|Publication number||US20060242083 A1|
|Application number||US 11/475,340|
|Publication date||Oct 26, 2006|
|Filing date||Jun 26, 2006|
|Priority date||Feb 27, 2003|
|Also published as||US7260557, US20040172367, US20080189131|
|Publication number||11475340, 475340, US 2006/0242083 A1, US 2006/242083 A1, US 20060242083 A1, US 20060242083A1, US 2006242083 A1, US 2006242083A1, US-A1-20060242083, US-A1-2006242083, US2006/0242083A1, US2006/242083A1, US20060242083 A1, US20060242083A1, US2006242083 A1, US2006242083A1|
|Original Assignee||Avaya Technology Corp.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (99), Referenced by (39), Classifications (7), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates generally to the licensing and copy protection of software and video material, more specifically, to portability and distribution of enterprise wide licenses and licenses for copying of software and video material.
To protect software manufacturers' intellectual property rights in software sold to the public, manufacturer's commonly license software to the purchaser. Additionally, in many applications the purchaser has purchased a large number of licenses, commonly referred to as rights to use (RTUs), which are used across many different sites in an enterprise. In particular, a customer may purchase a number of licenses for a release or version of a particular software package for a customer premise telecommunication switching system. Many times the customer also has an enterprise network which includes telecommunication switching systems located at several different sites. Rather than purchase licenses for each individual site, it is often more cost effective to purchase all of the licenses for all of the sites in a bulk package. The licenses may be used across various sites where different telecommunication switching systems are used. In certain instances a customer may need to change the number of licenses for particular sites. For example, a company may initially require 1000 licenses at site A, and 2000 licenses at site B. Due to personnel shifts, the company may later require 500 licenses at site A, and 2500 licenses at site B. Portability of licenses between different sites for an organization is known as “enterprise wide licensing” or “EWL.” EWL may also be advantageous for balancing loads at different sites. For example, an enterprise may have three telecommunications switches and thirty total licenses which are initially distributed as ten licenses per switch. It may then be determined that one of the switches has a heavier volume than the other two, and it would be useful to have additional licenses at that site. In such a case, efficient EWL would be advantageous.
Traditionally, number of licenses available at a site, after the initial license distribution, had to be manually adjusted, which commonly involved contacting the software distributor and obtaining the adjustment of the licenses. This also typically required a technician from the software distributor to visit the sites to install files which allow for the adjusted number of licenses. Thus, it would be advantageous for such a customer to have portability of the licenses, allowing them to automatically adjust the number of licenses available for any given site without requiring the installation of separate files, and without requiring a service call from a technician. As is known, the number of licenses simply indicates the total number of copies of the software package which may be operated at a given time. Accordingly, the licenses control the number of copies of the software package which are available at any given time. Thus, the control of licenses may also be viewed as controlling the number of copies of a software package.
A similar type of problem is present in the high definition digital video content industry. In this case, a content provider which provides high definition digital content needs to limit the available copying of that digital content. Many content providers, such as broadcast television content providers, are required to allow for fair use copying, such as copying for time-shift purposes, but want to limit other copying. This problem is particularly important for devices which are able to digitally record the digital content. In such cases, there is no deterioration in quality for the copy, and additional copies may be made with no deterioration. Accordingly, there is a large piracy concern for such digital content communication.
Traditionally, two schemes have been commonly used to protect content providers from unauthorized copying. One scheme, known as Macrovision™, provides an inherent instability within the picture. When the picture goes through an analog conversion, the instability becomes apparent, degrading the picture. However, this scheme only works if the copying is performed using an analog conversion. As digital recording technology advances, digital recording mediums and hardware to record digitally are become more common. Thus, this scheme will not be effective against copying which is performed using a digital recording medium.
