or trademarks, and it can legally protect you from digital theft while providing creators with peace of mind.
In the event of content piracy, having a copyright on your work can save you a lot of time and trouble proving that you are the legitimate owner of the content.
However, most creators, in our experience, don’t worry about this formality, and you shouldn’t let it stop you from getting your course out there!
Digital piracy grows in tandem with the online course industry.
However, creators have discovered that, while there may be one or two bad actors to watch out for, the vast majority of people will not try to steal or obtain your content for free. Those who do are unlikely to have paid for your content in the first place.
There are numerous actions you can take to protect your intellectual property, and they can be as simple as creating talking head videos in which you show your face, incorporating your branding wherever possible, and making your course irreplaceable by incorporating interactive elements such as projects, assignments, a community, one-on-one time, gamification, and more.
Hosting your course on Heights Platform and benefiting from secure video hosting, IP inspection, and features that make your online course unique and impossible to replicate is one of the simplest ways to secure and protect your online course content from digital piracy.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.