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Publication numberUS20020116283 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/894,793
Publication dateAug 22, 2002
Filing dateJun 28, 2001
Priority dateFeb 20, 2001
Also published asCN1628306A, EP1362316A2, EP1362316A4, US20080126223, US20120330790, WO2002067095A2, WO2002067095A3
Publication number09894793, 894793, US 2002/0116283 A1, US 2002/116283 A1, US 20020116283 A1, US 20020116283A1, US 2002116283 A1, US 2002116283A1, US-A1-20020116283, US-A1-2002116283, US2002/0116283A1, US2002/116283A1, US20020116283 A1, US20020116283A1, US2002116283 A1, US2002116283A1
InventorsMasayuki Chatani
Original AssigneeMasayuki Chatani
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System and method for transfer of disc ownership based on disc and user identification
US 20020116283 A1
Abstract
A system and method for transferring ownership of disc storage media utilizing unique disc identification includes a disc storage medium with a permanently recorded disc identification, a user console with a set identification, a network, and a host server managing a user database and a disc database. Upon purchase of software stored on a disc storage medium, the unique disc identification and user identification are transmitted over the network from the user console to the host server. The host server grants the user console access permission to the programs residing on the disc storage medium and performs the disc ownership transfer transactions.
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Claims(38)
What is claimed is:
1. A system for managing transfer of ownership of storage media, comprising:
a storage medium including a permanently recorded disc identification;
a user console operable to read the storage medium and transmit the disc identification across a network; and
a host server configured to receive the disc identification from the network, the host server operable to compare the received disc identification with ownership information and to process a transfer of ownership transaction.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the transfer of ownership transaction includes a payment transaction.
3. The system of claim 2, wherein the ownership information identifies an owner of the storage medium.
4. The system of claim 3, wherein the payment transaction is a payment to the owner of the storage medium.
5. The system of claim 2, wherein the payment transaction is a royalty payment to the developer of the content of the storage medium.
6. The system of claim 2, wherein the payment transaction is a royalty payment to the publisher of the storage medium.
7. The system of claim 2, wherein the payment transaction is a royalty payment to the developer of the user console.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the host server is configured to access a user database that stores the ownership information.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein the host server is configured to access a disc database that stores a plurality of disc identifications.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein if the transmitted disc identification matches the ownership information and if the ownership information includes authorization to transfer ownership, the host server processes the transfer of ownership.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein if the transmitted disc identification matches the ownership information and if the ownership information does not include authorization to transfer ownership, the host server does not process the transfer of ownership.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein the transfer of ownership transaction includes a transfer of authorization to access contents of the storage medium.
13. A method for managing transfer of ownership of content of storage media, comprising the steps of:
transmitting a storage medium identification of a storage medium to a host server;
matching the transmitted storage medium identification to an owner of the content of the storage medium;
if the owner has authorized a transfer of ownership, transferring ownership to a new owner; and
if the owner has not authorized a transfer of ownership, transmitting a denial of ownership to a user console.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new owner includes a payment transaction to the owner.
15. The method of claim 13, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new owner includes a royalty payment to the developer of the content of the storage medium.
16. The method of claim 13, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new owner includes a royalty payment to the publisher of the storage medium.
17. The method of claim 13, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new owner includes a royalty payment to the developer of the user console.
18. The method of claim 13, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new user includes a transfer of authorization to access contents of the storage medium.
19. The method of claim 13, wherein the step of matching the transmitted storage medium identification to the owner of the content of the storage medium includes a step of accessing a user database by the host server.
20. The method of claim 13, wherein the step of matching the transmitted storage medium identification to the owner of the content of the storage medium includes a step of accessing a disc database by the host server.
21. A system for managing transfer of ownership of stored content, comprising:
a network;
an identification of the stored content; and
a host server configured to receive the identification of the stored content from the network, the host server operable to compare the received identification of the stored content with ownership information and to process a transfer of ownership transaction.
22. The system of claim 21, wherein the transfer of ownership transaction includes a payment transaction.
23. The system of claim 22, wherein the ownership information includes an owner identified with the identification of the stored content.
24. The system of claim 23, wherein the payment transaction is a payment to the owner identified with the identification of the stored content.
25. The system of claim 22, wherein the payment transaction is a royalty payment to the publisher identified with the identification of the stored content.
26. The system of claim 21, wherein the host server is configured to access a user database that stores the ownership information.
27. The system of claim 21, wherein the host server is configured to access a content database that stores a plurality of identifications of stored content.
28. The system of claim 21, wherein if the transmitted identification of the stored content matches the ownership information and if the ownership information includes authorization to transfer ownership, the host server processes the transfer of ownership.
29. The system of claim 21, wherein if the transmitted identification of the stored content matches the ownership information and if the ownership information does not include authorization to transfer ownership, the host server does not process the transfer of ownership.
30. The system of claim 21, wherein the stored content is stored on a disc.
31. The system of claim 21, wherein the identification of the stored content is a disc identification.
32. A method for managing transfer of ownership of stored content over a network, comprising the steps of:
transmitting an identification of the stored content to a host server;
matching the transmitted identification of the stored content to an owner identified with the identification of the stored content;
if the owner identified with the identification of the stored content has authorized a transfer of ownership, transferring ownership to a new owner; and
if the owner identified with the identification of the stored content has not authorized a transfer of ownership, transmitting a denial of ownership.
33. The method of claim 32, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new owner includes a payment transaction to the owner identified with the identification of the stored content.
34. The method of claim 32, wherein the transfer of ownership to the new owner includes a royalty payment to the publisher identified with the identification of the stored content.
35. The method of claim 32, wherein the step of matching the transmitted identification of the stored content to the owner identified with the identification of the stored content includes a step of accessing a user database by the host server.
36. The method of claim 32, wherein the step of matching the transmitted identification of the stored content to the owner identified with the identification of the stored content includes a step of accessing a content database by the host server.
37. The method of claim 32, wherein the stored content is stored on a disc.
38. The method of claim 32, wherein the identification of the stored content is a disc identification.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is related to, and claims the benefit of, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/270,232, entitled “System and Method for Transfer of Disc Ownership Based on Disc and User Identification,” filed Feb. 20, 2001. This application is also related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ entitled “Apparatus and Method for Utilizing an Incentive Point System Based on Disc and User Identification,” filed on ______. The subject matter of the related applications is hereby incorporated by reference. The related applications are commonly assigned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates generally to electronic processing systems and more particularly to a disc ownership transfer system utilizing unique disc identification to authorize access to disc storage media.

