WO2002011033A1 - Apparatus and method for transmitting and keeping track of legal notices - Google Patents

Apparatus and method for transmitting and keeping track of legal notices

Info

Publication number
WO2002011033A1
WO2002011033A1 PCT/US2001/023878 US0123878W WO2002011033A1 WO 2002011033 A1 WO2002011033 A1 WO 2002011033A1 US 0123878 W US0123878 W US 0123878W WO 2002011033 A1 WO2002011033 A1 WO 2002011033A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
step
user
owner
data
work
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2001/023878
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Timothy R. Smith
Richard R. Rose
Joshua S.G. Yockey
Brian Martin
Len Lass
John Westerbug
Kevin Johnson
Joseph Jones
Original Assignee
Copyright.Net Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/10Protecting distributed programs or content, e.g. vending or licensing of copyrighted material
    • G06F21/16Program or content traceability, e.g. by watermarking

Abstract

A method is described for monitoring and managing the unauthorized use of copyrighted works on a plurality of Internet locations. Each Internet (11) location is coupled to the Internet (11) and hosted by a service provider (15a, 15b, 15c). The method comprises the steps for determining the unauthorized use of copyrighted works at certain Internet locations and the address of the service provider of the Internet location at which the copyrighted work is used without authorization (17a). Then, a message is transmitted to the service provider (15a) of the Internet location on which the copyrighted work is used without authorization; the message requests that the service provider informs its unauthorized user to cease the use of the copyrighted work. Finally, if the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work continues, its unauthorized use for a further set period of time, access is blocked from the Internet to the Internet location on which the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work occurs. In a further aspect of this invention, the unauthorized user (17a) may respond to a notice from the copyright owner (17b) of the copyrighted word by: 1)discontinuing the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work, 2)accepting any license from the copyright owner to use this work, or 3) asserting a defense against the user's copyright.

Description

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TRANSMITTING AND KEEPING TRACK OF LEGAL NOTICES

Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a data processing system for managing the legal policies, procedures and written communications related to Internet copyright notice requirements via a communications network.

Background of the Invention

Title II of the DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act) became law in October of 1998 primarily due to the lobbying efforts of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and On-line service providers (OSPs) who were concerned about their exposure to copyright infringe liability. The ISPs provide access to the Internet and host the websites of their customers or clients. OSPs use the Internet as the means by which they provided any type of service to their customers. In both cases ISPs and OSPs found that the hosted websites of their customers or the activities their customers engaged in contained uses of copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright owner, which resulted in lawsuits being filed. The laws suits named the Service Providers as contributors to the infringing activity, because they hosted the sites or provided technology through their on-line services that contributed to the infringements. As these infringement cases began to threaten the. long-term success of the ISP's andOSP's businesses, they began to lobby for law to protect their interests. On the opposing side, the owners of Copyrights wanted the existing copyright law clarified to insure their rights were protected. The result was the DMCA. The DMCA outlined procedures that were required of ISPs and OSPs if they wanted some immunity from the infringing activities of their customers. ISPs andOSPs must take the following steps if they wish to benefit from the DMCA's immunity or safe harbor provisions:

(a) A Copyright Agent must be designated and registered with the copyright office to make it clear to copyright owners who they should communicate with regarding infringement related issues. ' The name, physical address and e-mail address of the designated Copyright Agent must be supplied and public notice served by registering a document containing this information with the

Copyright Office. (b) A policy must be established for terminating the services of customers who are identified as being repeat copyright infringers.

(c) When an ISP or OSP receives a notice of copyright infringement in proper form from a Copyright owner, the ISP or OSP must take appropriate action in accordance with how the infringing file is either passing through or connected with the ISP's or OSP's system or network.

(i) If the ISP or OSP is acting as a conduit for transmitting, routing or providing connections for infringing material passing through its systems or networks, then the ISP or OSP must keep track of the notifications identifying repeat infringers and terminate the accounts of those infringing subscribers. (ii) If the ISP or OSP is making intermediate and temporary storage of infringing material on its system or network for system caching purposes, then the ISP or OSP must, among other things, expeditiously remove or disable access to the material.

(iii) If the ISP or OSP is storing infringing material, at the direction of a user, on its system or network, then the ISP or OSP must expeditiously remove or disable access to the material.

(iv) If the ISP or OSP is providing information location tools, including a directory, index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link, to an online location containing infringing material or infringing activity, then the ISP or OSP must expeditiously remove or disable access to the material.

(d) The ISP or OSP must respond to the sender of the notice and forward the notice on to its customer or take other appropriate action.

(e) The ISP's or OSP's customer may respond by agreeing to voluntarily remove the infringing file from the location where the file is hosted. If this occurs the Copyright owners can send the ISP or OSP a notice of such action and request that the customer's service be reinstated or unblocked.

(f) The ISP's or OSP's customer may respond with a properly drafted and delivered "counter notice". If this occurs the ISP or OSP must "put back" the removed work within 10 to 14 days.

(g) If the ISP's or OSP's customer delivers a "counter notice" the copyright owner or their agent must obtain a temporary restraining order and deliver it to the ISP orOSP before the 10 "put back" period runs. If the copyright owner or their agent is successful in obtaining and delivering the temporary restraining order within the allotted time, then the ISP orOSP must continue to block access to their customer's infringing material. By proving that these procedures have been established and that this proper communication has occurred with their clients and with Copyright owners, ISPs and OSPs can receive the safe harbor benefits of the DMCA.

As a result of this law, the growth of the Internet, digital distribution and proliferation of Copyrighted works, it was anticipated that a system was needed to monitor and manage the rapid growth in unauthorized use of copyrighted works, and to insure compliance to the DMCA regulations.

Title II of the DMCA assists the Copyright owner by establishing the designated agent requirements mentioned above, which provide a starting place to resolving infringement issues, by establishing the guidelines for drafting proper notice communication, as well as requiring the removal or blockage of properly identified works that are being infringed. It also outlines the course required by the Copyright owners sending the initial notice, the Service Providers receiving the notices, and the clients who are using the owner's work. Automating these administrative tasks and communicating in a style that minimizes unnecessary conflict, allows the process to move from notification to compliance in unprecedented time frames and helps establish a friendlier atmosphere for conducting business. "Terms of Service" agreements are another practice ISPs and OSPs have engaged in order to address the unauthorized use of copyrighted material on their sytems and networks. Terms of service agreements are contracts entered into between an ISP or OSP and their subscribers. Often a terms of service agreement addresses unauthorized uses that are either vaguely defined or fall outside Title II of the DMCA. For such violations ISPs and OSPs pose consequences that often mirror those of Title II of the DMCA, such as termination of service. In such circumstances, if a copyright owner identifies an unauthorized use that falls outside the scope of Title II of the DMCA but is defined as a violation of an ISP's or OSP's terms of service, the copyright owner must send a notice and manage compliance in accordance with the ISP's or OSP's breached terms. This invention will provide the platform for sending notices in accordance with these terms and the tools necessary for managing compliance. Licensing of individual works in an environment like the Internet provides unique opportunities to address logistical problems. It has long been the mind set of the established intellectual rights community that licensing millions of very small uses of copyrighted works was and always will be cost prohibitive, due to the time investment required to interact and negotiate the terms of an endless array of uses with so many potential licensees. "Blanket licensing" agreements have been the answer to resolving this problem by allowing a few organizations to represent a large body of works for a specific right to a specific user group. For example, ASCAP and BMI represent most of the U.S. music publishers and songwriters. They negotiate blanket licensing agreements with radio and television broadcasters who use their client's music and pay royalties to their clients on a sampling basis. However, the automation and efficiencies of the Internet provide new opportunities to streamline this process. By creating a tool that cost effectively notifies Service Providers and their customers of unauthorized uses, it was identified that this would be the best time to engage in negotiating the terms of a particular individual use. This approach would allow the user the option to continue to use the work by properly licensing it, if the owner was so inclined. Automating the negotiation process by having the owners of rights agree to pre-cleared terms and fees for various license types is the key to a successful solution. As such licensing practices are adopted, these terms and fees will become more identifiable and standard licenses more acceptable. This invention will provide the platform for forming these standards and the tools needed to make the process efficient. Replacing unauthorized copies of works with legitimate authorized copies is another opportunity made available by the identification of copyrighted works on the Internet. With the mass dissemination of unauthorized files across the Internet via file distribution technologies such as Napster and Gnutella, rights holders have lost the ability to protect the integrity and prevent the piracy of their works in the digital realm. While identifying these works, sending notices and removing the works from the Internet is a start, providing users with legitimate authorized copies of the works as a replacement is a more complete solution. By creating a tool that allows copyright owners to offer legitimate authorized copies of their works consumers, it was identified that all parties will get what they desire. This approach would allow the user to obtain either a free limited functioning copy of the work, such as a copy that times out on a certain date, or purchase a fully functional copy for distribution via file sharing and other networks connected to the Internet. Providing a replacement option at the time a user is seeking to comply with a notice of infringement is the key to the success of this solution. As rights holders offer more of their works in an authorized format, the sharing of unauthorized files will become less of a problem. This invention will provide the platform for facilitating these transactions and the tools needed to make the process efficient. Summary of the Invention

In accordance with the teachings of this invention, a method is described for monitoring and managing the unauthorized use of copyrighted works on a plurality of Internet locations. Each Internet location is coupled to the Internet and hosted by a service provider. The method comprises the steps of determining the unauthorized use of copyrighted works at certain Internet locations and the address of the service provider of the Internet location at which the copyrighted work is used without authorization. Then, a message is transmitted to the service provider of the Internet location on which the copyrighted work is used without authorization; the message requests that the service provider inform its unauthorized user to cease use of the copyrighted work. Finally, if the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work continues its unauthorized use for a further set period of time, access is blocked from the Internet to the Internet location on which the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work occurs.

In a further aspect of this invention, the method monitors and manages the unauthorized use of a known copyrighted work on at least one of a plurality of Internet locations; each Internet location is coupled to the Internet. The copyright in the known copyrighted work is held by an owner. The method comprises the steps of facilitating the copyright owner to conduct a search of selected of the plurality of Internet locations for the unauthorized use of its copyrighted work and, if the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work of the owner is found on an Internet location, determining the identity of the service provider of that Internet location. Then, a message is transmitted to that service provider permitting the service provider to identify the unauthorized user. Finally, the unauthorized user is facilitated to transmit a message to the copyright owner of the work that has been used without authorization. The message indicates whether the unauthorized user will: i) cease its unauthorized use of the owner's copyrighted work, ii) assert a defense against the owner's copyright, or iii) accept a license to use the owner's copyrighted work.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The nature, operation and advantages of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art when this document is read in conjunction with the attached drawings, where matching reference numbers are applied to matching elements and where:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a system for transmitting information among a number of parties, wherein a network illustratively taking the form of the Internet interconnects the parities with a server that is programmed in accordance with the teaching of this invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 comprise a flow diagram illustrating how the server shown in FIG. 1 is programmed to facilitate communications over the Internet including a notice from a copyright owner to a service provider (SP) that a user retains an allegedly infringing work on systems or networks controlled or operated by or for the SP, and replies by the user and the SP to the notice and directives to block or terminate the infringing work from the SP's system or network;

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 respectively illustrate a further embodiment of this invention and show in greater detail a flow diagram of the design of the Copyright owner's account manager for searching and identifying infringing works, composing and transmitting a notice to a service provider (SP) that provides the systems or networks where the accused work is located, of the SP's account manager on the central system or via the desktop application to process the owner's communication and of composing a communication to the user, a flow diagram of the design the user's account manager to process the SP's message, to compose a reply to the SP, and a flow diagram and to replace or license the owner's work facilitating the SP's account manager to process the user's reply and to compose and transmit a reply message to the owner's interface; FIG. 7 comprises a detailed flow diagram similar to that of FIG. 4 showing the composing and processing of an owner's notice to a SP and to a user, as well as a routine referred to in this document as a "search controller";

FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 provide a detailed description of the "search controller" shown generally in FIG. 7 and show how the plurality of work stations as shown in FIG. 13 are managed to perform concurrent, multiple searches of a plurality of search requests from the work owners;

FIG. 13 is a more detailed schematic of the information transmitting system of FIG. 1, showing a plurality of work stations that perform searches for infringing works under the control of the program illustrated in FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13;

FIGS. 14A, B, C, D, E, F and G show collectively the detailed structure of a relational data base that collects and stores data and records created in the course of the execution of the software illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 or FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, and respectively the Tables that comprise the relational data base;

FIG. 15 shows how selected of the Tables shown in FIGS. 14 are interconnected by pointers that are inserted into selected fields of its Table;

FIGS. 16A through 20 comprise more detailed flow diagrams illustrating the interconnection of FIGS. 1 through 15;

FIGS. 16A - B is a flow diagram illustrating how Copyright Owners, ISPs/OSPs and Users create accounts, verify accounts and log-in to the centralized communication system;

FIG. 17 A respectively illustrates a further embodiment of this invention and shows in greater detail a flow diagram illustrating the processes and modules for managing the activities of a Copyright Owner when utilizing the centralized communication system;

FIG. 17B is a detailed flow diagram of the Copyright Owner's general account maintenance, payment information and access to compatible third party services and technologies;

FIG. 17C is a flow diagram illustrating the process of entering and storing a Copyright Owners work related data and a digital copy of the work. FIG. 17D comprises a flow diagram illustrating the entry and storage of a Copyright Owner's work related business rules for both business to business and business to consumer uses of the work as well as the integration of this data with third party digital rights management solutions;

FIG. 17E provides a detailed flow diagram illustrating the method of managing the search process to insure that all relevant work and search data has been entered appropriately;

FIGS. 17F - 17Fii are flow diagrams illustrating the rules for an Internet search, allowing for multiple types of searches with dynamic rules and an ability to establish custom and default search types;

FIG. 17G is a flow diagram illustrating the method of accessing search rules, assigning the appropriate internal and external search technologies, conducting specified searches, receiving and storing the data gathered from the searches;

FIG. 17H provides a flow diagram illustrating the process for managing, mining and sifting the data received from searches conducted over the Internet;

FIG. 171 is a flow diagram illustrating the rules established by users of the system for governing the "S.I.F.T." processes generally shown in FIG. 17J; FIG. 17J comprises a flow diagram illustrating the "S.I.F.T.ing" or data mining rules of 171 as applied to the data stored in the database that was retrieved during Internet searches, illustrating the removal of unwanted data, as well as the sorting, matching and validation of wanted data;

