Browse Prior Art Database

Time-Limited Disc Label Concept and Methods

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000174755D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Sep-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Sep-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

Lenovo

Abstract

Technology has been developed to enable time-limited playback capability of content distributed on DVD media. These methods have been commercialized by Flexplay* Technologies, and are described in detail in US Patents 6511728, 6537635, 6641886, 6678239, 6709802, 6756103, 6780564, 6838144, 6839316, and possibly others. These patents describe various methods of obscuring the data layer(s) on the media from the interrogating laser within a prescribed time (typically 48 hours) after the disc has been removed from hermetically sealed packaging. The main utility of this concept is that it enables rental without the need for returning discs after the rental period expires.

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Time-Limited Disc Label Concept and Methods

BACKGROUND

Technology has been developed to enable time-limited playback capability of content distributed on

DVD

media.  These methods have been commercialized by Flexplay* Technologies, and are described in detail in US Patents 6511728, 6537635, 6641886, 6678239, 6709802, 6756103, 6780564, 6838144, 6839316, and possibly others.  These patents describe various methods of obscuring the data layer(s) on the media from the interrogating laser within a prescribed time (typically 48 hours) after the disc has been removed from hermetically sealed packaging.  The main utility of this concept is that it enables rental without the need for returning discs after the rental period expires.

PROBLEMS SOLVED BY DISCLOSED METHOD

One problem created by the above content distribution method is that users might not be able to easily determine when a disc has expired by simple visual examination.  A second problem is that users who are unaware that a disc has expired may think that either the disc or their player is defective when experiencing unsuccessful playback attempts.  A third problem is that the content provider's identity and title may continue to appear on expired discs, thus associating the provider with products that customers may perceive as being defective.  The concept and methods described subsequently provide a solution to these problems.

NOVEL FEATURES

AND

BENEFITS

The referenced prior art describes various methods of obscuring the media data layer(s) from the interrogating (read back) laser after the disc has been removed from hermetically sealed packaging.  The methods include use of reactive dyes that are initially transparent to the interrogating laser wavelength, but eventually become opaque upon exposure to air/oxygen.  Other dyes are described that change color upon exposure, e.g. initially red then blue after the transition period. The proposed invention is to apply similar methods to obscure the label layer from the non-coherent visible light spectrum, thus rendering the content provider's identity and product information invisible to the human eye upon disc expiration.  This solves the three problems enumerated above as follows:

1)  The user can now quickly and easily determine that a disc has expired by disappearance of the label information

2)  The user will now easily know that the disc has expired and not attempt playback

3)  Users that are unaware of the time-limited disc concept will not be able to see and thus associate a content provider or product name with a disc that is incapable of playback and therefore judged defective

A complementary method is also disclosed that solves the aforementioned problems by causing an invisible label to appear upon expiration (e.g. "EXPIRED") to clearly indicate that the disc is no longer usable.  Thes...