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Method for Social Lending of Digital Media via DRM Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202536D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-21
Document File: 4 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


It is easy to share physical media with your physical contacts via traditional borrowing and lending, but sharing digital media with digital contacts has proven challenging because of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology used to guard against copyright violations. This paper presents a method by which DRM technology can be used to facilitate the sharing of digital media with digital contacts over social networks, email, and internet chat while still protecting the interests of copyright holders.

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Method for Social Lending of Digital Media via DRM

In the not-too-distant past people collected music on physical media, many still collect videos on physical media, and, while it is beginning to change, most still collect books on physical media. Digital media, however, is beginning to replace physical media at every turn. While it is most prevalent in the music industry, the video and book industry are coming along as well. While digital media has many advantages to its physical counterpart, there are some disadvantages that come with the change.

Many families have maintained a "loaner notebook" for their digital media at one time and some still do. In such a notebook, one could keep track of LPs, 45s, 8-Tracks , Cassettes, CDs, Beta Tapes, VHS Tapes, DVDs and even books that had been lent to friends. The "loaner notebook" provides a quick way to reference to whom a specific piece of media was lent to in order to ensure it would be never be lost (or at least provide a paper trail to discover whose possession it was last in when lost). With physical media it is easy to loan ones items to friends or family.

Digital media does not "lend" itself so easily to lending, especially if that digital media has Digital Rights Management (DRM) baggage associated with it. The problem with Digital Media is that with DRM it is near impossible to share media files because the owner is the only one with the ability to decrypt the file for playback. Some media files are not encrypted with DRM schemes, but even in such cases it is typically not within the owner's rights to copy the media and give it to a friend.

Like media, social circles are becoming increasingly digital. A person's friends and family are likely to be across the country rather than across the street. Often social interaction is done through social network websites, instant messages, email, Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and similar technologies.

Most are familiar with or use digital media library software on their personal computers to organize their media library. In fact many purchase their media from online digital media stores, many of which download directly into popular digital media library software applications.

Sharing of digital media is best tied to the digital media library software because it is the library software that typically manages your DRM privileges and prevents or allows the playback of content. The preferred means to facilitate sharing of digital media is by integrating the digital media library interface with social networks, email, instant messaging, SMS/MMS messaging or other digital forms of social interaction.

With a sharing-enabled media library one could peruse all or a subset of another person's media library providing permission had been granted. Such permission could be tied to identifying the email address of another person who would be allowed to view the contents of all or a subset of one's library or alternat...