[0004] 2. Description of the Background Art

[0005] Disc storage media, such as CD-ROM and DVD-ROM storage discs, are typical storage devices for commercially available software programs. For example, publishers and manufacturers of games for electronic gaming systems use read-only storage devices such as CD-ROM discs to distribute and sell their products. Discs may be passed and shared among users; however, there is no effective system in place to account for the potential multiple users of commercially available software products.

[0006] Even though discs may be shared without any constraints, it may be that discs are shared only between small groups of users without widespread distribution among the entire user population. The software product is not widely shared, thereby forcing others to purchase their own copy. The software product does not achieve widespread advertising either, limiting the potential for a larger consumer base. For example, the publishers and distributors of game software would like their products advertised to a wide customer base as well as purchased by a wide customer base.

[0007] A system that would facilitate an owner of a software product stored on a disc storage medium to sell the disc storage medium to others, is a concern of publishers, distributors, and users of software products. A user may tire of a product on a disc, but instead of storing the disc away, maybe never to be seen again, the user may be offered an opportunity to transfer ownership to another user. Such a system could benefit the publishers and distributors of software products stored on discs by (1) promoting the products and (2) attracting other users who may purchase more products in the future. In addition, such a system could benefit the owner of a software product by providing a method of collecting royalties on the sale of the owner's software product. Finally, such a system could benefit the other potential users of software products by providing a system of purchasing used software programs at less than retail cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] An electronic processing system includes a disc storage medium with a permanently recorded disc identification, a user console with a set identification, a network, and a host server managing a user database and a disc database. The user console may include a memory card or other removable storage medium for storing data including the set identification and disc identification. Upon the first use of the console, the user is prompted for user information from the host server, and a user identification is assigned to the user. The user identification is functionally interchangeable with the set identification, and either may be used to identify the user.

[0009] The user database includes a plurality of user tables, wherein each user table includes a user identification, and may also include other user information such as user name, address, preferences, and a plurality of disc identifications. The disc database includes a plurality of disc tables, wherein each disc table includes a disc identification with an associated owner consent data field, and may include other disc information such as title, publisher, transfer charge, and user identification. The owner consent data field includes data regarding transfer of disc ownership to other users.

[0010] In one embodiment, the user console connects to the host server and transmits the user identification and disc identification read from the disc storage medium to (1) gain permission to execute the programs residing on the disc storage medium and (2) transfer ownership of the disc storage medium to another user. In another embodiment, the user console connects to the host server and transmits the user identification and disc identification the first time a disc is booted by the user console, but after the initial access permission is granted, the disc identification and user identification are stored on the memory card to grant access permission for subsequent disc sessions. The user console may connect to the host server on these subsequent disc sessions to enable the host server to conduct disc ownership transfer operations.

