With a river of free porn available to surfers, it may not seem advisable to protect your content using DRM or Digital Rights Management, but I list below a few reaons why it is the future. Also, a brief faq for digital rights management and links to DRM resources and service providers.
DRM is a system that encrypts digital media content and limits access to only those people who have acquired a proper license to play the content. The license can be of many types, and if you are the content provider, you can set the rights so that when a user tries to play the clip, it will ask for and issue one of a variety of licenses, such as a seamless or silent license ( where the user is not interrupted or asked for anything ), a popup license, a web form, members area form or a paid license. You can change the license type anytime you want for a particular movie clip, even after distribution. For more information click here: Digital Rights Management
BENEFITS OF USING DRM
The reason I say that DRM is the future is because the possibilities are endless, and the only things constraining the growth of Digital rights management are lack of supporting software and hardware infratructure and the fear of driving away present and potential customers and rebills by locking your video content.
Other than all the usual permutations, such as providing free clips on a limited trial basis, after which the user is asked for a password and locking video content with DRM to stop filesharing by a member, the following can also be applied:
Content providers could lease content to website owners based on DRM. Say a webmaster leases some content for a month - After 30 days, if the license is not renewed, then no user or visitor to the webmasters site will be able to view the clip.
You could put out sample video clips with a popup of your website included. Someone downloads the clip, he can see the clip, but with popups of any page you wish.
Sponsors could give out DRM video content to affiliates requiring them to convert at a particular minimum ratio for each clip to keep it active.
I could come up with an unending list, but I'm sure you get the idea and the benefits of using DRM and why it's going to be the future.
PROBLEMS WITH DRM
There are quite a few creases which need some heavy ironing to get DRM accepted by the industry and by the public. Most prominent being lack of internet bandwidth to complete the DRM verification process. Also, advocates of open source see this as one more sword in Microsoft's heavy armour being used against them. More pertaining to the adult industry, webmasters are worried about a fall in membership and rebills on account of the user not being able to keep the content he's already paid for.
To sum it up - Digital rights management is going to be an integral part of media content delivery, at most in a few years' time. Take it or leave it, your choice. And once the heavy arm of the justice dept. gets behind this, it will be almost impossible to stop the juggernaut of Microsoft and the US govt. What is badly needed is an open debate on the best way to adapt this technology and it's benefits, without damaging any business prospects.