Method for delivering for-fee content to a wireless handheld Web browser device while guaranteeing ownership of proprietary content
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Disclosed is a method for publishing for-fee content to a Web browser while guaranteeing that proprietary content cannot be saved or republished without the content provider's consent. The method uses a Java* applet to view the content. The communication between the server and the applet is encrypted to ensure that the content cannot be intercepted over public networks. User information is saved locally to a cookie at the client machine for the convenience of paying customers and to make unauthorized viewing of the content more difficult. Using the current Web publishing model, content providers who publish their for-fee content on the World Wide Web cannot guarantee that their content cannot be republished by one of their customers without their consent. Because customers use a Web browser and associated plug-ins to view free and for-fee content, those customers can save the content to the hard disk of their local machine. Unscrupulous customers can then republish this content without consent of the content provider, either for free or for a fee. As wireless handheld devices, such as a Palm** handheld device or the Microsoft*** Pocket PC, become more popular and widely used, customers will demand that both free and for-fee content be available on these devices. But even using a microbrowser, the content provider is still faced with the same potential for loss of content described above. The content provider develops a Java applet that runs in a Web browser that acts as a client for receiving for-fee content. The applet does not provide any way to save the content to the local file system (a security restriction imposed on Java applets by Sun Microsystems*). Thus the content never exists as a file on the client machine. The applet receives the content in whatever format the content provider requires (for example, plain text, HTML, AVI, MPEG, etc). The content server first encrypts the content (as described below) before sending it to the applet, so anyone who intercepts the content between the server and the applet cannot use it unless he has the decryption key.