A second scheme is a software restriction on digital transfer of high definition picture. One such method is known as 1080i, which is a digital transmission format defined by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. Embedded in the 1080i digital transmission is an identified transmission quality of picture. This embedded digital encoding is picked up at the receiver, which determines if the transmission is copy protected. While this method can be effective in allowing copying or not allowing copying, it is not flexible with respect to the amount of copying allowed for certain content. For example, in many cases a content provider may need to allow copies of certain content for fair use time-shift purposes. Using this method, if copying of the content is allowed, additional copies may be made following the recording of the original copy. Accordingly, it would be useful to have a system which would allow a single fair use copy, or limited fair use copies, to be made of such content, and limit any additional copies which are made of the content.
Another method to limit copying of content is known as IEEE1394 or “Firewire.” If picture is copy encoded, it is trusted that the receiver will not allow a copy to be made. If the receiver is an original source (i.e. a personal video recorder or “PVR”), a limit on the copies may be given. However, a drawback of this method is that pirates can defeat the digital copy encoding in a relatively simple manner, by locating the information containing the permitted copying information and altering this information to allow for unlimited copies. For example, if a Digital Video Disk (DVD) contains information related to permissible copying of the digital content, a pirate may locate the area on the surface of the disk which contains this information. The pirate may then alter that area such that the information cannot be read, which results in copies being able to be made.
In order to attempt to limit unauthorized copying, content providers may also encrypt the signal. In such a case, the pirate may also defeat the encryption. While encryption is somewhat effective, it requires that encryption keys be distributed in a secure manner. Decoding the encryption also degrades the performance of a video system, and can potentially cause a fault if there is an error in the decryption. Thus, it would be advantageous to provide a method for copy protection which does not rely on copy encoding data in the digital content, and does not require encryption.
Another method for limiting copying of digital content is a failed technology known as DIVX. This technology required a digital player which contacted, via a telephone connection, a center which granted permission to view the digital content. This technology was not successful and raised a number of privacy concerns, as people did not want it to be recorded every time they viewed a movie. Furthermore, permission was required from the authorization source any time the product was viewed. Thus, unlimited copies of the digital content could be made, and the content only viewed upon the grant of permission by the authorization center. This had the effect of removing any incentive for a producer to make any copies of such content, because the content could be copied freely, and an end user would simply pay when the content was actually viewed. Thus, it would be advantageous to provide a copy protection system which maintains incentive for producers to manufacture copies of digital content.
Another problem area in software and digital content distribution may occur following the distribution of the software or some digital content. Following this distribution, it may be determined that the software or digital content violates a law or some rights of another owner. In the event that such a situation arises, it would be advantageous to limit the amount of additional copying which may be done for the software or digital content. For example, a first customer may purchase 10,000 licenses for telecommunications switching software and divide the number of licenses between two sites, with each site receiving 5000 licenses. The license purchase agreement may specify that the customer is to pay the software distributor an amount of $10,000 per month for one year. If the customer then fails to pay the software distributor, it would be advantageous to provide a solution which does not allow the customer to move copies of the software between the sites. Thus, if the customer in this example, after failing to pay the license fee, wishes to move 1,000 licenses from the first site to the second site, it would be useful to the software distributor to be able to deny the movement of the licenses until proper payment is made. Similarly, if a digital content provider determines that the content which is distributed violates an intellectual property right, it would be useful for the content provider to deny any additional copies of the content from being made. For example, a content provider may distribute a movie in digital format, and later discover that a scene in the movie contains a copyrighted image which the copyright owner demands not be reproduced. In such a case, if the content provider cannot resolve the dispute with the copyright owner, it would be useful to deny that any additional copies of the content be made, thus limiting the amount of damages to the copyright owner.
Accordingly, it would be advantageous to have a mechanism which provides copy protection for software and digital content while not inhibiting authorized use. It would also be advantageous for the mechanism to not require encryption, and which also does not require transmission of information every time a customer views the content.
These and other needs are addressed by the various embodiments and configurations of the present invention. The invention provides a method and apparatus for license distribution. An endpoint requests information from a server related to information required for the server to grant a license. The server provides the information to the endpoint. The endpoint obtains the required information, and forwards the information to the server. The server, upon receiving the information, determines if a license may be granted to the endpoint, and transmits a license authorization to the endpoint, which includes the number of licenses which are granted.
