Videos - prevent download, watch only - 27. Mai 2021


I have my own server on which I installed Nextcloud 21 in the current version.

I would like to upload videos, but these videos should only be viewed, the download should be prevented. Who has a solution for this?
Greetings Holger from Germany

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Hi @HolgerZ

Maybe this is what you’re looking for…

Every view is also a “download”. Look in browser network analysis (mostly F12).

Really a good feature. But i think only for office documents. Or can we use it with videos also?

I don’t quite understand the answer. You mean there is no way to prevent videos from being downloaded?

They should watch the video, but not download it. I want to sell video courses, that’s what it’s about. I know there are platforms, but I have to pay for them. Thought Nextcloud would be a cheap solution.
Greetings Holger

It works with any file type and with folders too. It just removes the download button on the top right and the three dots menu with the download option. (see screenshots below) And as you correctly stated, it is not a 100% protection. This is also mentioned in the article I linked…

Note that this feature will prevent most normal users from downloading the content but keep in mind how the web works: If you can see something on it – it is there and it can be copied by users with more technical skills. Secure view restricts the ability to download the file but this can be worked around with screenshots and browser tricks.

You are correct. I thought it would be different thinks.

I tought you posted this link for watermarking office documents:

Ah ok. No, I have no experience with the Virtual Data Room. But the keyword “File Access Control” in your link gave me an idea…

Maybe what @HolgerZ wants to achieve can be implemented somehow with the Files Access Control app? Or is this the same thing described in the article about Virtual Data Rooms?

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Hello , thanks now I have installed the APP File Access Control. I don’t know what to do now? Sorry, my english is poor. I have already uploaded the sample video, but where do I click if I want to block a video? Greetings Holger

I don’t understand how to make a rule? Can someone help me there?
Greetings Holger

Even with the Download button disabled, you can still right-click the video and “Save video as”… I think if you want a guaranteed solution you would need something akin to a DRM solution.

There are also many web plugins that will bypass any download restriction that are put in place without DRM. When loading a video in a browser, you are technically downloading it into temporary storage already, and it is easy to extract.

The File Access Control app was just an idea, as an alternative to the “Secure View / hide download link” option, wich only works with public links afaik. Unfortunatly I have no expirience with it and can’t give you a detailed explination how it works.

Either way… I must agree with @devnull and @CyberneticCody. If something is in your browser withot any kind of DRM protection, there will always be ways to extract it. And even the not expirienced users can take pictures or videos of the content with their phone, if they do not find a way to download the original content. :wink:

I have now found the possible rules under the item FLOW in Settings. Unfortunately, there is only the option to prevent uploading, but not downloading, or am I missing something?

Unfortunately, given the tools that Nextcloud, and the rest of the internet have right now… It is very hard if not impossible to prevent downloading videos off the internet. The only real solution we have to this right now, is DRM, however even that is not a perfect solution, and it is not a feature offered in the Nextcloud suite.

If you were to completely disallow downloading of videos, then the browser would not be able to even download the video to stream it to someone and nobody would be able to view it.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s not necessarily NC’s problem, it’s a problem with the web as a whole. That’s why, even though it is against the TOS and rules of YouTube for example, you can still download the videos relatively easily with various tools or even simple browser plugins.

Almost everything is downloadable if it’s stream-able.
YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, Disney+… And those guy do it much better than Nextcloud.

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