FIG. 17K is a flow diagram illustrating the process of managing and sending communication based on the data gathered in 17G and managed/mined/S.I.F.T.ed as shown in 17J; FIG. 17L is a flow diagram illustrating the process of a user establishing the rules for drafting and sending of appropriate communication to appropriate recipients in response to the data gathered in 17J, editing the predrafted notices and saving rules to create customized communications;

FIG. 17M is a flow diagram detailing the process of apply the rules established in 17L and the data gathered in 17J in order to automate the composing of communications; FIG. 17N is a flow diagram that completes the process set in motion by FIGS. 17K, L and M by allowing users to manually or automatically send appropriate communication across multiple communication avenues, such as email, instant messaging, chat groups, newsgroup, postal services and others;

FIG. 170 is a flow diagram illustrating the process of managing follow-up actions and analyzing the status of all outgoing and incoming communications; FIG. 18A respectively illustrates a further embodiment of this invention and shows in greater detail a flow diagram illustrating the processes and modules for managing the activities of an ISP orOSP when utilizing the centralized communication system or stand alone system that is integrated with the centralized communication system embodied herein; FIG. 18B is a detailed flow diagram of the ISP's/OSP's general account maintenance, payment information and access to compatible third party services and technologies;

FIG. 18C is a flow diagram illustrating the process of gathering and managing ISP and OSP designated agent information, affiliates, corresponding netblocks, other services offered (such as Internet access, email, file sharing, chat, instant messaging, etc.) and the preparation of designated agent forms for submission with the U. S . Copyright Office;

FIG. 18D is a flow diagram illustrating the process of gathering and storing data for ISPs/OSPs that define violations of terms of service agreements with their customers;

FIG. 18E comprises a flow diagram showing the management of ISP/OSP communication, by responding to internal and external communications identified in the data stored as processed by the "communication integrator" shown in FIG. 18Ei, applying the rules established through the process shown in FIG. 18F and sent as shown in FIGS. 18G, 18Gi, and 18GU;

FIG. 18F is a flow diagram illustrating the process for creating rules for responding to the various types of communications related to the ISP's/OSP's rules as defined in FIG 18D which are received by the system as shown in FIG 18H; FIGS. 18G, 18Gi and 18Gii comprise a flow diagram illustrating how the communications received in 18H is categorized by the sender and further details the flow of the ISP's/OSP's responses as established in the rules in 18F;

FIG. 18H is a flow diagram illustrating the receipt and integration of communications from responses originating within the centralized communication system and responses originating from external sources via data transfer and/or data entry;

FIG. 181 is a flow diagram illustrating the process of generating reports comprised of the data stored through the processes shown in 18C and 18E;

FIG. 19A respectively illustrates a further embodiment of this invention and shows in greater detail a flow diagram illustrating the processes and modules for managing the activities of an end User of a copyrighted work ("User") when utilizing the centralized communication system embodied herein; FIG. 19B is a detailed flow diagram of the User's general account maintenance, payment information and access to compatible third party services and technologies;

FIG. 19C is a flow diagram illustrating the process of a User entering the user names and OSPs and ISPs for which they are associated, such as Napster, MusicCity.com, America Online and Yahoo, displaying all abuse related communications they have received, and allowing Users to respond to each communications in accordance with their rights under the law or with the terms of the agreements with their service provider;

FIG. 19D is a flow diagram illustrating the process of a User viewing outstanding actions against their account and the availability of authorized files, as made available by the Owner in accordance with the rules established in the centralized communication system, and the User's action to remove unauthorized files and receive authorized copies;

FIG. 19E is a flow diagram that shows the process of managing the information gathered through the "communication integration" process as shown in FIG. 19H, in accordance with the communication rules as shown in FIG. 19F, and processing the combined information with the "communication/response" system as shown in 19G;

FIG. 19F is a flow diagram illustrating the User's ability to consolidate their compliance actions into the single click of a mouse, based upon their agreement with the "1 -Click Comply" terms, and the User's ability to automatically receive authorized files, when available, in accordance with the Owner's terms established in the centralized communication system; FIG. 19G is a flow diagram illustrating the process of applying the rules of 19F to abuse communications received by the end User for the purpose of automating the process of responding to abuse communications in accordance with the laws or under the provisions of the User's terms of service agreements with their ISP/OSP;

FIG. 19H is a flow diagram illustrating the receipt and integration of communications from responses originating within the centralized communication system and responses originating from external sources via data transfer and/or data entry;

FIG. 20 is a flow diagram illustrating the process of the centralized communication system checking the authority and account status of all system users (including Copyright Owners, ISPs/OSPs and Users), allowing access to approved services and actions and blocking access to services and actions for which the user does not have approval or a positive account balance; and FIG. 21 is flow diagram that illustrates a centralized and standardized communication system for copyright owners, Internet Service Providers/Online Service Providers and both business and consumer users of copyrighted works, which incorporates the functions of tracking/monitoring uses of works, providing unauthorized file replacement, and licensing and distribution of copyrighted works.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments

The cenfralized communication system of this invention is designed to receive the communication and data necessary to automatically draft, route, and archive copyright notice communications, to receive their appropriate responses for all parties subject to the notice procedures or other predefined rules, to manage the procedures needed to qualify Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and On-Line Service Providers (OSP's) for safe harbor copyright infringement protection, as prescribed in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) or as prescribed by and ISP's or OSP's terms of service agreement, to provide end Users with a centralized system to comply with abuse related communication and license or purchase authorized copies of files directly from the Copyright Owner or their Agents, and to provide Copyright Owners with a central system for monitoring the use of their works on the Internet, send appropriate notifications regarding the use of such works and offer terms for licensing or purchasing authorized copies of identified works. In particular, depending on the type of unauthorized activity identified, the system prompts a user for the data required under the DMCA to comply with its "Proper" legal notice provisions or prompts a user for data required under the ISP's/OSP's TOS to comply with its notice provisions. The data is included in pre-drafted documents to be routed to the appropriate recipient of the communication. The system prompts the users for the intended recipient's information and assists the user in identifying the appropriate recipient by querying a database of information that has been gather from sites on the Internet that contain legally required public notice of persons who are to receive copyright infringement notices. These people are referred to in DMCA as the designated Copyright Agent After all required data has been entered, the communication is routed to the recipient. Upon receipt of the electronically delivered communication, the recipient is supplied with a hyper-link, contained within the electronically delivered communication, which automatically connects the recipient to the server system where the data processing system resides. If the recipient uses the hyper-link, upon entering the site they are given the option of becoming a new user of the data processing system and will be prompted to establish an account. New Users of the data processing system choose one of four classifications of users: ISP's/OSP's, Copyright Owners, Copyright Users, and agents of copyright owners such as an attorney. The communication and response options available to each user of the system are predicated on type of user using the system and the point in time at which they become involved in the process. If the new user is an ISP or OSP, they will be prompted to enter the data necessary to insure procedural compliance with the DMCA safe harbor rules. Once the new user's account is established, all appropriate legal response communications will be generated automatically and routed to the appropriate parties and archived with a single click of the user's mouse. The data processing system will continue to prompt, generate, route for every category of user of the system and store all copyright communications by a unique "case log" identifier which will link all correspondence related to a specific case from the inception of the original notice to its conclusion. All communication data, completed notice communications, dates and times as well as the data required to comply with the safe harbor rules of the DMCA, are maintained in the database of the data processing system. Reports maybe generated from this information, to substantiate the ISP/OSP user's efforts to comply with the safe harbor requirements of the DMCA.

Referring now to the drawings and in particular to Figure 1, there is shown a data communication system 9, which comprises an Internet 11 to which are connected a plurality of client's or user's computers, only one of which is illustrated in FIG. 1 as identified by the numeral 17a. The computer 17a is connected by a computer 15a for its Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the Internet 11 to permit messages to be received by and transmitter from the computer 17a to any of the computers that may be connected to the Internet 11. Potentially, the user's computer 17a stores in its memory a folder of files; each file contains the name of a work and a link to another computer attached to the Internet 11 having a site where the actual work is stored. For example, the work may take the form of a song, a book, a movie, a computer program and others as would be known to those skilled in the art. The copyrights in such works are owned typically by others than the users of the computers 17a. In other words, the computer users are infringing the owner's copyright in the work if the copyrighted works reside on the computer's 17a memory with out a license or other approval of the copyright owner. In particular, clients of the ISPs, i.e., users, who desire to acquire a copy of the copyrighted work may log onto the user's computer, access the file bearing the name/attributes of the desired work and then actuate the link to where the work is stored, whereby a copy of that work may be readily downloaded to the ISP's or OSP's user or client.

Still referring to Figure 1, a system 13 in accordance with the teachings of this invention for monitoring the use of such works and for managing the use and licensing of the intellectual property rights in such works, is incorporated into the communication system 9. The managing/monitoring system 13 includes a managing server or computer 17c, and a computer 15c for an ISP that connects the managing/monitoring system 13 to the Internet 11. The managing server 17c may comprise a single computer for carrying out multiple functions or a plurality of computers as illustrated in FIG. 1. Illustratively, the managing server 17c may comprise a database computer 17c-l, an E-mail computer 17c- 2, a search and send computer 17c-3 and an user interface computer 17c-4. It is appreciated, through not shown in Fig. 1, that a website or Internet location is inserted between the system 13 and the Internet 11 to allow the other service provider computers 15a and 15b for the copyright user and the copyright owner to interface via the Internet with the system 13. Broadly considered, the Internet location illustratively includes web sites, FTP sites, news groups, chat rooms, peer-to-peer networks and other terminals as may be known to those skilled in the art.

In addition, the communication system 9 includes a computer 17b for the owner of the works and a computer 15b for an ISP connecting the computer 17b to the Internet 11, and a database 19 that is also connected to the Internet 11 and stores user information, the names of the proprietor's and designated copyright agent's of the ISP's computers 15a, e.g., the known American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) and others. As appreciated by those skilled in the art, the Internet 11 facilitates the ready communication of the managing/monitoring system 13 with any of the copyright user's computers 17a, the copyright owner's computers 17b, the ISP's computers 15a, 15b, 15c, and the public data bases 19.

Referring now to Figure 2, there is shown a flow diagram for programming variously the managing server 17c, the client's or user's computer 17a and the owner's computer 17b as shown in FIG.

1. To send a proper notice to an infringer of a copyrighted work, the owner of the copyright must provide information set forth by the DMCA. In particular, the owner composes in step 12 a notice which must include: 1) the owner's name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address; 2) identify the user's work(s) accused of infringing the owner's copyright; 3) the type, title, and description of the infringing work, and 4) identification of the infringing user including the URL of its site, or the name, file path and the SP of the user. Further, the owner must include in the notice a "good faith" declaration that:

1) the user's use of the accused work has not been authorized by the owner; 2) the statements set out in the declaration are accurate to the best of the owner's knowledge, and 3) the electronic signature of the owner.

Then the owner sends in step 12 the notice as an Email from the owner's computer 17b to the user's computer 17a as shown in FIG. 1. At this time, the owner's computer 17b also assigns: 1) a case number to the notice; and 2) a separate case number to each of the user's computers 17a if multiple users are listed in the notice. All of the information inserted into these owner's notices is stored in the database 19.

Next, step 14 determines whether the Email address on the notice is correct or not, i.e., the notice is returned to the owner's computer 17b. If the notice is not returned, it is deemed in step 18 to be received by the user's computer 17a , and the owner's computer 17b downloads over the Internet 11 to the user's computer 17a a webpage, which presents a hyperlink to the computer 17b to effect two actions. The hyperlink determines in step 20 whether the database (not shown) of the user's SP's computer 15a does not include data bearing the url or user name that was included within the received notice, i.e., the data base of the SP's computer 15a is storing the accused work of the owner. If not, the user's SP's computer 15a forwards in step 22 a letter to the owner stating that it does not have the infringed work identified by the url or the user's name contained in the received notice. Next, step 24 determines that the owner has received the letter generated in step 22. The owner must now find the identity of the SP's computer 15a in which user that stores the accused work, and determines in step 26 whether to outsource the finding of the url or name of the SP's computer 15a with the infringing work or to use resources of the managing server 17c to perform this search. If step 26 decides to outsource, a corresponding request is generated to find the SP's computer 15a of the user with the infringing work. If step 26 decides to use the resources of the managing server 17c to identify the SP's computer 15a with the accused work, the managing server 17c undertakes to find the url or name. The new urls or names of the SP's computer 15a with the infringing work found in steps 34 or 26 are inputted to step 28, which determines whether the new SP's computer 15 is the one with the infringing work. If not, step 30 informs the owner's computer 17b that a SP's computer 15a with the infringing work has not been found. If the address for the SP's computer 15a with the accused work is found in step 28, then step 16 transmits to the owner's computer 17b a message including the name and Email address of the SP's computer 15a with the infringing work whereby the owner is enabled to send a new notice with the new address.

On the other hand if data bearing the url or if the user's name resides in the database of user's SP's computer 17a as determined in step 20, then this SP's computer 17a accesses the Email address of its infringing user and shares the Email address of the owner's computer 17b sending the notice with the user whose data is stored in the database of the SP's computer 15a. Next, this SP's computer 15a composes and transmits in step 36 the owner's notice to the accused user and to the SP's webmaster with the instruction to block the accused user's information site. In step 38, the webmaster blocks the identified user's information site and provides a message confirming the block to the SP at its computer 15 a.

