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Method and System for Augmentation and Degradation of Media in a Virtual World

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000190377D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Nov-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Nov-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method and system for enforcing copyrights of media owners within a Virtual Universe (VU) is disclosed. The method and system includes enforcing media trials, degradation of media and injection of advertisements by augmenting metadata in a media stream.

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Method and System for Augmentation and Degradation of Media in a Virtual World

Disclosed is a method and system for enforcing copyright of media owners within a Virtual Universe (VU). The method and system includes enforcing media trials, degradation of media and injection of advertisements by augmenting metadata in a media stream.

A VU is a computer-based simulated environment represented using three-dimensional (3-D) graphics that resemble the real world in terms of physics, houses and landscapes. Typically, a VU is populated by many users known as "residents" who traverse, inhabit and interact in the VU using "avatars".

Land owners within a VU often stream media such as, music, video, and picture, within regions of their land. The streamed media may be original, copyrighted or in public domain. In case of copyrighted media, it is necessary for the owners of the copyrighted media to systematically prevent unauthorized usage of their media within a VU, and enforce a copyright over the media used by unauthorized users.

The method and system disclosed enforces copyright of media owners by restricting transmission of the media stream. The VU server may be augmented to perform detection of restricted media within a VU, enforce media restrictions and prevention of unauthorized media streaming.

To enable media owners to enforce restrictions on transmission of their protected media, the VU server must be configured to detect when a media has usage restrictions. Usage restrictions may be stored as metadata within a media stream. A detection system is configured to detect restrictions when a trigger condition occurs. Examples of trigger conditions include insertion of media into a resident's inventory, removal of media from a resident's inventory, transportation of media from one VU region to another VU region, purchasing of media, trading of media, picking of media from a region (e.g. landscape), acceptance of media by an avatar from another avatar, streaming of media from one VU region to another VU region and streaming of media into a VU from outside. In order to prevent circumvention of restriction detection, only media with proper metadata information may be allowed to be streamed within the VU.

In one scenario, the method and system enforce media trials for the restricted media stream by allowing an unauthorized user to access a preview of the restricted media stream. The VU server may keep a track of the number of times the media stream was accessed by the unauthorized user. Further, the VU server may restrict the streaming of the media after the unauthorized user crosses a limit of accessing the media stream. The limit for accessing the media stream by the unauthorized user can be either defined by the VU server or by the metadata associated with the media stream.

In another scenario, the method and system degrades the restricted media stream within a VU. The restricted media stream is...