WO2010050817A1 - Content brokering system - Google Patents

Content brokering system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010050817A1
WO2010050817A1 PCT/NO2008/000386 NO2008000386W WO2010050817A1 WO 2010050817 A1 WO2010050817 A1 WO 2010050817A1 NO 2008000386 W NO2008000386 W NO 2008000386W WO 2010050817 A1 WO2010050817 A1 WO 2010050817A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
content
data content
method
data
request
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NO2008/000386
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Simone Lupetti
Frédéric PAINT
Original Assignee
Telenor Asa
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
Application filed by Telenor Asa filed Critical Telenor Asa
Priority to PCT/NO2008/000386 priority Critical patent/WO2010050817A1/en
Publication of WO2010050817A1 publication Critical patent/WO2010050817A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F16/00Information retrieval; Database structures therefor; File system structures therefor
    • G06F16/90Details of database functions independent of the retrieved data types
    • G06F16/95Retrieval from the web
    • G06F16/957Browsing optimisation, e.g. caching or content distillation

Abstract

There is disclosed a method in a data content brokering apparatus (20, 80) of redirecting downloaded data (120). The method includes receiving a request (100) from a user device (140), the request identifying data content (120) followed subsequently by forwarding the request (100) to at least one server (130) from which the data content (120) is available. When the data content (120) is received, the method includes redirecting using the content brokering apparatus (80) the data content (120) to at least one target device (150) to which the data content (120) is downloadable, the at least one target device (150) being a different device from the user device (140). The method finally includes, when the data content (120) has been at least partially downloaded to the at least one target device (150), transmitting a notification (160) to the user device (140).

Description

CONTENT BROKERING SYSTEM

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to data content brokering systems. Moreover, the invention also concerns methods of brokering data content in such data content brokering systems. Furthermore, the invention relates to software products recorded on data carriers and executable on computing hardware for implementing such methods using such computing hardware.

Background of the invention

In contemporary situations where data content is consumed by users, the data content is potentially consumed in many different ways by the users, and the data content potentially derives from many different sources. There thereby arises a technical problem of how to manage receipt of data content and how to ensure the data content is presented to the users on their preferred mode of presentation.

Summary of the invention

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of redirecting downloaded data content as defined in appended claim 1 : there is provided a method in a data content brokering apparatus of redirecting downloaded data content, the method comprising:

receiving a first request from a user device, the first request identifying data content;

transmitting a second request to at least one server, the second request identifying the data content, the at least one server comprising content data access information, the content data access information being indicative of a manner of accessing the data content;

receiving the data content; and redirecting using the content brokering apparatus the data content to at least one target device to which the data content is downloadable, the at least one target device being a different device from the user device.

Optionally, the downloadable data content is stored on a storage medium at said at least one target device.

The invention is of advantage in that the content broking apparatus is capable of automatically controlling redirection of data content in response to instructions from the user sent via the request.

Optionally, the method further comprises transmitting a notification to the user device when the data content has been at least partially downloaded to the at least one target device.

Optionally, the transmitting of the second request comprises forwarding at least a part of the first request.

Optionally, the method further includes defining the at least one target device so that the content brokering apparatus and the at least one target device form a configuration of defined devices. Such a definition of configuration enables the brokering apparatus to efficiently and effectively redirect the data content.

Optionally, the method includes selecting the at least one target device among a set of one or more target devices whose identities are stored in the content brokering apparatus.

More optionally, the method is implemented such that the selection is made based on one or more of:

(a) a meta data associated with the data content;

(b) a file extension of the data content; and (c) an identified address of the server from which the data content is available.

Such choice of modes of redirection of data content enables the method to cope with a potentially wide variety of data content formats and structures, for example according to the choice of a user and/or according to the capabilities of target devices.

Optionally, when implementing the method, the request further includes an identification of the target device and the redirection being performed on the basis of the received identification. Optionally, the method includes downloading the content data access information, and based on the content data access information configuring the content brokering apparatus to initiate a peer-to-peer transfer of the data content, and receiving the data content from one or more additional content brokering apparatus configured to operate as peers to the content brokering apparatus in a peer-to-peer network. Generation of such peer-to-peer networks provides a benefit of avoiding data streaming overload which would otherwise occur at centralized data content supply nodes in data networks, for example the Internet.

More optionally, the method includes the content brokering apparatus configuring itself to operate as a peer in the peer-to-peer network.

More optionally, the method includes configuring the content brokering apparatus to provide at least one of a searching service and a directory service to the peer-to-peer network.

Optionally, the method includes configuring the content brokering apparatus to provide at least one of a searching service and a directory service to the user device.

