Locking Video to the USB

jrwomack's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 11/29/2008 - 1:34pm

My request may be unusual. I want to lock a video file to a USB. Meaning it can't be copied or played on any device except that USB. Now, I have come across at least two software solutions claiming to do this. But on researching them, a few red flags showed up that it advisable to steer clear of them.Consequently, I opted to not purchase them or even download their "trial" versions. Further roaming the web, I came across a claim that one could reprogram the USB controller for this. But it didn't explain how. When stubbornly explored further, I found a host of sites about making a BadUSB. Which in essence told you how to either make or obtain a USB that delivered damaging code to a computer. Clearly unrelated to my intent. So my question is, does any know how I can produce a USB that will play video content only on that USB and no other device? I just want to protect my content from being freely copied and shared without my permission.

Now, I know at least one company that will sell you ($$$$$) USBs that do exactly what I'm asking. But paying $40 for a mere 8GB USB and as much $600 for a 32GB USB seems a bit much. If one can create a hardware centered USB that plays its content without allowing copying or transfer to another device, I'll endure learning the coding or whatever.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 8 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

When you refer to a "USB" I assume you mean a flash drive or thumb drive. These devices are for storage rather than for playback. In a sense they're just smaller, more compact versions of a CD disc. When you plug a flash drive into a computer the content of the flash drive is off-loaded to the appropriate software on the computer for playback: e.g., Word for a text document on the flash drive, Excel for a spreadsheet and Adobe Premier or Resolve for a video file. If the content of the flash drive was locked -- i.e., couldn't be off-loaded from the drive -- the computer couldn't play the content.

Hollywood movies are sometimes copy protected. It is my understanding that this is an extremely expensive process, viable only for large commercial distribution material. Most hackers can defeat this protection, however, and I believe there are quite inexpensive programs on the market capable of defeating copy protection.

You might consider watermarking your material. This won't prevent copying but will ensure that you receive credit for your work. Put your logo in the lower corner of your work, either as a continuous image or as one that fades in and out every few minutes.


Ed Merritt's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 11 hours ago
Joined: 07/03/2012 - 2:02am
Plus Member

Try Googling "flash drive copy protection" and there are a lot of results. I've not used copy protection on a flash drive, but do the search and check out some of the options.