Next, step 40 determines whether the notice forwarded to the user in step 36 has been returned, indicating that the user's computer's address of that notice was invalid. If the address of the user's computer 17a is invalid, step 42 sets a flag indicating that the user's address is invalid and the SP's computer will conduct a search of its database for a physical address for the accused user's computer 17a. Step 44 determines whether the user's physical address has been registered and stored in the database of the SP's computer 15a, and if not available, step 46 forwards a letter instructing the SP's webmaster to block the site of the accused user. After blocking the site, the SP's computer 15a will transmit a message to the owner's computer 17b confirming the site block. If the user's physical address is found, step 50 mails the notice of step 36 to the physical address of the accused user. If step 40 determines that the accused user's Email address is valid and the accused user has received the owner's infringement notice, the owner's computer 17b in step 48 downloads a web page to the accused user's computer 17a that permits the user to perform one of three actions. The accused user can either provide a counter offer to the owner's notice, voluntarily remove its accused work from its information site on the data base of the SP's computer 15a, or request a license to use the accused work. To this end, the user decides in step 52 of whether to provide a counter offer to the owner. If the user elects to counter, step 58 facilitates the user's composition of such a notice. In particular, the user can enter its name, address, telephone number and make two declarations under the penalty of perjury as required by the DMCA. The user's first declaration confirms that its site has been blocked and was not authorized the use of the work identified by the owner's notice on its website or data base location of the SP's computer 15a. The second required declaration states that the user accepts jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the user's residence is located. The composed user's reply is sent to the SP's computer 15a in step 62. If the user decides in step 52 not to counter the owner's notice, the user can decide to license in step 54 the use of the accused work. Upon deciding to license in step 54, the user composes in step 60 and transmits in step 62 a reply message to the SP's computer 15a indicating the user's election to license. Further, that election is also stored at the user's site of the data base of the SP's computer 15a. If the user decides in step 54 not to license the accused work, the user may voluntarily remove the accused work and composes in step 56 a reply indicating that the accused work has been so removed as well as its address and name, before transmitting in step 62 this reply to the SP's computer 15a.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the user's message as generated in step 62 is received in step 64 by the SP's computer. In step 66, the forwarding of the owner's notice to the user in step 36 initiates a clock created in the owner's computer 17b; if after two days from the sending of the owner's notice as timed by this clock the user has not transmitted a reply in step 62, the SP's computer 15a will receive in step 68 an Email or letter from the owner's computer 17b indicating the absence of a timely user reply. If the letter indicative of a late user reply was received as detected in step 68, step 70 determine whether the address of the user's reply to the SP's computer 15a was valid. If the Email address was valid, step 72 actuates the SP's computer 15a to set a termination date by which the accused user must respond in step 62 to prevent having its site blocked. In addition, step 72 transmits a message notifying the owner of the status of the user's response. On the other hand if step 70 determines that the Email address used in its reply was invalid, then step 42 will determine if the user has registered and stored its physical address in its site on the database of the SP's computer 15a. If not, the SP's computer 15a will forward a message to the SP's webmaster to block the user's site. Step 74 determines when the SP's computer receives a user reply as generated in step 62 to reset all of the clocks running in the owner' computer 17b including the user reply clock described above with respect to step 66. In the following, the programming will determine which of the three potential user replies is received and, after processing, a message will be sent to the owner's computer 17b. Next, step 76 determines whether the user's reply is a counter notice. If not, step 78 determines whether the user's reply is a request to license the accused work. If so, step 80 composes and transmits to the owner's computer 17b a message indicating that the user wants to receive a license, and a message to the SP's webmaster to confirm that the work was removed. Next step 86 examines the message sent from the SP's computer 15a to the owner's computer 17b to determine whether to block or to remove the block on the accused user's information site. If the instruction is to remove the block, step 92 removes that block. On the other hand if the message to the owner's computer 17 is to place a block on the user's site, that action is taken in step 88. If step 78 determines that the user's reply is not a request to license the accused work, step 84 determines whether the accused work has been voluntarily removed and, if so, a message is transmitted to the owner's computer 17b indicating that the work has been removed. A further message is also sent to the SP's webmaster to confirm that the accused work has been removed.

When the owner's computer 17b has received the user's reply as determined in step 90, the program will respond is accordance with the kind of the user's reply as will be explained. If the reply is not a counter offer as determined in step 96 and the user has requested a license to use the accused product as determined in step 106, step 114 will actuate the owner's computer 17b to send a message to the replying user with a license agreement for the user to fill out to license the copyrighted work. On the other hand if step 106 determines that the reply is not a license request, step 108 checks as to whether the user has voluntarily removed the work, and the owner will be informed that the user will be checked on in a month as to whether the accused work is still removed from the user's site. If step 96 determines that the user's reply is counter notice, step 98 prompts the owner to obtain a TRO against the accused user with the assistance of an attorney, i.e., the attorney in step 100 will complete and file the Federal District Court with jurisdiction and will forward copies of the filings to the SP. Next, a clock in the owner's computer 17 is initiated in step 102 by the filing of the papers in court and, if the papers are received in a reasonable time, e.g., 10 days, the clock will be terminated. If the papers are timely received by the SP from the owner as determined by step 102, i.e., the TRO papers are received within 10 days, the SP will send in step 110 the papers to the user and, if the user's block was removed, the SP will instruct in step 112 its webmaster to block the user's site if the block had been removed. Then, the accused user will receive and will seek action in step 116 in the Federal District Court. If the owner's computer 17b does not receive the TRO papers within 10 days after the counter was initiated in step 102, the owner's computer 17b will send in step 104 a letter to the SP's computer 15a, which in turn will send instructions to the SP's webmaster to remove the block on the user's site .

A further illustrative embodiment of the programming of this invention will now be described with respect to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, which describes the overall method. In the course of carrying out various of the steps as shown in FIG. 4, records concerning these transactions will be created and stored in a relational data base 510, which is shown in FIGS. 14A - G. As will be explained, the relational data base 510 includes a plurality tables where the created records will be selectively stored. Further included is FIG. 15, which shows the relationships of these tables with each other. In particular, pointers in one table indicate where the complete data relating to a particular field is found. Lines are inserted in FIG. 15 to illustrate how pointers relate data in one table to data in another table.

By executing the steps shown in the flow diagrams of FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, records will be collected and used to populate the Tables of FIGS. 14 and 15. Referring initially to FIG. 4, there is shown a flow diagram of how the owner of the copyright in the work searches for the works infringing its copyright, determines the identification data associated with the infringing work and composes a notice to the infringing users. In step 111, the work owner signs into the owner's computer 17b by entering data that defines its works (Owner's name, address, phone number, email address), obtains a pass word for accessing the owner's agent, clicks a hyperlink in an email they have received to validate that the email address they entered is its, and inputs a list of the owner's works to be protected and identifies each by title and type, e.g., movie, book, picture, software etc. The data reflective of one of the owner's work is known as a record and is created and stored in the relational data base 510 and in particular its Works Table 520 as shown in FIGS. 14A and 15. The Key of the Works Table 520 is the field WorklD. In other words, upon insertion of a new record of a work into the Works Table 520, the WorklD is automatically incremented. Thus, the incremented WorklD uniquely identifies the new Work record. Similarly as a new owner signs on in step 111, a record reflecting the data defining the owner is created and is entered into an Owner Table 522. The Key of the Owner Table 522 is the OwnerlD. When the new record indicative of the owner is entered into the Owner Table 553, the OwnerlD is automatically incremented whereby a unique ID is automatically assigned to that new owner. Once the WorklD field that points to the Works Table 520 and the OwnerlD field that points to the Owners Table 522 are created in step 111 as described above, a new record is created in the SearchList Table 540 as shown in FIGS. 14D and 15. The SearchList Table 540 has a Key, i.e., SearchED. When the new record is created, the SearchDD is incremented. For each SearchList record stored in the SearchList Table 540, there can be multiple search records which are stored in the SearchResults Table 542 as shown in FIGS. 14D and 15 and include a Key, i.e., SearchResultsID, that is automatically incremented upon the creation of a new SearchResults record. In particular for each SearchResults record created, there is a field, Uniqueinfringers, that relates to the number of records in an frrfringersList Table 534 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15. The InfringerList Table 534 also contains an automatically incremented field, i.e.,InfringerID. The key to the InfringerList Table 534 is the loading of all of the fields or pointers Username, IPAddress, FilePath, FileName, and SearchlD into the InfringerList Table 534 so that this table increments the InfringerlD and a unique number is assigned to each infringer.

The owner initiates the search for infringing works in step 113 by deciding whether to use the search tools available in the owner's agent or external tools. If the external search tools are selected in step 113, the owner may designate in step 115 the external data bases to be searched such as "Napster" where songs are available for copying, and peer-to-peer network systems where a library of links are assembled to provide access for copying of a wide variety of works, e.g., movies, songs, software, etc. If search tools of the owner's agent is selected in step 113, any of the search programs that are known to those skilled in the art such as MediaEnforcer ASP may be used to identify an infringing work, whereby an interface 117 is used by the owner by selecting the works, e.g., song(s), to be searched by the search facilities of the owner's agent to locate the site where a work infringing the owner's copyright may be located, as well as the name of the site's proprietor and the IP address or identifier number of that site. The outputs of step 115 and interface 117 are a list of locations or sites, where infringing works are stored. For each such infringement, there is information obtained which includes: the Username used in registering with the peer to peer software, the IPAddress, the date and time of alleged infringement and the file information (file path and filename). If the IPs are not available in the search facilities of the owner's agent, they may be found by accessing via the interface 117 and searching the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) as stored in the database 19, where address numbers of the various locations or sites that are associated with the various database sites may be found.

In step 116, the owner initiates the preparation of a notice to the user or subscriber of the database of the SP's computer 15a, where the user's infringing work is located. The notices are composed to include the file location, the proprietor's Username, the IP address, and the date and time of infringement as gathered in step 115 or from the interface 117. Step 118 determines whether the identification information for the Copyright Agent for each of the ISPs and the OSPs has been found and inserted into the owner's notices. If not, step 120 accesses various databases including ARIN to find the IPs for all of the ISPs and OSPs associated with the databases of the SP's computer 15a where the accused works are stored. In particular, step 120 accesses from the ARIN data base the name of the ISP and the contact information, and populates the fields of the ISPs Table 536 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15, i.e.,ISPName, Contact, Address, City, State, ZIP. Phone, FAX and Email, with the accessed date The ISP Table 536 has a Key, i.e., the ISPID field. Each time the contact data of an ISP is down loaded to the IPSs Table 536, the ISPID field is increment whereby each ISP is uniquely identified by a number. The ISPs Table 536 also includes a DAID field which points to a key in a DesignatedAgents Table 544 as shown in FIGS. 14D and E, and 15. The DAID field is incremented to uniquely identify the agent of a particular ISP. Further, each record in the InfringerList Table 534 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15 contains a field that point to the ISPID field of the ISPs Table 536 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15.

When the Copyright Agents have been identified either in step 118 or 120, step 122 provides the owner an option of whether or not to provide a license to the infringing user to use each of the owner's works. If the owner elects not to license a particular work, the owner sets in step 126 an indication or flag associated with that work that it will not be licensed and the composed owner's notice will not include a license option for the accused user. On the other hand if the owner elects to offer such a license to the user, step 124 incorporates such an offer to license in its user notice. Though not shown in FIG. 4, the owner in an embodiment of this invention may be given in a similar manner the option to select which license terms, e.g., licensing fee, licensing conditions, termination provisions etc., which may be included in the license for each of its work. Once the notice has been composed, it is transmitted illustratively via the Internet 11 to the Copyright Agent for the SP computer 15a, whose database stores the accused work.

In the course of composing the notice to the user in either of steps 124 or 126, a record is created for each notice to be sent to the ISP and is stored in a Notices Table 546 as shown in FIGS. 14E and 15. The Notices Table 546 has a key, i.e., the NoticelD field. Upon composing a new notice, the current Notice ID is incremented to provide a unique Notice ED for each newly composed notice. The Notices Table 546 also includes a Search ID field which points to the SearchlD field of the SearchList Table 540 as shown in FIGS. 14D and 15, and a SentToID field which points to the DAID field of the DesignatedAgents Table 544 as shown in FIGS. 14D, 14F and 15, and to the ISPID field of the ISP Table 536 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15. A record is created in the NoticeLog Table 548 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 with the NoticelD field pointing to the NoticelD field in the Notices Table 546. The NoticeLog Table 548 has a Key, i.e., NoticeLoglD, which is incremented.

It is appreciated that a single notice may be sent in step 124 or 126 to any number of the users or infringers. A CaseNumber is created for each time that a notice is sent to each user. In particular when a notice is sent in step 124 or 126, a record is created in theLogBook Table 550 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 for each InfringerlD for a particular SearchlD. The LogBook Table 550 has a key, i.e., the CaseNumber. Upon insertion in the LogBook Table 550 of a SearchlD that is generated by the owner's initiation of a search, of a NoticelD that is generated by the composition of a notice and of an InfringerlD upon identification of an infringer, a record is created, and the Key, i.e., the Case Number, is incremented to provide a number indicative of each time that a notice was sent to each infringer. Also, the SearchlD field points to the SearchlD field in the SearchList Table 540, the NoticelD field points to the NoticelD field in the Notices Table 546, and the InfringerlD that points to the InfringerlD field in the InfringerList Table 534. Still referring to Figure 4, step 132 determines next whether the Email address for the ISP's

Copyright Agent as attached to the notice is valid, illustratively by comparing the notice's address with that recorded in the records of the Copyright Office. Presently, the Copyright Office maintains a website, where the name and contact data (including an Email address) of each registered Copyright Agent is stored. If the Email address found in step 132 is incorrect, step 130 locates the correct address for the SP's copyright agent by accessing the SP's website. Next in step 128, the address born by the owner's notice is corrected and the owner's notice is resent to the corrected address of the SP's Copyright Agent. After determining in step 132 that the owner's notice is correct, then step 134 detects the arrival of the owner's notice at the SP's website or computer 15a along with a web page bearing a hyperlink with the SP's Copyright Agent. Further in step 134 when the owner's notice is received, a record is created in the NoticeLog Table 548 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 and the Notice Log ID is incremented to identify the received notice and the event is coded "1" to indicate that the notice was delivered or received. Next in step 136, the SP signs in to the Copyright Agent by actuating the hyperlink born by thewebpage carried by the owner's notice, whereby the owner's notice is transmitted to the Copyright Agent. Then, step 138 determines whether the IP number carried by the owner's notice corresponds to a storage site which belongs to this SP. If not, interface 140 notifies the SP's Copyright Agent that the IP number was not associated with the particular SP. Then, a message or letter is sent in step 142 informing the owner that the IP number born by its notice was incorrect and prompting the owner toresend its notice to the correct SP. Then, an inquiry is sent over the interface 130 to the SP's website where the correct Email address of that SP may be accessed. Then, the owner's notice with the amended Email address is resent in step 128. On the other hand if step 138 determines that the addressed SP is related to the IP address contained in the owner's notice is correct, step 144 then searches this database of the SP's computer 15a for the user's site corresponding to the IPs listed in the owner's notice and downloads a list of the corresponding users, the IPs for each user, the dates and times of identifying the infringing works, and the addresses of the files storing the infringing work, i.e., the address of the file for storing the infringing data. Also when the ISP downloads the list of users or infringers, a record is created in the NoticeLog Table 548 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15, and the Eventuate is coded with the time that the list was received. A clock in the owner's agent is started running upon the receipt of the owner's notice by the addressed SP as detected in step 134 and, if after 2 business days as determined by that clock, step 144 has not downloaded any infringing users and the related data, then step 146 sends to each accused SP an individual message identifying the accused work and the cite where the accused work is stored, whereby the list of infringing works may be outputted. Next in step 148, the SP uses the above described hyperlink carried by the owner's notice to download the list of infringing works to the Copyright Agent. If the SP is unable to down load the list over the hyperlink as determined in step 148, the SP then uses in step 150 an outside communication system to transmit this list to the Copyright Owner. Step 154 then determines whether the SP has downloaded or entered manually the list of the accused users and their corresponding location data and, if not, the process is suspended. On the other hand, if the list has been collected, the process continues in step 156, where integration of the collected data into the notice begins. First, step 158 uploads the location data that is linked via each of theSPs to the user's/subscriber's Email addresses.