Optionally, the method includes providing at least one of the content brokering apparatus and the target device as a home media server and/or a Set-Top-Box (STB). Such an implementation is of benefit in that users are contemporarily acquainted with such accessories for their televisions, personal computers and such like. Moreover, such an implementation as a Set-Top-Box enables retrofitting of the brokering apparatus to existing data content consumption facilities.

Optionally, when implementing the method, redirection of the content by the brokering apparatus occurs without intervention by the user. By such transparency in use, it is meant that the user does not need to interact with the brokering apparatus for redirecting the data content, thereby rendering the method more universally acceptable to users.

Optionally, the method includes encrypting and/or decrypting data communicated between the content brokering apparatus and the at least one server.

Optionally, when implementing the method, the content brokering apparatus is operable to preserve use rights associated with the data content defined by the request, the use rights restricting access to the data content based on at least one of: a user identity, an identity of an accessing device, an identity of a target device, and a time period of validity for the data content.

Optionally, when implementing the method, the content brokering apparatus is operable to redirect the defined data content provided from the at least one server in real-time.

Optionally, when implementing the method, the user device is selected from the set of:

(a) a mobile phone;

(b) a personal computer (PC); (c) a laptop computer; and

(d) a personal digital assistant (PDA) or palm-top computer.

(e) a Set-Top-Box (T) a game console.

Optionally, when implementing the method, the content brokering apparatus is operable to receive the data content defined by the request from the at least one server and also redirect the defined data content provided from the at least one server within an Internet session, without closing any connection or session between the user device and the at least one server. Such operation within a single Internet session renders the method easier to employ and more responsive in operation.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a system including a content brokering apparatus for redirecting downloaded data content as defined in appended claim 19: there is provided a system including a content brokering apparatus for redirecting downloaded data content, the system including:

(a) a user device which is operable to send a first request identifying data content;

(b) at least one server from which the data content is available, the at least one server being operable to provide the data content in response to receiving the first request;

(c) the content brokering apparatus being operable to redirect the data content to a target device to which the data content is downloadable, the target device being a different device from the user device; and

(d) the target device being operable to at least partially process the data content. Optionally, the system is operable to transmit a notification of the download of the data content to the user device.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a Set-Top-Box as defined in appended claim 20: there is provided a set-top box including a content brokering apparatus, wherein the content brokering apparatus is operable to implement a method pursuant to the first aspect of the invention.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a data product including software code stored upon a data-carrying medium, the software code being executable upon computing hardware for implementing a method pursuant to the first aspect of the invention.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention, there is provided a method in a system as claimed in appended claim 23: there is provided a method in a system comprising a data content brokering apparatus, at least one server, and at least one source of data content, said method comprising steps of:

(a) receiving a first request at the data content brokering apparatus from a user device, the request identifying data content;

(b) upon reception of the first request, transmitting a second request for the data content brokering apparatus to at least one server, the second request identifying the data content and at least one target device being a different device from the user device; and

(c) upon reception of the second request, transmitting from the at least one server the data content to the at least one target device.

Optionally, the method includes, when the data content has been at least partially downloaded to the at least one target device, transmitting a notification from at least one of the one target device to the user device.

Optionally, the method includes, when the data content has been at least partially downloaded to the at least one target device, transmitting a notification from the data content brokering apparatus to the user device. It will be appreciated that features of the invention are susceptible to being combined in any combination without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the accompanying claims.

Description of the diagrams

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the following diagrams wherein:

Figure 1 is an illustration of a first configuration of a data content brokering system pursuant to the present invention;

Figure 2 is an illustration of a second configuration of a data content brokering system pursuant to the present invention;

Figure 3 is an illustration of a third configuration of a data content brokering system pursuant to the present invention; and

Figure 4 is an illustration of a set-top box implementation of a data content brokering system pursuant to the present invention.

Description of embodiments of the invention

Referring to Figure 1 , there is shown a data content brokering system indicated generally by 10. The system 10 is communicatively connectable to a data content provider system indicated generally by 30. The content provider system 30 is coupled to one or more sources of data content denoted by 20. The one or more sources of data content 20 include at least one of:

(a) the Internet or one or more telecommunications networks operable to stream data content and/or provide data content as data files to the system 10;

(b) physical data carriers such as optical data discs, magnetic data discs, solid state memory chips.

The system 10 itself is optionally established at one physical location, for example at a home of a user 40. Alternatively, the system 10 is spread between several locations. The system 10 includes a data content brokering apparatus 80, for example implemented in a server computer or in a Set-Top-Box (STB), or in a combination of the server computer and the Set- Top-Box.