In accordance with one embodiment, a method for transferring a license in an enterprise network is provided. The method includes allocating a first number of licenses to a first site, and allocating a second number of licenses to a second site, the first and second sites being geographically dislocated from each other. A license reallocation request is received, and at least one of a third number of licenses for the first site and a fourth number of licenses for the second site is determined, without input from a user. A first response is communicated to the first site which includes the third number of licenses, and a second response is communicated to the second site which includes the fourth number of licenses. Following the response steps, the first and second sites are operated subject to the first site being entitled to the third number of licenses and the second site being entitled to the fourth number of licenses.
The method of this embodiment may also include updating a record indicating the third and fourth number of licenses allocated to the first and second sites, respectively. The record may be updated by accessing a database containing license records, and updating the records to indicate the third and fourth number of licenses allocated to said first and second sites, respectively. The database is accessed, in one embodiment, by establishing communication with a server, and accessing the database on the server which contains said license allocation records.
When making the determination of the third and fourth number of licenses the method, in one embodiment, includes calculating a difference between the first number and a requested number of licenses in the reallocation request, determining an additional number of licenses required for the first site based on the calculated difference, determining the third number of licenses as the sum of the first number and the additional number of licenses, and determining the fourth number by subtracting the additional number of licenses from the second number. In another embodiment, the determination includes accessing a database containing license allocation records to determine the first number and the second number, calculating a difference between the first number and the requested number of licenses in the reallocation request, determining an additional number of licenses required for the first site based on the calculated difference, and determining the fourth number by subtracting the additional number of licenses from the second number. When accessing the database, in one embodiment, a server is accessed by establishing communication with the server, and the database on the server is accessed to obtain the license allocation records.
The first response, in one embodiment, includes a number of fields, including a version number field, a customer name field, a number of licenses granted field, a use allowed field, and a qualifying field. The license reallocation request may also include a number of fields, including a version number field, a customer name field, a number of licenses requested field, and an authorization field.
The receiving and communicating may be performed using a number of protocols, including hypertext transfer protocol (http), and hypertext transfer protocol over secure socket layer (https).
The present invention also includes, in an embodiment, a method for copying digital content by a digital content server. The method includes the steps of displaying digital content, and receiving from a user a request to copy the digital content. Upon receiving the request, a server is accessed, with the server being geographically dislocated from the digital content receiver. The digital content receiver receives, from the server, a request for license information related to requirements for granting a license to copy digital content. The requested license information is determined, and communicated to the server. A copy license is received from the server, with the license including a number of copies which are authorized to be made. A copy of the digital content is generated when the number of copies included in the license is greater than zero. In one embodiment, the digital content receiver has no limitations regarding the viewing of the digital content. The requested license information, in one embodiment, includes several information fields including a content name field, a customer name field, a number of copies requested field, and a payment field. The payment field may include a requirement for credit card information. In one embodiment, the copy license includes a number of information fields, including a content name field, a customer name field, a number of licenses granted field, a use allowed field, and a qualifying field. The qualifying field may include authentication information, and/or a decryption key. In one embodiment, communication to and from the server is performed using hypertext transfer protocol or hypertext transfer protocol over secure socket layer. The copy is generated, in one embodiment, by verifying that the number of copies is greater than zero, verifying that a valid qualifying field is present, generating a copy of the digital content, and decrementing the number of copies.
The present invention includes, in another embodiment, a method for granting a license to copy digital content. The method includes the steps of, receiving, from a digital content receiver, a request for license information fields; communicating the license information fields to the digital content receiver over a network connection; receiving license information from the digital content recorder over the network connection; determining the availability of a copy license based on the license information; and communicating a license, including a number of copies which the digital content receiver is authorized to make, to the digital content receiver over the network connection. In one embodiment, the determining step includes verifying copy license availability for a content title requested to be copied, verifying proper payment, and determining the number of copies based on the payment and copy license availability. In another embodiment, the determining step includes accessing a database containing copy license permissions to determine if copy licenses are available for the requested digital content, verifying proper payment, and determining the number of copies based on the payment and copy license availability. The database may be accessed by establishing communication with a server, and accessing a database on the server which contains the copy license availability. The license information fields may include a number of fields, including a content name field, a customer name field, a number of licenses requested field, and a payment field. The copy license may include a number of fields, including a content name field, a customer name field, a number of licenses granted field, a use allowed field, and a qualifying field. The qualifying may contain authentication information and/or a decryption key. The receiving and communicating steps in one embodiment, are performed using hypertext transfer protocol, or hypertext transfer protocol over secure socket layer.