When the ISP uploads the list of location data of the infringers, a record is created in the NoticeLog Table 548 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 to set the EventDate to indicate the time that ISP downloaded the list. For each infringer identified by the IPS, a record is created in the Userlnfo Table 558 as shown in FIGS. 14G and 15. The Userlnfo Table 558 includes a Key, i.e., the UserlnfoID field which is incremented. The Userlnfo Table 558 includes the CaseNum which points to the CaseNum filed in the LogBook Table 550. The collected data is now entered or populated into the notice in step 160 to complete the preparation of the notices. Then, the prepared notices are sent in step 162 from the SP to its users. When the ISP forwards in step 162 the notice of infringement to each user or infringer, a record is created in the NoticeLog Table 548 to set the EventDate to the time that the infringement notices were sent based on the CaseNumber.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown a flow diagram for generally facilitating the transmittal of the owner's notice from the SP named in the notice to the accused user, the user's preparation of a reply to the notice, and the transmittal of the user's reply to the owner. The receipt of the user's notice sent to the user in step 162 is detected and initiates in step 166 a timer or clock that will facilitate the user's reply in that "expeditious time" required by the DMCA. In an illustrative embodiment of this invention, the expeditious time period is set to 14 days. The receipt of the SP's notices by the users is detected in step 168. If the notice is not received, step 170 characterizes the notice as invalid. Next in step 172, the SP uses its Copyright Agent to access and use the user's physical address to forward the owner's notice to the accused user. If the Copyright Agent is unable to forward the notice as detected in step 172, the SP related to that Copyright Agent accesses and uses in step 174 the user's physical address to forward the notice to the user. The Copyright Agent also sends a message to the webmaster of the accused user, whereby the user's site is blocked in step 176 , i.e., the user's service is terminated. The owner's notice is then sent in step 182 to the physical address of the accused user. Next, the user notes and saves in step 180 the URL and case number (assigned in step 12) that were carried by the owner's notice so that they might be applied to user's reply. Then, step 178 confirms that the user has received the owner's notice. When step 178 confirms that the user or infringer has received the notice, the EventDate of the LogBook Table 548 as shown in FIG. 14F is updated to indicate the time that the user received the notice.

Still referring to FIG. 5, the flowchart now interprets the owner's notice, composes the user's reply and, finally, forwards the user's reply to the SP. First, step 184 determines whether the owner in its notice offered an option to license the user to use the infringing work. Illustratively, step 184 examines the notice for the presence of the option flag indicating the availability of a license from the owner and, if present, a licensing interface 190 is established between the owner and the accused user to establish the terms of the license. In the course of carrying out step 190, a License Table 560 is created as shown in FIGS. 14G and 15 with a key, i.e., LicenselD, which identifies a particular license. The License Table 560 includes a UserlnfoID field, which points to the UserlnfoIF field in the Userlnfo Table 558 as shown in FIGS. 14G and 15. On the other hand if step 184 determines that the owner's did not offer a license, step 186 then determines whether the accused user voluntarily removed the infringing work. If the infringing work has been removed, the user composes in step 192 a reply to the SP's Copyright Agent that the accused work has been removed. When the user has composed in step 192 a voluntary removal note, the NoticeLog Table 548 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 is updated to indicate the time that the user composed the voluntary removal notice. If the work has not been removed as detected in step 186, then the user will compose in step 188 a reply in the nature of a counter notice, e.g., the user has already obtained a license to use work, has a defense, etc. When the user or infringer has composed in step 188 a counter notice, EventDate of the LogBook 548 is updated to indicate the time that the user composed the counter notice. Next step 194 determines whether the user has sent a reply and, if so, step 202 permits the user to transmit its reply to the SP or its Copyright Agent and further to set a flag that the user has sent its reply. If the user has not made a reply as indicated by the absence of the flag set in step 194, step 196 determines whether the clock initiated in step 166 has timed out and, if so, a message will be sent in step 198 to the SP's webmaster to block after "X", e.g., 2 days, in step 200 that site where the infringing work is stored.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a flow diagram for receiving and processing the message from the accused user. The reply sent by the accused user in step 204 is received in step 206 by the ISP.

When the ISP receives in step 206 a reply from the user based on a notice, the NoticeLog Table 548 of

FIGS. 14F and 15 is updated to indicate the time that the ISP received this reply. The reply is linked to the Copyright Agent, who tests in step 208 whether or not the received reply is a request for a license to use the infringing work. If a license is requested as determined in step 208, an interface 214 facilitates the communication between the accused user and the owner of the work to compose and finalize a license. When the user has licensed the work over the interface 214, a record is created in the License Table 560 as shown in FIGS. 14G and 15 based on the entry therein of the UserlnfoID and the WorklD fields to thereby increment the Key, i.e., License ID, to generate a number that identifies a particular license. On the other hand if the reply is not a license request, step 210 facilitates the Copyright Agent to determine whether the received reply indicates that the accused work has been voluntarily removed. If the accused work has been voluntarily removed, then step 216 transmits a message to the owner confirming the removal of the infringing work. When this message has been received as detected by step 220, step 226 tests whether in fact the accused work has been removed. When the owner has received a reply from the user for voluntary removal of the infringing work, theLogBook Table 550 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 is updated to indicate the time that the owner received this counter notice reply. If step 226 determines that the work has not been removed, then the Copyright Agent sends in step 224 a message to the SP's webmaster to block the data base site where the accused work is stored, whereby the user's service is terminated in step 232. On the other hand if the work has been removed as confirmed in step 226, the Copyright Agent forwards in step 238 a message to the SP's webmaster for the work's site where the accused work was stored, whereby the block on that site is removed in step 242.

Still referring to FIG. 6, if the user's reply does not indicate that the work has been voluntarily removed as determined in step 210, then the user's reply is deemed in step 212 to be a counter notice. In turn, the SP forwards the user's counter notice to the owner's computer 17b. Steps 222 indicates when the owner receives the user's counter notice. When the owner received in step 222 the counter notice reply from the ISP, the LogBook Table 550 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 is updated to indicate the time that the owner received this counter notice reply. Step 228 then determines whether or not user reply has been received. If a user reply is not received, the owner of the copyright in the work may proceed in step 230 to press its claim of copyright infringement as provided by the DMCA. On the other hand if a counter notice reply is received from the user as determined in step 228, then the owner proceeds in step 234 to file and serve a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) with the assistance of an attorney in step 236. When the owner has obtained and served the restraining order on the user, the LogBook Table 550 as shown in FIGS. 14F and 15 is updated to indicate the time that the owner served the restraining order. A clock is initiated in step 222 when the user's reply is received and, if the clock is not reset within 10 days by issuance of the TRO as determined by step 240, then the notice is forwarded in step 238 to the webmaster, whereby the block on the user's site for storing the infringing work is removed in step 242. On the other hand if the TRO is timely issued with 10 days, step 244 determines when the user received the TRO in step 244. Then the SP sends its webmaster a message to block the user and the user's site on the SP's database is blocked in step 248.

Referring now to Figure 13, there is shown a more detailed embodiment of the managing/monitoring system 13 than that shown in FIG. 1. In particular, the details of the search and send computer 17c-3 are shown as including a local area network (LAN) 23, which connects the search and send computer 17c-3 to each of a plurality work stations or computers 21a - 2 If.

The search and send computer 17c-3 is programmed in accordance with a set of flow diagrams, collectively known as a "search controller", which is generally shown in FIG. 7 as identified by the numeral 317 and will now be explained with respect to the detailed flow diagrams shown in FIGS. 8 - 12. FIG. 7 is similar to the program illustrated in FIG. 4, where similar steps are shown by like numerals, except in the 300 series. Search controller 317 permits a work owner to enter from its computer 17b a request to determine whether a user or subscriber of the its computer 15a is copying or otherwise using its work. To that end, the owner initiates a search request merely be entering via its computer 17b the name of the artist and the name of the work. In turn, the owner's requests are logged and are stacked in a designated buffer, from which one request is drawn at a time and carried out. As shown in FIG. 13, each of the plurality of computers or work stations 21a-f is programmed with a program entitled "search client" that permits each of the work stations 21 to perform concurrent, multiple searches for an infringing work. Further, each of the work stations 21 may be used, even primarily used, to execute other software during the normal work hours and, under the control of the search controller 317 be scheduled at off peak hours to run its "search client" program to identify infringing works.

Referring now to FIG. 8, the "search controller" 317 initiates in step 370 the next search or thread for a user's infringing use of a particular mark. Next, the database or table where the available machines or work stations 21 (see FIG. 13), i.e., those work stations 21 that are currently scheduled to run their "search client" program, are identified. Then, step 374 updates the search list of entered search requests with those new search requests that have been received and buffered in a database. Step 376 then identifies the next search request or entry in the list and checks in step 378 the status, i.e., complete or incomplete, of the next search request. Then, step 380 determines whether this particular search request has been completed. If completed, step 384 moves this request from the list or table of requests to be searched to a list of completed search requests. Also, the "Email send" routine 386 will be run, as will be explained in greater detail below with respect to FIG. 10, to generate a search of the ARIN data stored in the data base 19 (see FIG. 1) to find the identification information of the proprietor of the ISP computer 15a (including its IP), which serves that user computer 17a where the infringing work was located. Then, step 394 introduces a pause or wait, before initiating the next search or thread in step 372. If the search was not completed as determined in step 380, then step 382 sends a ping or inquiry to the "search client" programming that is loaded onto each of the work stations 21 to determine which of them is now running. Next, step 392 determines whether the search request was interrupted or cancelled and, if so, that search in deleted from the completed list. Then, step 388 determines whether the status of the search request was incomplete and, if incomplete, then initiates another search or thread by executing the "search client" routine 390, which will be explained below in greater detail with respect to FIG. 9.

Referring now to FIG. 9, the "search client" routine is initiated in step 390, before step 400 determines whether a particular work station 21 is in its scheduled period for running "search client". Next, step 402 checks the "search controller" 317 to determine whether a work station 21 is available to execute the search request. Step 404 determines whether or not the current time is within the preset schedule of a work station 21. If outside of the schedule, step 406 sends an inquiry or ping to the search controller 317 to determine whether it is still alive or operating. Step 408 determines whether the search controller 317 is operating or not. If operating, step 410 initiates a delay before rechecking the status of the work stations 21 in steps 402, 404, 406 and 408 as described above. On the other hand if the search controller has stopped operating, step 416 terminates the execution of the "search client" 390 and erases the flags as to whether it is complete or not. Further if step 404 determines that the current time is outside the scheduled operation of a work station 21, then step 412 sets the search status accordingly. Then step 414 shuts down the present search request and erases any status indications set thereby.

Still referring to FIG. 9, a check of the status of the operation of "search client" 390 in steps 418 - 434 is concurrently executed with steps 400 - 416. Step 418 determines whether the execution of the

"search client" 390 has begun. Then step 420 initiates the execution of a program that searches the data bases of the user computers' 17a which include therein that work named in the search request. In an illustrative embodiment of this invention, that program may take the form of the available software known as "Enforcer" and its code and related descriptive material are incorporated herein by reference. After the execution of "Enforcer" has been completed, step 422 obtains the value expressed as a percentage of the point of diminishing return (PDR) that is previously calculated by the "search controller" 317. The PDR is calculated in successive intervals of the scheduled period of search by the work stations 21. In each interval, the number of works identified in one interval is compared as a percentage of the identified number in the previous interval. Thereafter, step 424 determines whether the timed duration that a work station 21 has operated has exceeded its maximum scheduled duration. If yes, then step 430 sets the status of the present search as complete. Next, step 426 tests whether the PDR is less than its lower limit of the scheduled period and, if yes, step 430 sets the status of the present search as complete. Then step 428 tests whether the timed duration of operation of a work station is less than its minimum duration and, if yes, step 430 also sets the status of the present search request as complete. On the other hand if step 424 had found that the measured duration of the work station operation had exceeded a preset maximum, step 426 had found that the PDR was below its minimum and step 428 had found that the duration was less than its minimum, then step 432 sets the status of the present search as incomplete. Then step 434 terminates the current cycle of the search and the timing of the present search.

Now referring to FIG. 10, the Email send routine 386 called by the search controller 317 shown in FIG. 8 is now explained in greater detail. First in step 440, the sending of a message or thread is started. Then step 442 determines whether there are any further messages left in the list of queued messages to be sent. If none, step 446 terminates this thread or the transmission of this message. On the other hand if there are further messages in the list to be Emailed, then step 448 obtains the next entry or message from the list, before step 450 initiates the transmission of an Email to the data base 19 (see FIG. 1) whereby the ARIN data may be searched via the ARIN Query Interface 452, which will be explained in greater detail below with respect to FIG. 11. Next, step 454 transmits an Email to initiate the execution of the "Email monitor" 456. As will be explained in greater detail with respect to FIG. 12, the "Email monitor" determines when data was entered into a table, when an email is sent, when the Email is delivered and when the Email is opened to be read.

Referring now to FIG. 11, the ARIN query interface 452 initiates an ARIN inquiry in step 460, whereby an update buffer 462 permits the exchange of messages. For example, Media Enforcer 472 provides a list of infringing users in step 474 to be input into the InfringerListTable 534 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15. Similarly, messages bearing the appropriate address are transmitted over the Internet 11 to the correct ISP's computer 17a (see FIG. 1). In turn, step 466 updates the ISPs Table as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15 with the identification field ISPID of that the ISP's computer 17a. Step 468 updates the ISP detail table with the name and address of the proprietor of the ISP computer 17a, and step 470 updates the InfringerListTable 534 as shown in FIGS. 14C and 15. The Email monitor routine 456 generally referred to in FIG. 10 will now be described in greater detail with respect to FIG. 12. Initially, step 480 starts the continuous recycling of this routine. Next, step 482 determines if the Email monitor 456 is running and, if so, executes the steps 484 to 490. Step 484 accesses the ISP's Email account. Then step 486 enters the number of Emails that were transmitted, the number opened and the number unread. Step 488 logs in to the particular account to be monitored. Step 490 then takes the first message from the inbox and step 492 determines whether there is a message in the inbox or list. If present, step 494 determines whether the message has been read. If unread, step 496 accesses the ID of the message and its status, before step 502 writes the status of the message into the appropriate database. Then step 500 takes the next message from the inbox and returns to step 492, where the status of the next message is examined. On the other hand if step 492 determines that there are no more messages in the inbox, step 504 imposes a brief delay before returning to step 482 to process the next message from the inbox.