[0011] The host server compares the transmitted disc identification with the stored disc identifications associated with the transmitted user identification in the user table, and if necessary, with the stored disc identifications associated with the other user identifications. The host server enables disc ownership transfer and payment transactions, recording ownership changes in the user database and disc database.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012]FIG. 1 is a block diagram of one embodiment of an electronic processing system according to the invention;

[0013]FIG. 2 is a diagram of one embodiment of the disc storage medium of FIG. 1 according to the invention;

[0014]FIG. 3A shows one embodiment of the user database managed by the host server of FIG. 1 according to the invention;

[0015]FIG. 3B shows one embodiment of the disc database managed by the host server of FIG. 1 according to the invention;

[0016]FIG. 4 is a flowchart of method steps for acquiring disc access permission according to one embodiment of the invention; and

[0017]FIG. 5 is a flowchart of method steps for granting disc access permission and transacting a transfer of disc ownership according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0018]FIG. 1 is a block diagram of one embodiment of an electronic processing system according to the invention. The processing system includes, but is not limited to, a disc storage medium (disc) 110, a user console 115, a set identification (ID) 120, a network 125, a host server 130, a user database (DB) 135, and a disc database (DB) 140.

[0019] The disc 110 is a read-only storage device such as a CD-ROM or a DVD-ROM. As will be discussed further below in conjunction with FIG. 2, a disc identification is stored on the disc 110 to uniquely identify the disc 110.

[0020] The user console 115 is an electronic device, such as an electronic gaming system, a general-purpose computer, or a set-top box, that may access the contents of the disc 110. The user console 115 has an interface to the network 125. The network 125 may be a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a wireless network, a cable network, or the Internet. The Internet is a broad network of interconnected computers and servers allowing for the transmission and exchange of Internet Protocol (IP) data between users connected to the Internet through a network service provider. Examples of network service providers are the public switched telephone network, a cable service provider, or a satellite service provider.

[0021] The user console 115 may be configured to access data from other removable storage media, such as memory cards, floppy discs, or hard disc drives.

[0022] During a first use of the user console 115, a user registers the user console 115 with the host server 130. The user console 115 may be registered and identified by either a set ID 120 or a USER ID. The host server 130 stores the set ID 120, the USER ID, or both in the user database 135. As further discussed below in conjunction with FIG. 5, the first time user of the user console 115 will be prompted by the host server 130 to enter user information. This user information will be used to associate a USER ID with a user. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the USER ID identifies users. However, the set ID 120 may be used instead of the USER ID to identify users.

[0023] The host server 130 stores data in the user database 135 and the disc database 140. The databases will be discussed in more detail below in conjunction with FIGS. 3A-3B.

[0024]FIG. 2 is a diagram of one embodiment of the disc 110 according to the invention. The disc 110 includes, but is not limited to, a data access area 210, a DISC UNIQUE ID address 220, and a DISC UNIQUE ID 230. The disc 110 has a data access area 210 delineated by an inner and outer radius. Data is typically recorded within the data access area 210. The data may include software programs, video data, audio data, or any other type of stored content. Although FIG. 2 shows the DISC UNIQUE ID address 220 and the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 recorded within the data access area 210, either can be recorded outside of the data access area 210.

[0025] The DISC UNIQUE ID address 220 contains the disc address of the DISC UNIQUE ID 230. The DISC UNIQUE ID 230 uniquely identifies the disc 110. The contents of the disc 110 cannot be played on the user console 115 or other devices without access permission for the disc 110. Access instructions are sent to the user console 115 from the host server 130 upon receipt of the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 and the USER ID by the host server 130 from the user console 115. Access permission and transfer of disc ownership will be discussed below in conjunction with FIGS. 4-5.

[0026]FIG. 3A shows one embodiment of the user database 135 of FIG. 1 according to the invention. The user database 135 has a user table 310 including user information. User information includes the USER ID and may also include, for example, user name, address, billing information, and user preferences. The user table 310 may also include a plurality of DISC UNIQUE IDs that are associated with each USER ID. Each DISC UNIQUE ID has associated owner consent data. The owner consent data is a data field that contains information regarding the transfer of disc ownership to another user.

[0027]FIG. 3B shows one embodiment of the disc database 140 of FIG. 1 according to the invention. The disc database 140 has a disc table 320 including disc information. The disc information includes the DISC UNIQUE ID accompanied by owner consent data and may also include, for example, title, publisher, type, date of purchase, and transfer charge. The disc table 320 may also contain a USER ID associated with each DISC UNIQUE ID. The transfer charge data field includes the payment amount due the user upon transfer of disc ownership to another user.

