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SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MANAGING DIGITAL RIGHTS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132579D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-22
Document File: 18 page(s) / 2M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system, method and computer program product are provided for managing digital rights. Initially, a request is received at a client computer for access to digital media. It is then determined, from inspection of the client computer, whether digital rights exist for the client computer in association with the digital media. If it is determined, from inspection of the client computer, that the digital rights exist for the client computer in association with the digital media, the client computer is allowed access to the digital media and updates itself regarding current use. On the other hand, if it is determined, from inspection of the client computer, that the digital rights do not exist for the client computer in association with the digital media, it is determined, from inspection of a server computer over a network, whether digital rights exist for the client computer in association with the digital media. If it is determined, from inspection of the server computer, that the digital rights exist for the client computer in association with the digital media, the client computer receives from the server computer current available rights (e.g. by sending a signal, instruction, key and/or any other desired data and/or code from the server computer to the client computer), and the client and server computers are updated and users allowed access to the digital media. On the other hand, if it is determined, from inspection of the server computer, that the digital rights do not exist for the client computer in association with the digital media, the client computer is allowed to obtain access to the digital media, and both the server computer and the client computer are updated.

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SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MANAGING DIGITAL RIGHTS

Field and Background of the Invention

            The present invention relates to digital rights, and more particularly, to managing digital rights.

           

 It is well known that data communication networks such as the Internet, Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs), offer tremendously efficient means of organizing and distributing computerized data. These efficiencies have resulted in their widespread use for both business and personal applications. The Internet for example, is now a common medium for operating online auctions, academic and public forums, distributing publications such as newspapers and magazines, and performing electronic commerce and electronic mail transactions. It is also a common medium for distributing digital media including audio, video, still images, text and multi-media (i.e. combinations of these forms).

In fact, the widespread use of distributed computing and file-sharing networks, such as the Internet, has enabled consumers to become distributors of digital media, allowing anyone to copy and redistribute free and/or illegal copies of songs, photographs, videos and other digital media.

Creators of digital media content have a property right to the content they create, usually enforceable via copyright or trademark laws. The concern is the copying and distribution of this digital media without compensating the rights holders. The mechanism to protect and track digital media is referred to as Digital Rights Management technology or "DRM". DRM is widely accepted as a requirement for the distribution of media over the Internet.

 Historically, copying of music was not as great a concern because of the nature of the media and the copying technology. Music was distributed on physical media such as tapes, CDs (compact disks) or vinyl albums, or via comparatively low-quality AM and FM radio transmissions.  However, with the emergence of pervasive digital communication networks like the Internet, the landscape has changed considerably. Digital media can now be copied with no reduction in quality, and distributed widely with almost no cost, effort or time.  Thus, digital rights management solutions are gaining more and more attention.

To date, two primary types of digital rights management solutions have been employed, namely client-side and server-side models. With client-side models, digital rights enforcement is performed on the actual device owned by the end user such as the PC, pocket-PC, mobile device, DVD, etc.  With server-side models, on the other hand, the server, which provides value added services such as information, entertainment, games, streaming, etc.; enforces the digital rights for these services. 

While these two solutions both focus on how best to protect digital media, the prior art has still not solved the problem of providing a comprehensive technique for more effectively managing (e.g. tracking, customi...