Browse Prior Art Database

Attention-based commerce for digital content

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014488D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Oct-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Current distribution of digital content has several problems: Humans want something for nothing, and will go to great lengths (piracy, etc.) to avoid paying the provider of something to get it. The issue was brought to the forefront by the online "sharing" of music. Producers/owners of intellectual property want to be compensated for their offerings. "Content made flesh," the distribution of physical objects containing digital data (CDs, books, etc.) is an extremely inefficient process. With few exceptions, this distribution makes the person who listens once to the content on a CD pay the same amount as the person who listens to the content over and over. Advertising on the web is still searching for a way to be effective. There are signs that online advertising is not effective. Privacy concerns and/or regulation may impact advertising, profiling, and other ways a content provider generates revenue. Encrypting and distributing a product makes it likely that someone will find a way to break the encryption and distribute a ‘cracked’ version. Inspiration: Humans can only take in so much information in a 24-hour period. Possible Solution: Consider the act of reading a web page or viewing a streaming video as occurring between 4 logical entities: the consumer, the network/access provider, the host of the content, and the producer of the content. There may be more than or fewer than 4 real entities involved.

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Attention-based commerce for digital content

Current distribution of digital content has several problems:

Humans want something for nothing, and will go to great lengths (piracy, etc.) to avoid paying the provider of something to get it. The issue was brought to the forefront by the online "sharing" of music. Producers/owners of intellectual property want to be compensated for their offerings. "Content made flesh," the distribution of physical objects containing digital data (CDs, books, etc.) is an extremely inefficient process. With few exceptions, this distribution makes the person who listens once to the content on a CD pay the same amount as the person who listens to the content over and over. Advertising on the web is still searching for a way to be effective. There are signs that online advertising is not effective. Privacy concerns and/or regulation may impact advertising, profiling, and other ways a content provider generates revenue. Encrypting and distributing a product makes it likely that someone will find a way to break the encryption and distribute a 'cracked' version.

Inspiration: Humans can only take in so much information in a 24-hour period.

Possible Solution: Consider the act of reading a web page or viewing a streaming video as occurring between 4 logical entities: the consumer, the network/access provider, the host of the content, and the producer of the content. There may be more than or fewer than 4 real entities involved.

One model to address the above problems would be the following:
1) Consumer pays the network/access provider for network access and a number of simultaneous data streams. It would best address the above problems as a single flat monthly fee.
2) When the consumer connects to a host site and requests content, the network/access provider sends a payment to the host site, which then shares part of the payment with the producer of the content. (In the real world, the payment agreements and mechanisms may vary. There may be payment aggregation, for example.)
3) The first part of the content is downloaded to the consumer. It may be decrypted by the player of the content (which may have been downloaded with the content).
4) While the first part of the content is displayed (or playing), the next part of the content is being requested from the host. Another payment is sent along with the request.

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5) This process repeats until the content has completely finished or the consumer stops accessing this content and exits the network or goes on to other content. By default, the content is not stored on the consumer's system. To access the content again, the consumer must make another connection and start the process again.

This model provides the following advantages:
1) Each time the content is accessed, it brings in revenue for the (logical) host and producer. A CD that is played a thousand times only brings in revenue once.
2) Besides the flat fee, a consumer does not pay anything more for the...