[0028] The transfer charge data field may include other data relevant to charges incurred when ownership of a disc 110 is transferred. For example, a transfer of ownership may also include a royalty payment to the developer of the content of the disc 110, the publisher of the disc 110, or both. A transfer of ownership may also include a royalty payment to a developer of the user console 115. Thus the host server 130 may be further configured to manage other databases that store royalty payment information regarding developers and publishers.

[0029]FIG. 4 is a flowchart of method steps for a user to acquire access permission for a disc 110 on the user console 115, according to one embodiment of the invention. First, in step 405, the user console 115 reads basic data from the disc 110. In step 410, the user console 115 determines if a DISC UNIQUE ID address 220 is stored on the disc 110. If the DISC UNIQUE ID address 220 does not exist, then the method continues with step 460, and the disc program is executed. However, if a DISC UNIQUE ID address 220 does exist, then, in step 415, the user console 115 determines whether a DISC UNIQUE ID 230 is stored at the location given by the DISC UNIQUE ID address 220. If there is no DISC UNIQUE ID 230 recorded, then disc program execution is stopped in step 420. If there is a DISC UNIQUE ID 230 recorded, then, in step 425, the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 is read by the user console 115. In step 430, the user console 115 determines if a memory card is present. The memory card is a removable storage device compatible with the user console 115 or other user consoles that may store data such as USER ID and DISC UNIQUE ID 230.

[0030] The FIG. 4 embodiment shows two paths to gain access permission to the disc. If a memory card is not present in user console 115, then the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 and USER ID will be sent to the host server 130 every time the disc 110 is booted. If a memory card is present, then the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 and USER ID is only sent to the host server 130 the first time a user boots the disc 110. When the same user boots the disc 110 on subsequent occasions, host server 130 access is not needed to access the disc 110. Instead of sending the USER ID and DISC UNIQUE ID 230 to the host server 130 for access confirmation, the USER ID and DISC UNIQUE ID 230 stored on the memory card are used to confirm or deny access to disc 110.

[0031] In step 430, if the user console 115 determines that a memory card is not present, then, in step 435, the user console 115 sends the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 to the host server 130. In step 440, the USER ID is sent to the host server 130. In step 445, access instructions regarding user authorization are generated and, if appropriate, a transaction of transfer of disc ownership is made and changes in disc ownership are recorded in the appropriate data fields in the user database 135 and disc database 140. The details of step 445 will be discussed in more detail in conjunction with FIG. 5.

[0032] In step 450, the user console 115 receives from the host server 130 the access instructions. If access permission is granted, step 455, then disc program execution can commence in step 460. However, if access permission is not granted, disc program execution is stopped in step 420. The details regarding access permission and access denial will be discussed below in conjunction with FIG. 5.

[0033] Returning to step 430, if the user console 115 determines that a memory card is present, then, in step 465, the user console 115 determines whether the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 is recorded on the memory card. If the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 is stored on the memory card, then the host server 130 is not contacted and the disc program can be executed in step 460. However, if the user console 115 determines that the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 is not stored on the memory card, then in step 435 the user console 115 sends the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 to the host server 130. In step 440, the user console 115 sends the USER ID to the host server 130. In step 445, access instructions regarding user authorization are generated and, if appropriate, a transaction of transfer of disc ownership is made and changes in disc ownership are recorded in the appropriate data fields in the user database 135 and disc database 140. In step 450, the user console 115 receives access instructions from the host server 130. In step 455, if access permission is granted, then, in step 470, the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 and USER ID are stored on the memory card and, in step 460, the disc program is executed. Consequently, the next time the user boots up the disc 110 with the same memory card installed, the host server 130 does not need to be contacted for access permission.

[0034]FIG. 5 is a flowchart of method steps for granting disc access permission and transacting a transfer of disc ownership, according to one embodiment of the invention. First, in step 505, a network connection is established from the user console 115 to the host server 130. Then, in step 510, the host server 130 determines whether the user is a first time user. If the user is a first time user, then, in step 515, the host server 130 prompts the user for initial user data. The user is then assigned a USER ID by host server 130. If the user is not a first time user, then step 515 is skipped. In steps 520 and 525 the host server 130 receives the USER ID (or set ID) and DISC UNIQUE ID 230 from the user console 115, respectively.

[0035] In step 530, the host server 130 accesses the user database 135 associated with the USER ID and determines if the received DISC UNIQUE ID 230 matches any of the DISC UNIQUE IDs in the user table 310. If there is a match, then the disc 110 has been previously played by the user. Subsequently, in step 535, access permission is sent to the user console 115.