The present invention as described above provides a data processing system and method for economically and electronically creating and delivering the required notice of copyright infringement communication for a copyright owner who's copyrighted work has been infringed, for the ISP and or OSP who was the original recipient of the copyright owner's notice, for the ISP and/or OSP's staff responsible for removing infringed items, and the communication of any hosted client of the ISP and/ or OSP or the agent of any of the above. The data processing system standardizes the required information needed by each recipient of a copyright notice related letter, to reduce the time required and expense associated with properly addressing each notice. The data processing system is designed in such a way as to educate the users of the system about the requirements of the copyright law by prompting the users with the options available to them under the copyright law. Further, the educational approach used throughout the notice process, reduces the inherent confrontatioanl nature of this traditional legal and business process. The data processing system also provides a method for ISP's and/or OSP's to establish, manage, react to and review the required policies needed to benefit from the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. In particular, the data processing system provides ISP's and OSP's a means of monitoring, reporting and automatically notifying repeat infringers of copyrighted works, so their Internet access accounts may be terminated in accordance with the individual ISP's or OSP's infringement tolerance policy. The system also tracks the date and times of notices received by an ISP and/or OSP for the purpose of providing evidence of their efforts to remove infringed copyrighted works within a reasonable amount of time from the date and time of the properly delivered notice. The data processing system also establishes an electronic signature of the copyright owners, which enables them to deliver the notices in an electronic media over the Internet. The system educates its ISP and OSP clients of the designated copyright agent regisfration requirement and provides the convenience of registering their designated copyright agent with the Library of Congress through its "on-line" system.

The preceding Figures 1 - 15 show the linear flow of communication and actions as they are created and transmitted between the various parties utilizing the centralized communication system. The following Figures 16 - 20 further illustrate the invention and tie together the communications and actions of Figures 1 - 15 to show the organization and interaction of the components that make the system function. The system is organized into three areas, one for each category of user. Each category of user requires unique functions, yet standards for information and data flow to enable efficient processing as the interaction of data between the categories of users begins to occur. Further, Figures 16 - 20 more clearly illustrate the mechanical processes streamlined by the system, and identify the dynamic benefits the system creates. The four major processes that highlight the mechanical nature of the attributes integrated into the system are: Internet Searches, Centralized/Standardized Communications, Product Licensing/Sales/Distribution, and Data Mining/"S.I.F.T.ing"/Reporting. The dynamic benefits achieved through the system are optimized with the establishment of rules, which make the system more intelligent and automated as it is used, and the creation and adoption of data standards that flow between the users of the system. Figures 16 -20 further illustrate the systems capacity to integrate with third party technologies to enhance the functionality of users of the system. Referring now to the drawings and in particular to Figure 16 A, there is shown a system for each user of the centralized communication system to log-in and/or register an account. Users begin by logging-in to the system in step 601. If the user has an existing valid account 603 they may proceed with entering in their user name and password, and upon verification of the account 609 the system checks the account type 611 and logs the user into the appropriate account as a Copyright Owner 613, ISP or OSP 615, end User of copyrighted works 617, Agent of a Copyright Owner 613, or Educational Institutional ISP or OSP 615. If a user's account is not verified 609, the user is prompted to reenter their user name and password until the correct identifications are provided. If the user has not previously set-up an account with the system they are prompted to register and create an account in step 605.

Referring now to Figure 16B, there is shown the process of registering an account for the first time with the centralized communication system, step 605. Upon beginning the registration process 605 the user is prompted to select the type of account they would like to set-up 620. The account type is based on whether the user is Copyright Owner 622, end User of copyrighted works 624, ISP or OSP 626,

Agent of a Copyright Owner 628 or an Educational Institutional ISP or OSP 630. Once an account type is chosen the user is then guided through the process of setting up their account in steps 632, 634, 636, 638 and 640. Based on the type of account created, the corresponding rules and services are turned on in the system. The user's new account cannot be accessed, however, until they have gone through the process of validating their account. This process is initiated for security purposes to verify the validity of the email address entered, insure the accuracy and spelling of the data entered and to prevent misuse of the system. Account validation is done once a user submits the registration information in steps 632, 634, 636, 638 and 640, at which time a validation email is sent in step 642 to the email address supplied in the registration process 632, 634, 636, 638 and 640. The user must respond to this email 642 and reenter their unique validation code, after which the user may log-in to their account 601. If a user does not validate their account within a specified period of time their account is deleted from the system automatically in step 645 and the user must reregister with the system if they wish to log-in to the system in the future.

Referring now to Figure 17 A, there is shown a flow diagram for illustrating in greater detail the processes and modules for managing the activities of a Copyright Owner's account when utilizing the centralized communication system. Once a Copyright Owner logs into their account 613 they are able to manage the account 615. A Copyright Owner may choose to manage the general account information and payment choices in step 617, whereby in step 619 they may update personal information and methods of submitting and receiving payments, as will be explained in greater detail in Figure 17B.

In step 621 the Owner may choose to manage their copyrighted works by selecting the Work Manager in step 623, as further illustrated in Figure 17C, or the Work Rules in step 625, as further illusfrated in 17D. Another option an Owner may select is to manage their searches in step 627, whereby they can access the Search Manager 629, as further illustrated in Figure 17F, or establish Search Rules 631, as further illustrated in Figures 17E - 17Eii, and finally Start the Search process in step 633, as further illusfrated in Figures 17G - 17Gii. The Owner may also choose to manage the data collected in step 635 by utilizing the Data Manager 637 to manage all data related processes, as further illustrated in Figure H, or establish Data Rules in 639, as further illustrated in Figure 171, or initiate data processing, sorting in mining through the S.I.F.T. process in step 641, as further illustrated in Figure 17J. Upon initiating a search and collecting data an Owner may then choose in step 643 to manage their outgoing and incoming communications through the Communication Manager in step 645, as further illustrated in Figure 17K, establish Communication Rules 647, Compose Communications, as further illustrated in Figure 17M, and finally Send Communications 651, as further illustrated in Figure 17N. Another option available to an Owner in step 653 is choosing Interactive Reports, whereby an Owner can view in step 655 a variety of Interactive Reports of the works, searches, data and communications transmitted through the centralized communication system, as illusfrated further in Figure 170.Step 663, the System Administration Check, as further illustrated in Figure 20, shows the process of the centralized communication system checking the authority and account status of system users (i.e. Copyright Owners, ISPs/OSPs and Users) as they log-in to the system. In step 665, if a user's account is verified they are permitted to access those services and perform functions for which the user has privileges, or if the user's account is not verified they are provided a notice on their computer screen in step 667 informing them that they do not have permission to perform a certain function and then in step 669 provided directions for what they need to do in order to proceed (i.e. subscribe to a certain service, set-up a payment method, pay past due amounts, etc.). Step 700, illustrates the collection of all databases connected to the centralized communication system and how all data for all modules and users is either stored to the database or transmitted from the database allowing authorized users to view or modify the data. Many of the fields of these databases and the interaction between users has been illustrated and discussed in Figures 1, 14A - 14G and 15. Once a Copyright Owner is finished using their services on a particular occasion they may choose in step 659 to log-out of the centralized communication system, step 661.

Referring to Figure 17B, a copyright owner may access and / or update his account information as described earlier in Figure 17A step 619, he would proceed to manage his account 683, then opt to add or update the contact information 685. When the account needs to be updated or new information added, 687 data including the account holder's name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and taxi.d., which will be written to or modified in the database 700. The User is then prompted to go through the process of setting up an electronic signature 688 to be used on their communication. This process may include the attachment of an scanned signature which is kept of file, or it may allow the user to use a pen-like device and pad which transmits an actual digital copy of their signature into their account or it may require the User to print out a form and declaration to physically sign and mail to the adminisfrator of the system to kept on file. If the information requested in 687 did not need modified or updated the user could choose to add or update the account's payment information 689.

Still referring to Figure 17B, the payment system provides for setting up the initial payment system or updating an existing account 690. The set-up payment system 697 allows the user to exit to the main screen 683 or to set-up options for submitting and receiving payments 699. The options include the ability to pay with check, credit card, or micro-payment systems likePaypal and Q-pass. The desired approach is selected and payment information is added to the database 700 and an account balance is established in accordance with the terms of the user's contract at described in Fig. 16B. The payment related information can be viewed 695 to see the status and activity of the account. Still referring to Figure 17B, the account balance will be debited each time the account holder conducts an operation identified in the service agreement as bearing a cost. These operations include the incremental costs associated with adding works to the database as described later in Figures 17C and 17D, conducting searches as described later in Figures 17E -Eii, 17F, 17G - Gi and 17H, requesting consulting services, special reports, data mining analysis (Figures 17H, 171, 17J, and / or the license, sale or distribution of a work (Figures 1 C and 17D).

Still referring to Figure 17B, the account holder can access his account's preferences, services and community information 701. He can view and change the preferences on the account 703, like the way basic information is displayed on the screen and if they want to be automatically notified when their account balance reaches a certain threshold, and the capabilities of their computer for viewing certain types of e-mail formats. Services can be added or deleted to their account 705, and participation is surveys conducted within the community of account holders can be accepted or declined 707. Referring now to figure 17C, there is shown a flow diagram for programming a Work manager module 623 within the system, which allows for the administration of copyrighted works 715. First the owner is allowed to add or update works 717 by completing the data entry 719 of all relevant information about the work including the title of the work, any AKA's, the type of work, its creators, its owners and their respective percentage of ownership, the territories for which they control the rights to the work, the year it was created, the date of its first publication if any, whether or not it is a derivative work of another copyrighted work and if so the title of the original work, the name of any agents controlling any of the exclusive rights in the work, the copyright regisfration number. This information is written to the database 700 (see also Fig. 1 - 17c-l, as these two data bases are one in the same and are used interchangeably throughout the detailed description of the invention.). The system checks the data 721 to determine if a copyright registration form was completed and if so it returns the owner to the administration page 715, and if not the owner is prompted 723 to register the work with the Library of Congress. If the owner desires to register the work, he is linked 725 to a service for registering. After the owner registers the work 725 or if the owner determines not to register the work, he is returned to the administration page 715. Still referring to figure 17C, the Owner may wish to add or update a digital copy of the work(s)727 to the database 700. The work can be uploaded to the database 700 from the owner's computer (see Fig. 1 - step 17B). The copies of the works are used for many purposes. For example, they can be used to create deposit copies for registering the works with the Library of Congress, for reference when identifying unauthorized uses, for creating electronic finger prints of the work, and for packaging in Digital Rights Management containers for future downloading, streaming and distribution.

Copyright Owners may also create groups of works 731, by selecting a work733 from the database 700, and continuing to add other works 735 until all works in the group have been selected. The key of the group is WorkGroupName, each work group is given a unique group ID by automatically incrementing the WorkGroupName after each group name has been written 737 to the database 700. Referring now to Figure 17D, there is shown a flow diagram for programming a Work Rules module 625, which enables the copyright owner to create rules which allow the system to automate licensing actions 743, sales actions753, and automate the application of these rules to linked Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions 763. When executing the work rules mode. A copyright owner executes the program module 625 and enters the manage work rules screen 739 and is prompted to select a work 741 from the works database 700.

The rules for licensing 743 are divided into uses 745, devices 747, format 749 and other 751. For example, use rules 745 include: a specific number of uses is set, a specific date for the use to end is set; device rules 747 include: download to a computer hard drive, download to an external device like anMP3 player, allow the file to be burned to a CD, allow the file to be copied to aPDA; format rules 749 include: music codecs such as MPEG-Layer 3, WAV, Liquid Audio, Windows Media Format, Real Audio; video codecs such as MPEG, AVI and Real Video; formats for text files like PDF and TXT, and; formats for images such as PDF, JPG, PIC and GIF; other rules 751 include rules to be created in the future as DRM capabilities expand. Licensing rules generally apply to Business to Business transactions where a work is licensed to be included in a product developed by a third party business.

Rules for sales 753 are divided into the same four categories as described above 755 for uses, 757 for devices, 759 for format, 761 for other. The examples are the same as described above in steps 745, 747, 749, and 751. Sales rules are generally applied products being offered in a business to consumer type relationship, where the owner has created the product and is offering it to the general public.

The rules can be linked 763 and 765 to DRM solutions that are integrated into the system, like Windows Media Rights Manager, Liquid Audio, and InterTrust.

Referring now to Figure 17E, there is shown a flow diagram for programming a Search Manager module 629, which insures mandatory preceding steps are completed before commencing a search. Prior to a search being started a work or work group must be selected 769 from the database 700. In the event no works are found 771 in the database 700, the user is diverted 623 to the work manager module 17C to properly enter the relevant work(s).

Still referring to Figure 17E, individual works can be added to a list of works 773 to be included in the search being created. After all works have been added to the search, the user is directed 775 to establish search rules 777 by linking the owner to the search rules module 631. After the rules have been applied and no new search rules are needed 777, the owner is linked to the Start Search module 633 (see

Fig. 17G).

Referring now to Figure 17F, there is shown a flow diagram for programming a search rules module 631 for creating default and customized search templates to be applied to works when a search is commenced. The copyright owner can manage the search rules 779 by first adding or modifying 783 search rules in the database. A new rule consists of time parameters 785, search criteria 787, search methods 789, search actions 791, "sifting" of the data either being turned on or off 793, and search target 795. Examples of Time rules 785 include the length or duration of the search, the intervals between search, and searching set to stop based on obtaining a point of diminishing return of unique search results. Examples of search criteria 787 are searches based on the text string of the file name, searching for the unique electronic fingerprint of the work, and an MD5 search, which identifies the unique meta-data within a digital file. Examples of search action rules 791 are counting unique files found, or monitoring by gathering all data passing through a target area of the Internet. "Sifting" is a process, which will be described, later in Figure 17G step 641. Examples of search targets: identifying specific areas of the Internet like peer-to-peer networks Napster, Gnutella, MusicCity, etc, IRC (chat areas) FTP sites (File Transfer Protocol), newsgroups, bulletin boards, and web pages. After the appropriate rules are selected they are given a file name 797 and written to the database 700 to be accessed for use with current and future searches.

