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Protecting and managing electronic content with a digital battery

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1 Author(s)
Budd, T.A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR, USA

The digital battery's per-use pricing model may be our best hope for protecting artists' livelihoods, generating meaningful usage statistics, and ensuring consumer privacy. To protect intellectual properties, we need a digital system that makes unauthorized duplication impossible or at least extremely difficult, tracks each use of a given work while ensuring the user's anonymity, and can be implemented inexpensively and remain transparent to the consumer. The digital battery offers an alternative for tracking and charging for intellectual-property use without alienating users. While consumers object to content that degrades over time, they do not strongly object when, for example, their portable compact disc player quits working because the batteries die. Yet either event results in loss of access to content. Consumers do not view batteries as being intrinsically tied to particular content. Further, batteries are inexpensive and anonymous. A digital battery would resemble a smart card or digital-camera media card. The battery would contain contacts that link the card's processor to a larger system. A digital battery could monitor the use of all types of digital content, including music, video, print, and images. The battery's software could adjust the rate at which the battery drains to reflect the various costs of different media

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 8 )