These and other advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention taken together with the drawings.
Referring first to
The enterprise customer may have purchased a block of licenses which activate certain features in the first and second endpoints 150, 182. The total number of combined users at the endpoints 170, 182 is then limited to the total number of licenses purchased by the enterprise customer. As mentioned above, in certain instances the enterprise customer may need to transfer some or all of the licenses from the first endpoint 150 to the second endpoint 182, in order to enable the second endpoint 182 to support more users. In this embodiment, the server 170 may be accessed by the second endpoint 182 which requests a transfer of licenses from the first endpoint 150 to the second endpoint 182. Likewise, the server 170 may be accessed by the first endpoint 150 to request licenses be transferred to the second endpoint 182.
The server 170, in one embodiment, is operated by the manufacturer of the endpoints who also distributes the licenses allowing the end users to access features or software located at the endpoints. In another embodiment, the server 170 is operated by an distributor of telecommunications switches, who supplies switches to various customers. The distributor may have purchased a number of switches from the switch manufacturer, and a number of licenses from the switch manufacturer, which the distributor allocates to the different customers. In this embodiment, the customer may access the server 170 and request additional licenses from the distributor.
The server 170 determines availability of licenses, and communicates information to the endpoints 150, 182 which may adjust the number of available licenses at the endpoints 150, 182, thus changing the total number of licenses available for the users connected to each endpoint 150, 182. The communications between the endpoints 150, 182 and server 170 will be described in more detail below.
Referring now to
The server receives the license request, and parses the information contained therein to determine the information in each of the license request fields, and determines the available license which may be provided to the endpoint, as noted by block 212. At block 216, the server generates a response which includes a qualification field and a license. The license may be a limited license, such as, for example, a one time copy license for digital content. The license may also be a software license which is then transferred from a first site within an enterprise to a second site within the enterprise. The second site would then have an additional license, and the first site would have one fewer licenses. In such a situation, the license request may also be for any number of licenses, allowing multiple software RTU licenses to be transferred between sites at any given time. The qualification field may be a separate field which is required by the software in order to enable the software. The qualification field may also be a decryption key which the endpoint may use to decrypt an encrypted signal which will enable to endpoint to copy content.
According to block 220, the server communicates the response to the endpoint, thus granting the license. The server then updates a database to include the latest license information, as noted by block 224. If there is an access failure at any point, the server can report the same result back to the endpoint following a license request which has the same information in the different fields. The endpoint may be a piece of hardware having a connection to the server, and may generate all of the transactions for the endpoint and receive the license automatically, or the information from the endpoint may be input by a user. It will be understood that numerous alternatives exist to the flow of the operational steps of
Referring now to
Initially, according to block 300, the endpoint establishes a connection with the server. The endpoint communicates information to the server indicating that it needs to perform a license transaction, as noted by block 304. The endpoint then waits for a response from the server, as noted by block 308. At block 312, the endpoint determines if a response from the server has been received. If a response has not been received, the endpoint determines if a time limit has been exceeded, according to block 316. If the time limit is exceeded, the endpoint reports an error message, as noted by block 320. If, at block 316, the time limit is not exceeded, the endpoint performs the functions of blocks 308 through 312 again. If the endpoint has received a response at block 312, a license request is generated including the information which is required by the server, as noted by block 324. The endpoint, according to block 328, communicates the license request to the server. The endpoint waits for a response from the server at block 332, and determines if a response has been received according to block 336. If a response has not been received from the server, the endpoint determines if a time limit has been exceeded, as noted by block 340. If the time limit has been exceeded, the endpoint reports an error message, as noted by block 344. If a response is received from the server at block 336, the endpoint parses the response and permits copying based on information in the response, as noted by block 348.
