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New Model for Content Charging on Internet Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010774D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Feb-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Feb-25

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Up to now there is no real solution for content charging on the Internet, especially for low cost information or objects. Therefore this sort of information is granted for free. It would be very desirable to have a system which permits that information with added value like games, films and videos, courses, specialized information etc. on the internet are made accessible for a small extra amount of money. The solutions which have been proposed so far are payment with Credit Card, the Electronic Wallet, the third party system, the automatic initiating of a Premium Rate Intelligent Network call or indirectly by the insertion of commercials. The idea is based on the current existing method where a central organization takes care that editors, authors, composers etc. are awarded. When for instance music is played on the radio, a small amount of money has to be paid to the central organisation, e.g. the SABAM in Belgium or the GEMA in Germany. In case of Internet content charging some classes of value added information could be defined. To each class, a price is related per amount of transferred byte. Both is a matter of agreement between the Information Provider, a Clearing House and the Internet Provider. In this case, the Clearing House is the central organization compared with the organizations mentioned above. The Information Provider marks the information he sends with one of those classes. Then he keeps track of the provided total amount of the classified information. After a certain period of time the Internet Provider of the user pays some money to the Clearing House. The amount of money corresponds to the total amount of bytes in each class the users have been receiving during the past period. The Clearing House on his turn redistributes the money to the Information Providers, based on the information delivered by the Information Providers. The Internet Provider himself can charge the user for the downloading of information of a special class, but he is not obliged to do so. For instance, it is possible to consider the charge as part of the monthly subscription fee of his subscribers. One suggestion to mark the data as a special class is to use the Type Of Service (TOS) field in the IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) package. There have been several proposals to use this field, so a different use of this TOS has to be proposed by a new RFC (Request For Comments; a designation for an Internet Engineering Task Force Standard). When using this TOS field, only a limited number of classes (n) can be foreseen (n will probably be either 1 or have a value between 1 and 3).