CPS 2018: AWS’ McPherson Details SPEKE API for DRM Management

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — Navigating the combination of digital rights management (DRM) schemes and transcoding and packaging vendors (encryptors) out there makes for a daunting task for content owners.

That’s why Amazon Web Services’ Elemental division came up with the Secure Packager and Encoder Key Exchange (SPEKE) protocol, an open API specification that defines the standard for communication between encryptors and DRM platforms, with the goal of reducing the number of integration points and boosting time-to-market for content.

“We saw the need to apply key exchange across a number of DRM, and in doing this, be able to streamline and reduce the amount of time it takes for content owners to bring content to people on different platforms, through different DRM providers,” said Ian McPherson, senior partner and development manager for media and entertainment for Amazon Web Services (AWS), speaking Dec. 5 during a presentation at the annual Content Protection Summit, presented by the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA).

“It takes away the need to do multiple integrations to different proprietary APIs for different formats.”

Simply put, SPEKE defines the standard of communicating between packages of media content and digital rights management key providers, and does so supporting both on-premise and in-the-cloud environments. Several DRM solution providers have already implemented SPEKE, which also enables its customers to develop their own key management solution, McPherson said.

With SPEKE — which establishes secure key exchange using Amazon API Gateway, document encryption, IAM roles, and Signature Version 4 signing for live and file-based video workflows — the four weeks usually associated with a custom DRM API integration disappear, McPherson said. The solution saves time in testing, and allows for the ability to test DRM workflow with reference servers. It lowers the barrier of DRM solution provider adoption.

“Really, this was about democratization of the workflow,” he added. “The time and overhead invested to have to be able to custom APIs for the different formats and the different players or the different platforms was causing both extensive delays and costs to get to market.”

The 2018 CDSA Content Protection Summit was presented by SafeStream, and sponsored by Edgescan, Microsoft Azure, LiveTiles, Aspera, Amazon Web Services, Convergent Risks, Dolby, Illumio, NAGRA, EIDR, the Trusted Partner Network (TPN), Videocites, Human-i-t, Telesoft and Bob Gold and Associates and is produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) in association with CDSA, the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), Smart Content Council and Women in Technology Hollywood (WiTH).

To download the presentation and audio of the AWS session click here and here.