Referring now to
Referring now to
Referring now to
A qualifying field 640 contains qualifying information which may be used by the endpoint to verify the validity of the license. The server generates the qualifying field based on an authentication algorithm which is based on as many of the fields as the provider wishes to use to generate a responding qualification field. The endpoint must receive a valid qualifying field in order to permit any change in licenses. The qualifying field 640 may also contain a decryption key, which would allow the endpoint to decrypt information related to the software or content associated with the license. The qualifying field 640 may be scrambled, or obscured by the device receiving the license response page, thus increasing the difficulty of unauthorized users accessing the qualifying field 640 and determining a system or formula which is used to generate the information contained in the qualifying field 640.
Referring now to
A number of licenses field 662 contains information indicating the number of licenses being granted. This number may be the number of licenses allocated for a software program for a site, or may contain the total number of copies allowed to be made in a media application. A use allowed field 666 indicates any limited use for the license. For example, if a software application has an initial trial mode use, the use allowed will indicate that the use is a trial mode, and the period of the trial. The use allowed field 666 may also indicate that only portions of digital content may be copied. For example, a content provider may provide digital video content of an event, and additional digital information which is not required for a video image. The use allowed field may indicate that a copy of the digital video content may be copied, and that the additional digital information may not be copied. Finally, the license structure 650 contains a qualifying field 670, which may contain information for authentication/verification purposes. The license, upon being received at the endpoint, would either allow it to come into service based on the parameters or allow a function to be performed, such as copying of content.
The present invention, in various embodiments, includes components, methods, processes, systems and/or apparatus substantially as depicted and described herein, including various embodiments, subcombinations, and subsets thereof. Those of skill in the art will understand how to make and use the present invention after understanding the present disclosure. The present invention, in various embodiments, includes providing devices and processes in the absence of items not depicted and/or described herein or in various embodiments hereof, including in the absence of such items as may have been used in previous devices or processes, e.g. for improving performance, achieving ease and\or reducing cost of implementation.
The foregoing discussion of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. The foregoing is not intended to limit the invention to the form or forms disclosed herein. Although the description of the invention has included description of one or more embodiments and certain variations and modifications, other variations and modifications are within the scope of the invention, e.g. as may be within the skill and knowledge of those in the art, after understanding the present disclosure. It is intended to obtain rights which include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted, including alternate, interchangeable and/or equivalent structures, functions, ranges or steps to those claimed, whether or not such alternate, interchangeable and/or equivalent structures, functions, ranges or steps are disclosed herein, and without intending to publicly dedicate any patentable subject matter.
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|International Classification||G06F21/00, G06Q99/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G06Q10/087, G06F21/105|
|European Classification||G06Q10/087, G06F21/10A|
|Nov 27, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CITIBANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT,NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:AVAYA, INC.;AVAYA TECHNOLOGY LLC;OCTEL COMMUNICATIONS LLC;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020156/0149
Effective date: 20071026
|Nov 28, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CITICORP USA, INC., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT,NEW YO
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:AVAYA, INC.;AVAYA TECHNOLOGY LLC;OCTEL COMMUNICATIONS LLC;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020166/0705
Effective date: 20071026
|Jun 26, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AVAYA INC,NEW JERSEY
Free format text: REASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNORS:AVAYA TECHNOLOGY LLC;AVAYA LICENSING LLC;REEL/FRAME:021156/0287
Effective date: 20080625
|May 12, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AVAYA TECHNOLOGY LLC,NEW JERSEY
Free format text: CONVERSION FROM CORP TO LLC;ASSIGNOR:AVAYA TECHNOLOGY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:022677/0550
Effective date: 20050930
|Feb 22, 2011||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST, NA, AS NOTES COLLAT
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:AVAYA INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:025863/0535
Effective date: 20110211
|Jan 10, 2013||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST COMPANY, N.A., P
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:AVAYA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:029608/0256
Effective date: 20121221