I have a custom file type .mft which is basically a zip that has video inside (mpg,mp4,etc) that is encrypted/protected.

My ideia is to create a custom video player which will read those .mft files, for a private group of users (users provide user and password), and the custom player will not allow to save the video, so that no one can re-share it, and can only view it.

I saw that VLC has this library http://vlcdotnet.codeplex.com/releases/view/121099, so my player would use it.

My question is : Is it really possible to block users from not saving the video? I don't think so, because there are several software to record desktop activity.

What do you think?

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    You can disallow saving the video from your custom program. However, since you are reusing standard video formats, you can't prevent them saving it otherwise. (If you invented your own video format it would still be possible, just not as trivially easy.) Sep 8, 2014 at 11:45
  • @KilianFoth Any idea which software allows me to save the video that is currently being played? Since I would like to test it with my custom player.Thanks Sep 8, 2014 at 16:34

2 Answers 2


Your DRM scheme is based on security by obscurity. It won't take long until people figure out that your custom video format is just a zip-archive and will extract it with 7zip to get the actual file.

You could make it a bit harder by encrypting it, but people will also be able to figure these out and obtain your decryption key by reverse-engineering your application.


In response to that last comment of yours, someone has actually coined this difficulty as the "Analog Hole". You cannot simultaneously show something to a user, and hide it from their computer's access.


It still might be possible to A) Provide basic download difficulties to at least make it very difficult for the common user to obtain it, B) Watermark your video to avoid stealing.

There's also Encrypted Media Extensions, which I believe are used by Netflix now and would be a high-effort, high-security approach. You could look into them, but I admit that I know very little about their implementation.

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