[0036] However, if the received DISC UNIQUE ID 230 does not match any of the DISC UNIQUE IDs in the user table 310 in step 530, then, in step 540, the host server 130 searches for the received DISC UNIQUE ID 230 in other user's user tables. If the host server 130 does not locate a match, then the disc 110 associated with the received DISC UNIQUE ID 230 has been purchased new by the user and never played. Therefore, in step 545, the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 is recorded to the user table 310. The DISC UNIQUE ID 230 may also be recorded to the disc table 320 in the disc database 140. Finally, in step 535, the host server 130 sends access permission to the user console 115.

[0037] If, in step 540, the host server 130 does match the received DISC UNIQUE ID 230 to a DISC UNIQUE ID in another user's user table, then another user owns the disc 110. Therefore, in step 550, the host server 130 retrieves the owner data from the other user's user table, including the other user's owner consent data. If the other user has not agreed to transfer disc ownership, then the user is denied access in step 560. However, if the other user has agreed to transfer disc ownership, then, in step 565, the host server 130 sends the user console 115 payment information. If, in step 570, the user decides not to accept payment terms for the transfer of the disc ownership to the user, then the user is refused access in step 560. However, in step 570, if the user decides to accept payment terms for the transfer of the disc ownership to the user, then the host server 130 enables a payment transaction in step 575.

[0038] The other user is typically the recipient of the payment; however, the payment transaction may also include a royalty payment or license fee to the developer or publisher of the content on the disc 110. If the disc 110 is a gift from the other user, the payment transaction may only include a royalty payment or license fee.

[0039] The payment amount reflects the value of the disc 110, and may be based, for example, on the popularity of the software stored on the disc 110 or the period of time elapsed since the disc 110 was launched. In step 580, the host server 130 deletes the DISC UNIQUE ID in the other user's user table. In step 545, the host server 130 records the DISC UNIQUE ID 230 to the user's user table 310. Finally, in step 535, the host server 130 sends the user console 115 access permission.

[0040] The invention has been explained above with reference to a preferred embodiment. Other embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of this disclosure. For example, the present invention may readily be implemented using configurations other than those described in the preferred embodiment above. Additionally, the present invention may effectively be used in conjunction with systems other than the one described above as the preferred embodiment. Therefore, these and other variations upon the preferred embodiments are intended to be covered by the present invention, which is limited only by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7216156Nov 9, 2005May 8, 2007Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.Incentivizing software sharing thru incentive points
US7225167Nov 21, 2003May 29, 2007International Business Machines CorporationMerchandise-integral transaction receipt and auditable product ownership trail
US7228342Jun 28, 2001Jun 5, 2007Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.System for utilizing an incentive point system based on disc and user identification
US7539737Aug 2, 2005May 26, 2009Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.Utilizing an incentive point system based on disc and user identification
US8108319 *Aug 26, 2003Jan 31, 2012Sony Computer Entertainment America LlcSystem and method for controlling access to computer readable content using downloadable authentication
US8126987Jan 19, 2010Feb 28, 2012Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.Mediation of content-related services
US8258924Mar 13, 2007Sep 4, 2012International Business Machines CorporationMerchandise-integral transaction receipt
US8290604Nov 7, 2008Oct 16, 2012Sony Computer Entertainment America LlcAudience-condition based media selection
US8432257Apr 8, 2012Apr 30, 2013Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Holdings CorporationMerchandise-integral transaction receipt and auditable product ownership trail
US8447421Aug 19, 2008May 21, 2013Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.Traffic-based media selection
US8473701 *Oct 11, 2006Jun 25, 2013International Business Machines CorporationStorage media to storage drive centric security
US8484219Sep 22, 2010Jul 9, 2013Sony Computer Entertainment America LlcDeveloping a knowledge base associated with a user that facilitates evolution of an intelligent user interface
US20080148068 *Oct 11, 2006Jun 19, 2008International Business Machines CorporationStorage Media to Storage Drive Centric Security
US20110313886 *May 19, 2010Dec 22, 2011Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.Sales system and sales management method
Classifications
U.S. Classification705/26.1, 709/229, 705/39
International ClassificationG06Q30/00, G06F21/24, G06F21/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06F2221/0773, G06Q30/0635, G06Q30/0601, G06Q30/06, G06F21/10, G06Q20/10, G06F2221/0797, G06F21/78, G06Q20/1235
European ClassificationG06Q30/06, G06F21/78, G06F21/10, G06Q20/10, G06Q20/1235, G06Q30/0601, G06Q30/0635
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 28, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA, INC., CALIFOR
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CHATANI, MASAYUKI;REEL/FRAME:011955/0196
Effective date: 20010619