Referring now to Figure 17Fi, there is shown a flow diagram that illustrates the data entry and creation of search criteria 787. When a search is to be conducted using text based criteria 801 the search string must be entered 803 and written to the database 700. Fingerprint andMD5 criteria 805 require the digital copy of the work Fig. 17c step 729 for an analysis, which creates the unique fingerprint 809 and writes it to the database 700. It is anticipated that other search criteria will be added 811 in the future when applicable it will be created 813 and stored in the database 700.

Referring now to Figure 17Fii, there is shown a flow diagram that illustrates creating a search method 789 by assigning the appropriate search technology to the task identified by the search rules. Some searches may be best suited for technologies that are internally integrated into the system 817 and others will be better servered using technologies offered through external services 819. Once assigned, the assignment is written to the database 700.

Referring now to Figure 17G, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of the start search module 633, which integrates information from various modules to complete a search. The search rule instructions 821 are obtained from the database 700, the assigned search technologies are obtained from the database and are selected 823. Instructions are given to commence the search 825. Any internal search technologies that are applied are assigned 827 and the search commences 829 and results are stored in the database 700. Any external technologies that have been assigned and instructions are sent via the Internet 11 to the external service 835, 837 and 839. External results are gathered and downloaded via the Internet 11 and transferred 833 to the database 700.

Referring now to Figure 17Gi, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of the Internal search module 829. After instructions are sent to commence an internal search 827, the Internal search module 829 is executed and search rules 843 are queried from the database 700. Search results are gathered from locations identified on the Internet 11 and returned to the system 845 and stored in the database 700. The number of unique locations are counted 849 and compared to the search rules 843, to determine when the search should stop. The infringer location is identified 847 as an IP address. The IP address is compared to the database to determine if it fall within the range of a pre-existing range of IP addresses belonging to and ISP stored in the database. If it falls within a range in the database, the ISP is added to the search file. If the JP address falls outside any range stored in the database 700, a query is completed on databases 853 that can be accessed through the Internet to determine the correct ISP. The new ISP is added to the database 855.

Still referring to Figure 17Gi, the identified infringer's user name 847 and the IP address being used by that infringer are compared to the Copyright.net membership 859 and any relevant new information is added to the database 861. Search rules are monitored 863 and a determination is made as to continue the search or cancel it 865.

Referring now to Figure 17Gii, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of an additional component of the external search process, which transfers the search results 833 to the database 700. The external search technology, Fig. 17G 835, transfers data 867 over the Internet 11, processes the data 869 and writes it to the database 700.

Referring now to Figure 17H, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a data manager module for managing the data collected through search processes and entered from other sources. The Owner may select this component in step 637 and then begin by choosing the search results and other data 871 they desire to manage. These search results are accessed via the database 700 and displayed on the Owner's computer. Once this selection is made the Owner may initiate addition searches in step 873 to follow up on the data selected in step 871 or rules can be selected for managing the data selected in 875. If a new search is selected 873, then the Owner is directed to the search manager 629 to proceed. If data rules are selected 875, then the rules are accessed via the database 700 and displayed on the Owner's computer, where the Owner can select from the rules defined in 639 or create/update the rules in step 877. If the Owner chooses to create/update a data rule they are redirected to the data rules module 639. Otherwise, the Owner may select to manage the data through theS.LF.T. module in step 641.

Referring now to Figure 171, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component for establishing and managing the data rules. The Owner may select this component in step 639, at which time they are directed to a main screen for managing the data rules, step 879. The two main functions available are the abilities to manage the auto filter, step 881, or manage the manual filter, step 887. The auto filter, which is selected in step 881, allows the Owner to set the auto filter, which is described in more detail in Figure 17J, to the on or off position, step 883, - meaning that the auto filter will be selected when managing or sorting the data in the S.I.F.T. process described in Figure 17J - or set up the auto filter rule, step 885. Setting the auto filter rules 885, establishes the criteria and parameters for how the data will be treated when that filter is on. The rules established in the auto filter are broad rules allowing the Owner to only set the filter to sort out data in accordance with a single criterion, such as an artist's name or a particular spelling of a song title. This filter does not provide dynamic flexibility as does the manual filter. Once the Owner is finished turning the auto filter on/off 883 or setting the rules 885 they may then choose to make this the default filter in the system, step 895, after which all settings are saved to the database 700. Still referring to Figure 171, the Owner may also select to manage the manual filter, step 887, the functionality of which is described in more detail in Figure 17J. Similar to managing the auto filter, the Owner may set the manual filter to the on or off position, step 889, and establish or change the manual filter rules 891. Setting the manual filter rules 891, establishes the criteria and parameters for how the data will be treated when the filter is on. The rules established in the manual filter are dynamic, meaning that the Owner has a wide range of setting that can be set in order to manage and sort the data in a wide variety of ways. The manual filter allows the Owner to create broad scoped sorts, such as locating all files associated with a particular recording artist, such as RoyOrbison, and then parsing matching songs into groups together, such as matching all songs with the words "Pretty Woman" together and all songs with the words "Blue Bayou" together. These filters can continue to filter and sort the data in many dynamic fashions, some of which are discussed in further detail in Figure 17J. Once an Owner is finished turning the auto filter on/off 889 or setting the rules 891 they may then name the setting they have created, step 893, and save it to the database 700. This allows the Owner to create rule settings that can be recalled by the system when initiating a sort or filter process, Figure 17J. The Owner may also recall an existing setting and rename or delete it, step 894. Next, an Owner may choose to make the newly created setting or a prior setting for the manual filter the default filter in the system, step 895, after which all settings are saved to the database 700.

Still referring to Figure 171, the Owner may also select to manage the validation filter, step 888, the functionality of which is described in more detail in Figure 17J. Upon selecting to manage the validation filer 888, the Owner may establish the rules for how the validation filter operates 890. The validation rules 890 establish the parameters of what criterion are necessary to make the selected data valid. Filtered data is then ranked in accordance with how many criteria it matches. In step 890, the Owner must enter criteria such as text strings, — which can be linked to text strings created in the auto or manual filter - a digital fingerprint of the file, or other criteria that allow the filter to match and rank the file in step 925. Once an Owner is finished setting the rules 890 they may then name the setting they have created, step 892, and save it to the database 700. This allows the Owner to create rule settings that can be recalled by the system when initiating the validation process, step 925. The Owner may also recall an existing setting and rename or delete it, step 896. Next, an Owner may choose to make the newly created setting or a prior setting for the validation filter the default filter in the system, step 895, after which all settings are saved to the database 700. Finally, an Owner may select in step 691 to return to the Owner's account manager 615.

Referring now to Figure 17J, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component for data mining, sorting and filtering all data received into the system through the work manager 623, work rules 625, search manager 629, search rules 631, search process 633, communication manager 645, communication rules 647, communication sent 651 and received 645 or otherwise entered into the system. The Owner may select this component in step 641 at which time they are directed to a screen where they can manage the data management process 897. (Prior to engaging this process the Owner has already selected the specific data to manage in Figure 17H, step 871.) The Owner may select to set up the rules for managing the data 899 if they have not already done so, at which time they will be redirected to the data rules module 639, Figure 171. Once the rules have been set up the Owner may proceed with selecting another option via the data management screen 897. Next, an Owner may select from the data management tools. In this figure is where an Owner may initiate the rules created in 171 for running the auto filter 901. Upon selecting the auto filter option 901, the system checks if the rules, step 885, have been set to a narrow or specific search criteria, step 903. The auto filter is then engaged and all files are filter 905 in accordance with the rules 885 and the results are stored in the database 700. The auto filter then creates a results table for this sort and deletes all files that fall outside the filter range 907, after which the final results are assigned a unique filter results number 943 and stored in the database 700. Results are accessible via the interactive reports module 653. Still referring to Figure 17J, the Owner may also select to engage the manual filter in step 909.

Upon selecting the manual filter option 909, the filter checks the rules 911, and sets them accordance with how they were established in step 891. The manual filter is then engaged and all files are filtered 913 in accordance with the rules 891 and the results are stored in the database 700. The filter then checks the rules to determine if files outside the filter range should be deleted 915. If they are set to be deleted, then the manual filter creates a results table for this sort and deletes all files that fall outside the filter range 917, after which the final results are assigned a unique filter results number 943 and stored in the database 700. If the files outside the filter range are not set to be deleted, then the manual filter creates new data result entries for all files 919. The Owner then selects to sort the results further and create new categories for the data that fell outside the manual filter range, step 921, the results for all data results are each assigned a unique filter results number 943 and stored in the database 700. Results are accessible via the interactive reports module 653.

Still referring to Figure 17J, the Owner may select to check the validity of the data collected through an internal search process, step 829, or external search process, step 831. Upon selecting the data validation management option 923, the selected search data, step 871, is ranked in accordance with the validation rules 890. The validation filter then sorts the data 927 into two basic categories: (1) as data that is above the acceptable percentile, as set in the validation rules 890, is categorized as not needing further verification 928; or (2) as data that is below the acceptable percentile, as set in the validation rules 890. If the data is above the acceptable percentile, as set in the rules 890, then the verification process ends 928 and the results are assigned a unique filter number 943 and written to the database 700. For data that falls below the acceptable percentile the filter then checks the rules 890 to determine what type of verification process has been selected to verify the data 929. If no verification process has been set in the rules 890 then the verification process ends 930 and the results are assigned a unique filter number 943 and written to the database 700. If a verification process has been set in the rules 890 then the filter selects the verification process 931 and proceeds. If the verification process has been set as digital fingerprint or metadata verification 933, the filter then initiates to process of verifying the data that was below the acceptable percentile by checking if these files match the unique digital fingerprint and/or metadata on file with the system in step 935. If the verification process has been set as another type of verification option 939, the filter then initiates the process of verifying the data that was below the acceptable percentile through the established verification process in step 939. Results from the verification process in 935 and 939 are assigned a unique filter number 943 and written to the database 700. Finally, an Owner may choose to return to the their account manager 615.

Referring now to Figure 17K, there is shown a flow diagram for programming a Communication Manager module 645 which selects a search data file 945 and prepares it for sending communications by applying the communication rules 949 set by the owner as shown later in figure 17L. If an owner attempts to begin the communication management process prior to having created any data files he will be prompted to create a new data file 947 and linked to the data manager module 637 which is illusfrated in Figure 17H. After a data set 945 and a communication rule 951 have been selected, the user of the system is linked 651 to the send communication module as shown later in figure 17N.

Referring now to Figure 17L, there is shown a flow diagram for programming the Owner Communication Rules module 647, which establishes default and customizable communication rules needed to build written communications for various communication scenarios. After choosing to manage the communication rules 953, and 955 the owner begins to establish rules first by identifying the Purpose rules 957. Purpose rules identify the tone, main message and legal content of the communication. The options include DMCA, terms of service, licensing, marketing, file replacement, U.S., International, and other. Multiple options can be selected. Still referring to Figure 17L, the next rule to be established is the recipient rules 959. The options include ISP with designated agents (DA), ISP with out DA, OSP with DA, OSP without DA, Copyright Users who are members of the Copyright.net community, Copyright Users who are not members of the Copyright.net community. Again, one or more of these options may be selected. The next rule to be established is the Format rule 961. Examples of format rules are bulk, which sends communications with multiple infringement locations on one communication when more than one location is present for a recipient, and individual, which sends one infringement location per communication sent regardless of the number of locations identified per recipient. The Method rule 963 is set to determine what method will be used to send the communication. The options include e-mail, instant messaging, newsgroup, chat room, other. One or more options can be selected. The final rule to be set is the signature rule 965, which links an electronic signature to electronic communications or either electronic or manual signatures for printed communications.

After selecting and verifying that the owner is finished selecting the rules for all categories, and the signature rule has been applied, a draft of the communication is prepared 967 and viewed by the owner 969, providing an opportunity to edit the draft 971 and save any changes 975 to the text and apply and save a rule name to the group of rules selected to the database 700. If editing an existing rule set and draft communication the new file can be saved as a new file name 977 or saved to modify the pre-existing file to the database 700. When the owner is finished establishing rules 955 he is linked to the owner account manger screen 691 and 615.

Referring now to Figure 17M, there is shown a flow diagram for programming the Owner Compose Communication module 649, which applies the communication rules selected and saved as shown in figure 17L to generate the body of the communication, and inserts the data to integrated into the body of the communication as prepared and saved to the database 700 as shown in figure 17H. First, the program looks for a default communication 981, if the default is selected by the owner then the communication's data fields must be populated 983 by selecting a saved data set from the database 700. The populated communication is then sent 651 to the Send Communication module as shown in Figure 17N. If another communication is needed 991 another default communication prompt is given 981. If a custom communication is required 985 the owner is asked to set communication rules 987 and link 647 to the owner communication rules module 17L. Upon completion of establishing the rules the owner is returned to the compose communication module and asked to populate the communication 989 with a data set from the database 700. Once all communications have been matched with the appropriate data sets the owner is linked 651 to the Send Communication module figure 17N.

Referring now to the Figure 17N, a flow diagram for programming the Send Communication Module 651, which applies the format rules 961 and method rules 963 to the body of the communications prepared in figure 17M and sends communications according to their rules. In step 993 the communication's format and method rules mentioned above are applied. The communication recipients can be viewed and approved or declined in step 995, which allows the owners to make last minute deletions from the communications being prepared prior to sending. After all recipients have been approved the communications are prepared and sent per the instructions of the rules. Emails 997, IRC / Chat 999, newsgroups, instant messaging / other 1002, are sent electronically through the Internet 11, and printed documents and prepared 1001 and sent via mail carrier 1005.

Referring now to Figure 170, there is shown a flow diagram for programming a report generator 653 for creating specialized reports of the data stored in the database 700. The report viewer 1009 enables the owner to prepare reports in various ways through four basic classes of reports. The classes are Work Reports 1011, Search Reports 1015, Data Reports 1019, and Communication Reports 1023. A report is created from the data stored in the database700 though the Work, Search, Data and Communication managers. See figures 17C, 17E, 17H, and 17K respectively. Each report class defaults to initially sort and view data with the emphasis on the most important data in its class. However, filters can be applied to modify, add or remove information from the report regardless of its class as long as data exists for the filtered fields. The reports allow linking capabilities to the various Manager modules 623, 629,637, 645 allowing the operator to modify information in the database 700 if necessary after reviewing reports.

