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Method for delivering for-fee content to a wireless handheld Web browser device while guaranteeing ownership of proprietary content

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014302D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 5 page(s) / 63K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for publishing for-fee content to a Web browser while guaranteeing that proprietary content cannot be saved or republished without the content provider's consent. The method uses a Java* applet to view the content. The communication between the server and the applet is encrypted to ensure that the content cannot be intercepted over public networks. User information is saved locally to a cookie at the client machine for the convenience of paying customers and to make unauthorized viewing of the content more difficult.

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  Method for delivering for-fee content to a wireless handheld Web browser device while guaranteeing ownership of proprietary content

Disclosed is a method for publishing for-fee content to a Web browser while guaranteeing that proprietary content cannot be saved or republished without the content provider's consent. The method uses a Java* applet to view the content. The communication between the server and the applet is encrypted to ensure that the content cannot be intercepted over public networks. User information is saved locally to a cookie at the client machine for the convenience of paying customers and to make unauthorized viewing of the content more difficult.

Using the current Web publishing model, content providers who publish their for-fee content on the World Wide Web cannot guarantee that their content cannot be republished by one of their customers without their consent. Because customers use a Web browser and associated plug-ins to view free and for-fee content, those customers can save the content to the hard disk of their local machine. Unscrupulous customers can then republish this content without consent of the content provider, either for free or for a fee.

As wireless handheld devices, such as a Palm** handheld device or the Microsoft*** Pocket PC, become more popular and widely used, customers will demand that both free and for-fee content be available on these devices. But even using a microbrowser, the content provider is still faced with the same potential for loss of content described above.

The content provider develops a Java applet that runs in a Web browser that acts as a client for receiving for-fee content. The applet does not provide any way to save the content to the local file system (a security restriction imposed on Java applets by Sun Microsystems*). Thus the content never exists as a file on the client machine. The applet receives the content in whatever format the content provider requires (for example, plain text, HTML, AVI, MPEG, etc). The content server first encrypts the content (as described below) before sending it to the applet, so anyone who intercepts the content between the server and the applet cannot use it unless he has the decryption key.

One of the features of this applet is that, along with the content, it downloads a time-out value so that the end user can view the content for free for a limited time -- a complimentary evaluation period. Thus, the user can sample the content before paying for it. And because the content is displayed in the applet, the user cannot save sample content or paid-for content. The applet also does not allow content to be copied to the local operating system clipboard. The server maintains information both on the local machine (in the form of a cookie) and in a database on the server, so the user can view paid-for content again, if the content provider allows additional viewings.

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With this architecture, content providers can provide fo...