Referring now to Figure 18 A, there is shown a flow diagram for illustrating in greater detail the processes and modules for managing the activities of an ISP's or OSP's account when utilizing the centralized communication system. Once a ISP/OSP logs into their account 616 they are able to manage the account 1031. A ISP/OSP may choose to manage the general account information and payment choices in step 1033, whereby in step 1035 they may update personal information and methods of submitting and receiving payments, as will be explained in greater detail in Figure 18B. In step 1037 the ISP/OSP may choose to utilizing the Service Manager 1039, as further illustrated in Figure 18C, to add, update and/or register their designated agent, match designated agent(s) with affiliated service providers, add or update service information, such as netblocks, and link service information with affiliated service providers. Next, an ISP/OSP may establishing and managing the Service Rules 1041, as further illusfrated in Figure 18D. The Service Rules 1041 allow the ISP/OSP to enter, categorize and establish rules for their terms of service and other service policies. It with in the Service Rules 1041 that an Educational Institutional ISP/OSP would enter, match and establish rules for the service terms that are unique to their treatment under the DMCA and other laws. In step 1043, an ISP/OSP can select to manage all communication related modules. The ISP/OSP may manage all incoming and outgoing communications via the Communication Manger 1045, as further illustrated in Figure 18E, establish Communication Rules 1047, as further illustrated in Figurel8F, integrate communication received via the centralized communication system with communication received outside the system 1051, as further illustrated in Figure 18H , and finally, compose or respond to communications 1049, as further illustrated in Figure 18G. Another option available to an ISP/OSP in step 1053 is choosing Interactive Reports, whereby an ISP/OSP can view in step 1055 a variety of Interactive Reports, such as the status of pending actions, summary reports of open actions, breakdown of repeat infringers, and all communications received and transmitted within and outside the centralized communication system, as illustrated further in Figure 181. As discussed above, step 663, the System Administration Check, as further illustrated in Figure

20, shows the process of the centralized communication system checking the authority and account status of system users (i.e. Copyright Owners, ISPs/OSPs and Users) as they log-in to the system. In step 665, if a user's account is verified they are permitted to access those services and perform functions for which the user has privileges, or if the user's account is not verified they are provided a notice oh their computer screen in step 667 informing them that they do not have permission to perform a certain function and then in step 669 provided directions for what they need to do in order to proceed (i.e. subscribe to a certain service, set-up a payment method, pay past due amounts, etc.).

As discussed above, step 700 illustrates the collection of all databases connected to the centralized communication system and how all data for all modules and users is either stored to the database or transmitted from the database allowing authorized users to view or modify the data. Many of the fields of these databases and the interaction between users has been illustrated and discussed in

Figures 1, 14A- 14G and 15.

Once an ISP/OSP is finished using their services on a particular occasion they may choose in step 659 to log-out of the centralized communication system, step 661. Referring now to Figure 18B, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component for an ISP/OSP to access and / or update his account information as described earlier in Fig. 18A step 1035, he would proceed to manage his account 1038, then opt to add or update the contact information 1042. When the account needs to be updated or new information added, 1044 data including the account holder's name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and tax i.d., which will be written to or modified in the database 700. The ISP/OSP is then prompted to go through the process of setting up an electronic signature 1046 to be used on their communication. This process may include the attachment of an scanned signature which is kept of file, or it may allow the ISP/OSP to use a pen-like device and pad which transmits an actual digital copy of their signature into their account or it may require the ISP/OSP to print out a form and declaration to physically sign and mail to the administrator of the system to kept on file. The ISP/OSP is also allowed in step 1048 to add or update the names of other affiliated companies for which they receive abuse related and other types of communications. All information is added to updated in the database 700. If the information requested in 1044 did not need modified or updated the user could choose to add or update the account's payment information 1050.

Still referring to Figure 18B, the payment system provides for setting up the initial payment system or updating an existing account 1052. The set-up payment system 1058 allows the user to exit to the main screen 1038 or to set-up options for submitting and receiving payments 1060. The options include the ability to pay with check, credit card, or micro-payment systems HkePayPal and Q-pass. The desired approach is selected and payment information is added to the database 700 and an account balance is established in accordance with the terms of the user's contract at described in Figure 16B. The payment related information can be viewed 1056 to see the status and activity of the account.

Still referring to Figure 18B, the account balance will be debited each time the account holder conducts an operation identified in the service agreement as bearing a cost. These operations include the incremental costs associated with sending and receiving communications as described later in Figures

18E, 18G, 18Gi, 18Gii and 18H, and requesting consulting services, special reports, data mining analysis

(Figure 181).

Still referring to Figure 18B, the account holder can access his account's preferences, services and community information 1062. He can view and change the preferences on the account 1064, like the way basic information is displayed on the screen and if they want to be automatically notified when their account balance reaches a certain threshold, and the capabilities of their computer for viewing certain types of e-mail formats. Services can be added or deleted to their account 1066, and participation is surveys conducted within the community of account holders can be accepted or declined 1068. Referring now to Figure 18C, there is shown a flow diagram for programming an ISP / OSP

Service Manager module 1039, which collects and stores data necessary to prepare a form to register a Designated Agent (DA) with the Library of Congress, to gather service information including netblock information related to the ISP and its affiliates. In step 1069 the ISP is asked if DA information needs to be added or updated. If a designated agent has not been created 1071 a new DA is set-up 1079. If DA has been set-up but requires a modification 1073 then an existing account is opened from the database 700 and modified 1077. The new or modified DA information can then be linked to an affiliate 1085 of the ISP / OSP to indicate the affiliates name on the DA form to be filed with the Library of Congress. An ISP / OSP may have multiple DA's due to affiliate / subsidiary relationships. The ISP can update its netblock information 1083 to insure communications being sent to them fall within theirnetblock ranges. Netblock ranges of any affiliates 1085 of the ISP / OSP may also be entered into the database 700 to insure proper receipt of communications by the appropriate DA. Affiliates can be listed on the same DA form as the ISP /OSP when they share the same DA. Referring now to Figure 18D, there is shown a flow diagram for programming an ISP/ OSP

Service Rules module 1041, which establishes the rules for managing abuse compliance issues pursuant to the ISP /OSP terms of service agreements with their customers. To establish terms of service (TOS) rules 1093, the ISP / OSP selects predefined classifications of abuses 1095 identified in their agreement and establishes the actions that will be required 1097 if a particular abuse occurs. For example, posting child pornography might be a violation of the TOS agreement with an ISP, which would result in immediate removal of the work, a one time warning and account suspension or termination if the customer repeats the abuse. The rules are established and written to the data base 700 and defaults created 1105 when applicable. Other service rules 1099 can be entered by first identifying the services 1101 and establishing rules 1103 dictating a response when and if a communication is received which falls within the parameters established in the rules. These other rules

Referring now to Figure 18E, there is shown a flow diagram for programming an ISP's communication manager module 1045, which manages the process of responding to abuse related communications by accessing the data written to the database 700 by the Communication Integrator module 1051 as discussed later in Figure 18H, and by accessing the communications rules 1109 data written to the database 700 by the Communications Rules Module Figure 18F. If new communication rules are required 1111 the ISP is linked to the Communication Rules module 1047 for building new rules and writing them to the database 700. When complete the ISP is linked to the Communication Response / Action module 1049 as discussed in Figure 18G.

Referring now to Figure 18F, there is shown a flow diagram for programming an ISP / OSP Communication Rules 1047, which establishes rules for automating the processing of received communications and the process of replying to received communications. Two technological approaches can be facilitated through this design. (l)When an ISP /OSP uses the centralized communication system by accessing their data from the central server database 700 over the Internet 11, known as an Application Service Provider (ASP) approach. (2) When an ISP / OSP uses a stand alone application residing on their own computer system and or network, which integrates with the central server by downloading and transferring data when needed. The processes are identical with the exception of the location of the server housing the database receiving the data to be stored. In the central server / ASP approach the server housing the database is reflected in Figure 1, 17c-l. In the stand alone version, the server housing the database for the ISP's data is reflected in Figure 1 15b.

Still referring to Figure 18F, the ISP / OSP established rules 1115 with regard to the DMCA 1117 for receiving and processing legal notices, subpoenas, and temporary restraining orders (TROs). Next, rules are applied to replying to notices, subpoenas and TRO's 1121. These rules are written to the database 700 or 17c-l via the Internet 11 as described above depending on the software used by the ISP / OSP. Next, terms of service (TOS) communication rules are established 1123, first for the receipt ofTOS communications 1125 and next for replying to TOS communications 1127. These rules are written to the database 700 or 17c-l via the Internet 11 as described above depending on the software used by the ISP / OSP. Lastly, other communication rules 1129 can be created, defined and named 1131 for the receipt of communications not classed as either DMCA or TOS communications and other communication rules 1129 can be created, defined and named 1133 for responding to communications not classed as either DMCA or TOS communications. These rules are written to the database 700 or 17c-l via the Internet 11 as described above depending on the software used by the ISP / OSP.

Now referring to Figure 18G, here shown as a flow diagram for programming an ISP /OSP Communication Response / Action module 1049, which retrieves the data gathered and stored in the database (700 or 17c-l Fig.l depending on the software solution being used)by the Communication Integrator, then sorts the data by recipient types Owner 1159, User 1161, and other 1163. The sorted data is written to the database 700 and further processing is delegated to the corresponding recipient response communicator. Owner responses 1165 are sent to the Owner response communicator Fig 18Gi, User responses 1167 are sent to the User Response communicator module 18Gii and other responses 1169 are written to the database 700 for rules to be applied to automate commonly occurring other responses or manual responses will be drafted and mailed.

Now referring to Figure 18Gi, here shown as a flow diagram for programming an ISP / OSP Response to an Owner communication module (ROC) 1165, which manages the processing of DMCA, TOS and other types of abuse related communications. After receiving instructions from the Communication Response / Action module Fig. 18G, ROC identifies DMCA communications 1171 and determines next whether the communication is a notice 1173, a subpoena 1203, TRO 1221 or other 1229. If the communication is a notice a single or bulk infringement notice check is commenced 1175 and 1177. Bulk notice requires the data to be downloaded via the Internet 11 from the Central Server 17c-l -Fig.l to the ISP /OSP computer Fig.l 15b. Once data is downloaded, a process occurring outside the system will match the ISP / OSP customer e-mail address 1179 to the IP address provided in the notice. The ISP can customize the provided system data integrator that is compatible with this system or they may develop their own means of downloading and uploading data to this system.

Still referring to Figure 18Gi, the responses can be sent via the Central System 17c-l or via the stand alone versions of the system residing on the ISP's computer 15b, regardless of which system is used the process remains the same. Repeat infringement status for the identified ISP customer who is the subject of the received communication is checked 1183. If the customer is not a repeat infringer aDMCA compliant default notice is forwarded to the customer 1187 and the owner who sent the notice is sent a response 1189. If the ISP /OSP customer was identified as a repeat infringer 1185, a notice of termination would be sent to the customer 1195, an account termination message would be sent to the ISP /OSP designated customer service agent, and a copy would be sent to the owner sending the original notice communication. Still referring to Figure 18Gi, if the communication is a subpoena, a single or bulk infringement notice check is commenced 1175 and 1177. Bulk subpoenas require the location data to be downloaded via the Internet 11 from the Central Server 17c-l -Fig.l to the ISP /OSP computer Fig.l 15b. Once data is downloaded, a process occurring outside the system will match the ISP /OSP customer e-mail address 1179 to the IP address provided in the notice. The ISP can customize the provided system data integrator that is compatible with this system or they may develop their own means of downloading and uploading the data to this system. Responses to the subpoeona can be sent via the Central System 17c-l or via the stand alone versions of the system residing on the ISP's computer 15b, regardless of which system is used the process remains the same. Repeat infringement status for the identified ISP customer who is the subject of the received communication is checked 1213. If the customer is not a repeat infringer aDMCA compliant default subpoena response is forwarded to the owner 1215 or 1219 depending the use of software solutions. If the ISP /OSP customer was identified as a repeat infringer 1185, a notice of termination would be sent to the customer 1195, an account termination message would be sent to the ISP / OSP designated customer service agent, and a copy would be sent to the owner sending the original notice communication. Still referring to Figure 18Gi, if the communication received was a TRO 1221, the date is checked to determine that it was received within the 10 day window allowed under the terms of the DMCA 1223. If the TRO was properly served, a message will be sent instructing the Webmaster of the ISP or OSP of the location of the infringing article and to block it. This process can be automated through the integration of the Webmaster block and put-back module which access the ISP /OSP system 15b and executes instructions to block the identified address. If the TRO was improperly served or one was never received within the 10-day time limit allowed for the owner to send aTRO, after the User has sent a counter notice, then the block will be removed 1227 by sending instructions to the Webmaster, or as described above by using the Webmaster block and put-back module. If other types of communications are received that do not match the criteria established within the system they are sent to the Response /Action Rules 1237 to establish rules for automating the response or they will be responded to manually.

Referring to Figure 18 Gii, here shown as a flow diagram for programming the ISP / OSP response to a Users Communication module 1167, which analyzes the User response, classifies it by type and processes it appropriately. The received communication is checked to see if it is a voluntary removal communication 1239, a counter notice communication 1255 or some other communication 1259. Voluntary removal communications are forwarded to the copyright owner 1241. The location of the work to be voluntarily removed is checked to confirm its removal 1243. The rules are checked for appropriate management 1247 and the location of the infringing article will be blocked 1249 if it has not been voluntarily removed within the guidelines established by the rules. If the account was blocked and the work was removed voluntarily the block will be removed 1245. If account of the ISP / OSP customer could be terminated 1253 if the non-removed work put the customer in a repeat infringement violation.

Still referring to 18gii, Counter notices received 1255 are forward to the owner 1257, and other communications 1259 and sent to the response / action module 1261 to establish rules for processing or to manually respond.

Referring to Figure 18 H, here shown as a flow diagram for programming the ISP / OSP communication Integrator 1051, which process both internal and external communications received and stores the data in the database 700. Communications received by the system from compatible systems that allow the data to seamlessly integrate are received 1263 and 1265 and written to the database 700. Communications received by other means including postal service and incompatible e-mail and other electronic systems are parsed if possible and to write data to the database 700 or manually entered through a data processing interface 1271 to write the critical data to the database 700.

Referring to Figure 18 I, here shown as a flow diagram for programming the ISP / OSP Intemactive report generator 1053, which extracts data from the database 700 to create and view service reports 1275 and communication reports 1277. These reports will reflect the ISP /OSP legal compliance status, the volume of communications being received and sent, the status of on-going cases, repeat infringer information and other customizable reports. Referring to Figure 18J, here shown as a flow diagram for programming the ISP / OSP Takedown and Put-back module (TDPB) 1500, which integrates the ISP / OSP enterprise system with both the stand-alone and cenfralized communication system for automating take-down and put-back procedures of the DMCA. TDPB accesses the database 700 to retrieve take down instructions from the ISP / OSP action - response module to identify locations which require blocking or take-down actions. The address of the location is automatically blocked pursuant to the rules established 1047 and or automatically put- back. The actions are recorded in the database to initiation follow-up communications to the appropriate recipients of response concerning this action 1049.

Referring now to Figure 19 A, there is shown a flow diagram for illustrating in greater detail the processes and modules for managing the activities of an User's account when utilizing the centralized communication system. Once a User logs into their account 618 they are able to manage the account 1281. A User may choose to manage the general account information and payment choices in step 1283, whereby in step 1285 they may update personal information and methods of submitting and receiving payments, as explained in greater detail in Figure 19B. In step 1287 the User may choose to utilizing the Service Manager 1039, as further illustrated in

Figure 19C, to enter their user names for each file trading or other service for which they are a member in order to find out what outstanding infringements are pending against their accounts, view the status of their various accounts and take action on the outstanding infringements. Next, in step 1287, the User can choose to remove infringing files or unauthorized formats of files from their computer and replace them with approved authorized copies and formats via the File Manager in step 1293, as further illustrated in Figure 19D.

Still referring to Figure 19A, the User can select to manage all communication related modules in step 1295. The User may manage all incoming and outgoing communications via the Communication Manger 1297, as further illustrated in Figure 19E, establish Communication Rules 1299, as further illusfrated in Figure 19F, integrate communication received via the centralized communication system with communication received outside the system 1303, as further illustrated in Figure 19H , and finally, compose or respond to communications 1301, as further illustrated in Figure 19G.

As discussed above, step 663, the System Administration Check, as further illustrated in Figure 20, shows the process of the cenfralized communication system checking the authority and account status of system users (i.e. Copyright Owners, ISPs/OSPs and Users) as they log-in to the system. In step 665, if a user's account is verified they are permitted to access those services and perform functions for which the user has privileges, or if the user's account is not verified they are provided a notice on their computer screen in step 667 informing them that they do not have permission to perform a certain function and then in step 669 provided directions for what they need to do in order to proceed (i.e. subscribe to a certain service, set-up a payment method, pay past due amounts, etc.).

As discussed above, step 700 illustrates the collection of all databases connected to the centralized communication system and how all data for all modules and users is either stored to the database or transmitted from the database allowing authorized users to view or modify the data. Many of the fields of these databases and the interaction between users has been illustrated and discussed in

Figures 1, 14A- 14G and 15.

Once a User is finished using their services on a particular occasion they may choose in step 659 to log-out of the cenfralized communication system, step 661. Referring now to Figure 19B, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component

, for a User to access and / or update his account information as described earlier in Figure 19A step 1285, he would proceed to manage his account 1286, then opt to add or update the contact information 1305.

When the account needs to be updated or new information added, 1307 data including the account holder's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, which will be written to or modified in the database 700. The User is then prompted to go through the process of setting up an elecfronic signature 1308 to be used on their communication. This process may include the attachment of an scanned signature which is kept of file, or it may allow the User to use a pen-like device and pad which transmits an actual digital copy of their signature into their account or it may require the User to print out a form and declaration to physically sign and mail to the administrator of the system to kept on file. All information is added to or updated in the database 700. If the information requested in 1307 did not need modified or updated the user could choose to add or update the account's payment information 1309.

Still referring to Figure 19B, the payment system provides for setting up the initial payment system or updating an existing account 1311. The set-up payment system 1317 allows the user to exit to the main screen 1286 or to set-up options for submitting and receiving payments 1319. The options include the ability to pay with check, credit card, or micro-payment systems likePayPal and Q-pass. The desired approach is selected and payment information is added to the database 700 and an account balance is established in accordance with the terms of the user's contract at described in Figure 16B. The payment related information can be viewed 1315 to see the status and activity of the account.

Still referring to Figure 19B, the account balance will be debited each time the account holder conducts an operation identified in the service agreement as bearing a cost. These operations include the incremental costs associated with sending and receiving communications and licensing and purchasing digital files as described later in Figures 19D, 19E, 19F, 19G, and 19H. Still referring to Figure 19B, the account holder can access his account's preferences, services and community information 1321. He can view and change the preferences on the account 1323, like the way basic information is displayed on the screen and if they want to be automatically notified when their account balance reaches a certain threshold, and the capabilities of their computer for viewing certain types of e-mail formats. Finally, Users can add or delete services accessible via their account 1325.

Referring now to Figure 19C, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component of the centralized communication system for managing the User's services. Upon selecting the User Service Manager 1289, the User is directed to main directory where it can manage the service manager functions, step 1327. The User can choose to add or update his services, step 1329, and in step 1331 enter user names of the OSPs or ISPs where he is a member, as well as the URL address for the World Wide Web sites or other Internet location where the user is hosting files. For example, a user can enter their Napster user name, MusicCity.com user name, America Online Instant Messaging name, FTP sites, newgroups, chat rooms or the World Wide Web address where the User is hosting a particular file. Next, a User can match the user name or URL entered in step 1331 with the corresponding OSP, ISP or other Internet location. For example, the User may have entered JohnDoe 1234 as his user name in step 1331, and now enters "Napster" as the corresponding OSP in step 1333. In the next step 1335, the User can view current outstanding unauthorized use actions pending against the user names and services entered in steps 1331 and 1333. These pending actions are drawn from the data base of Internal and External searches conducted by Owners as described in Figures 17G, 17Gi and 17Gii. For example, if the User entered the Napster user name JohnDoel234, the system would check the database for any infringing records that match the Napster user name, and if a match is found the infringing file information would be displayed fir the User to view. Upon viewing this information the User can choose to respond 1341, at which time they are directed to the User Communication Manager 1297.

Next, step 1337 allows a User to select 1337 and view 1339 the service status of the user names and service entered in steps 1331 and 1333. For example, if a user entered the Napster user name JohnDoe 1234 and chose to voluntarily remove an infringing file associated with that user name, then the User would view in step 1339 the status of that Napster user name as "complied/voluntarily removed file," and if the OSP provided, it would also display whether or not the OSP had unblocked their service or if such action was still pending. Also, in step 1339 the User can view a list of all the services they have entered in steps 1331 and 1333 and view the status of not only outstanding cases against those services, but the entire history, past and present, as associated with each service. For example, a user may view the status of their Napster user name JohnDoe 1234 as blocked, and then view the list of unauthorized works that were found associated with that user name. Similar to step 1335, the User may also choose 1341 to take action on outstanding cases, at which time they are directed to the User Communication Manager to proceed. The User can also choose to take action on the status of a particular service displayed in 1339, similar to the action accessible in step 1335 removing unauthorized files from the User's computer, website, FTP site or other infringing location. If the User chooses to take any action 1341 they are then directed to the User Communication Manager 1297 to proceed.

Referring now to Figure 19D, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component of the centralized communication system for displaying outstanding cases, as based on specific files that have been identified with the searches conducted by Copyright Owners, as described in Figures 17G, 17Gi and 17Gii. Upon accessing the File Manager 1293, the User can choose, step 1345, to view current pending actions as identified with files that are associated with the user names and services entered in the system in Figure C, steps 1331 and 1333. In addition, the User is shown whether or not an authorized copy of the identified copy is available for download, thus allowing the User to replace the infringing file with a copy and format authorized by the Copyright Owner. The User can take action on the outstanding cases, by choosing to either remove or replace the infringing file 1349, at which time they are directed to the User Communication Manager in step 1297. Next, a User can choose 1351 to view 1353 the entire history of files that have been or currently are associated with the user names and services provided in Figure C, steps 1331 and 1333. By choosing this option the User can keep track of all the files he has removed and/or replaced as well as view all case number and compliance reports verifying such action. Referring now to Figure 19E, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component of the cenfralized communication system for managing all of a User's communication related modules. The User begins using the Communication Manager 1297 by accessing the Communication Integrator 1303 to manage all communication received via the centralized communication system and external communication sources. Once this communication is integrated into the system the User in step 1354 can either manually respond to communications or automate responses by setting up rules in the Communications Rules 1299 module that automatically populate responses to predefined types of communications. For example, the User can set up the rules for responding to a "notice of copyright infringement" that matches a user name they have entered into the system with a file for which they have a valid license to automatically respond with a "counter notice" with reference to the license they have obtained. The User can choose to respond to multiple communications 1356 or, when all communications have been selected proceed to the Communications Response module in step 1301.

Referring now to Figure 19F, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component of the centralized communication system for establishing the rules related to all of the User's communications. Upon selecting the Communications Rules 1299, the User is allowed to manage the various communication rules. In step 1357, the User can select to manage the "1-Click Comply" function which allows the User to comply with all communications that meet a predefined terms with a set response. In order for a User to use the "1-Click Comply" function they must agree in step 1359 to voluntarily remove all unauthorized files for which they are sent notices and which the User does not have a valid license or other approval, as set-up in the system under the User's account. Next, once the User has agreed to the rules in 1359 the User must apply the rules to all of the accounts and services they have entered into the system. If these rules are selected 1363 then the system turn on the "1-Click Comply" service for all of the User's accounts and services. Otherwise if the User does not select all of these rules their service is unchanged and they must comply manually with all abuse related communications.

Still referring to Figure 19F, the User can select in step 1367 to rum on the automatic file replacement service. This service, similar to "1-Click Comply", allows the User to automatically receive copies of authorized files as a replacement of the unauthorized file that has been identified with their account. In order to activate this service the User must have selected the "1-Click Comply" service 1369. Next, the User must agree to receive a free sample copy of all available files 1371. If these rules are met, the system activates the automatic file replacement service for all of the User's accounts and services 1375. Otherwise, the User must manually select the files for which he would like to receive copies.

Referring now to Figure 19G, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming of a component of the centralized communication system for a User to respond, automatically or manually, to incoming and outgoing communications. The User Communication Response module 1301 is the process outgoing communication goes through in the process of responding to an incoming communication. This response process can be set to proceed automatically if a User has selected 1379 to respond via the "1- Click Comply" service 1381. On the other hand, a User can reply manually by selecting 1383 either to respond according to the "Voluntary Remove" rules 1385 or by selecting 1387 to respond via the "Counter Notice" rules 1389. Of course both the Voluntary Remove and Counter Notice rules can be customized in the Communication Rules module, Figure 19F, whereby allowing the User to enter in license information, as well as other authorization data that is relevant to the User's communications.

Referring now to Figure 19H, there is shown a flow diagram for the programming the User's communication Integrator 1303, which processes both internal and external communications received and stores the data in the database 700. Communications received by the system from compatible systems that allow the data to seamlessly integrate are received 1393 and written to the database 700.

Communications received by other means 1395, including postal service and incompatible e-mail and other elecfronic systems, are parsed if possible and transmitted to the database 700 or manually entered through a data processing interface to write the critical data to the database 700.

Referring now to the final figure, Figure 20, there is show a flow diagram for the programming the module for verifying all activity of all users (Copyright Owner, ISP/OSP and User) across the centralized communication system. The System Administration Check or "SAC", step 663, checks with the central system anytime a user proceeds to perform an activity. The SAC performs an initial check when a user logs into their account and determines whether or not their payments are current 1397 and what services they have access to, step 1399. Based on this system check 1397 and 1399, a system user's action is either verified 655, thus allowing them to proceed, or denied 655, thus prompting them to take the appropriate action - such as subscribing to a particular service or updating their payment plan - in order to proceed.

Referring now to the final figure, Figure 21, there is show a flow diagram illustrating the centralized and standardized communication system for copyright owners, Internet Service Providers/Online Service Providers and both business and consumer users of copyrighted works, which incorporates the functions of tracking/monitoring uses of works, providing unauthorized file replacement, and licensing and distribution of copyrighted works. First, in step 1425, the centralized communication system is illustrated to show how all communication and interaction between the parties can take place within the system 1425. Specifically, an Owner 1401 can use the system 1425 to identify any authorized or unauthorized use of his copyrighted works 1403, send, receive and manage communications 1405, and provide authorized copies of the work and licenses for the works use and/or distribution. Next, an ISP/OSP 1409 can use the system 1425 to send, receive and manage communications 1411, notify and/or block identified users and subscribers 1413, and monitor repeat infringements of their users and subscribers 1415. Finally, both business and consumer Users 1417 can use the system to send, receive and manage communications 1419, avoid interruptions to their ISP or OSP services 1421, and obtain authorized copies of works and/or licenses for the works use 1423.

Claims

We claim:
1. A method of monitoring and managing the unauthorized use of copyrighted works on a plurality of Internet locations, each Internet location being coupled to the Internet and hosted by a service provider, said method comprising: a) determining the unauthorized use of copyrighted works at certain Internet locations and the address of the service provider of the Internet location at which the copyrighted work is used without authorization; b) transmitting a message to the service provider of the Internet location on which the copyrighted work is used without authorization, said message requesting that service provider to inform its unauthorized user to cease use of the copyrighted work; and c) if said unauthorized use of the copyrighted work continues its unauthorized use for a further set period of time, blocking access from the Intemet to said Internet location on which the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work occurs.
2. A method of monitoring and managing the unauthorized use of a known copyrighted work on at least one of a plurality of Internet locations, each Internet location being coupled to the
Internet, the copyright in the known copyrighted work being held by an owner, such method comprising the steps of: a) facilitating the copyright owner to conduct a search of selected of said plurality of
Internet locations for the unauthorized use of its copyrighted work; b) if the unauthorized use of the copyrighted work of the owner is found on an Internet location, determining the identity of the service provider of that Internet location and transmitting a message to that service provider permitting the service provider to identify the unauthorized user; and c) facilitating the unauthorized user to transmit a message to the copyright owner of the work that has used without authorization, said message indicating whether the unauthorized user will: i) cease its unauthorized use of the owner's copyrighted work, ii) assert a defense against the owner's copyright, and iii) accept a license to use the owner's copyrighted work.
3. The method of managing and monitoring as claimed in claim 2, wherein there is further included the steps of: d) facilitating the choosing by the copyright owner of whether or not to provide a license to this unauthorized user to use the owner's copyrighted work; and e) transmitting a message to the unauthorized user indicating whether or not the copyright owner will offer a license to the unauthorized user to use the owner's copyrighted work.
PCT/US2001/023878 2000-07-28 2001-07-30 Apparatus and method for transmitting and keeping track of legal notices WO2002011033A1 (en)

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