In an example of the data content brokering apparatus 80 being implemented in a server computer, the server computer optionally comprises a proxy server for implementing a method pursuant to the present invention. A benefit of using a proxy server is that the proxy server is susceptible to being configured to function on a transport layer of a contemporary Open Systems Interconnection Basic Reference Model, namely OSI model. Communication on the transport layer beneficially hides complexity from the user of whatever functionality the proxy server is operable to provide. A user device 140 is optionally configured to use the proxy server as a gateway to the Internet, so that, irrespective of which user device application running on the user device 140 tries to access the Internet, an associated connection would have to be routed via the proxy server. Such a configuration generally comprises configuring the user device 140 with an Internet Protocol (IP) address of the proxy server, a port number, and optionally a user name and a password. Alternatively, another form of authentication data may be used instead of the usemame and password. As an alternative to configuring the user device 140, a specific user device application can be configured to use the data content brokering apparatus 80 as a gateway to the Internet. A user device application is optionally susceptible to present a user interface that enables the user 40 to search for and select data content 120 obtainable from the one or more sources of data content 20. The user device application is optionally also susceptible to presenting meta-tagged text content downloaded from the Internet. According to some embodiments consistent with the principles of the invention, the user device application is optionally a Web browser or a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browser. Optionally, configuring the user device 140 or the user device application is performed by a network operator associated with the user device 140, to hide the complexity of setting up the proxy configuration from the user 40. Such a configuration can for example be performed using a suitable Over-The-Air (OTA) provisioning protocol. For example, the network operator is optionally able to upload such a configuration to the user device 140 in the form of a Short Message Service (SMS) message. Optionally, if the user device 140 is already configured to use an Internet proxy, the device 140 is susceptible to being configured to enable the method pursuant to the present invention.

In the example of the data content brokering apparatus 80 being implemented in a server computer, the method of the present invention is optionally implemented using a Web server running on the server computer. A result of using a Web server is that the Web server is optionally susceptible to being established virtually on any location, including locations not under control of a network operator associated with the user device 140. A Web server is optionally also configured to enable customization of the user interface enabling the user 40 to search for and select data content 120 obtainable from the one or more sources of data content 20. Such customization is optionally enabled by transmitting Web pages 90 to the user device 140. Optionally, these Web pages 90, when interpreted by a Web browser of the user device 140, instruct the Web browser to also contact at least one additional server 130, and to present a mash-up of pages 60, 90 to the user 40; by "mash-up", it is envisaged a reorganisation of information content within the pages 60, 90. The user device 140 is optionally configured to use the Web server as a start page server to the Internet, so that when the user device 140 starts a Web browser, the browser connects to the Web server configured to enable the method pursuant to the present invention. Such a configuration usually comprises setting the Web server address in a configuration file of the Web browser. However, also in this example, an OTA provisioning protocol is optionally used to configure the start page server address.

In the example of the data content brokering apparatus 80 being a Set-Top-Box; the Set- Top-Box is optionally located in a convenient region of a home.

Optionally, when the data content brokering apparatus 80 is a Web proxy or a Set-Top-Box, the data content brokering apparatus 80 is also susceptible to include a Web server for configuration purposes. By connecting to such a configuration Web server, for example from the user device 140, the Web pages 90 may be presented to the user 40 that enable the user 40 to configure the Web proxy or Set-Top-Box.

Optionally, the content brokering apparatus 80 can be configured to provide at least one of a searching service and a directory service to the user device 140. Alternatively, if the data content brokering apparatus 80 is a Set-Top-Box, the at least one of a searching service and a directory service is controllable via a user device 140, for example a remote control, and presentable results of the at least one of a searching service and a directory service are displayed at a display device, for example a television (TV).

Optionally, the user device 140 is portable. Moreover, the portable user device is optionally a mobile telephone or personal digital assistant (PDA).

In overview, the system 10 is operable to employ a method of brokering data content via the apparatus 80 of the system 10, wherein the method includes steps of: (a) receiving a first request 100 from a user device 140, the first request 100 identifying data content 120;

(b) transmitting a second request 110 to a server 130 from which the data content 120 is available, the second request 110 being based on the first request 100 and therefore also identifying the data content 120;

(c) receiving the data content 120, for example at the apparatus 80; and

(d) redirecting, for example using the apparatus 80 of the data content brokering system 10, the data content 120 to a target device 150 to which the data content 120 is downloadable, the target device 150 being a different device from the user device

140; and

(e) when the data content 120 has been at least partially downloaded to the target device 150, transmitting a notification 160 to the user device 140.

Optionally, the notification 160 is sent from the target device 150 via the brokering apparatus 80 to the user device 140.

In Figure 1 , a simple situation is illustrated wherein the data content 120 is provided from a single server 130. However, in a more complex situation illustrated in Figure 2, wherein the data content 120 comprises first and second data content portions 120a, 120b provided from first and second servers 130a, 130b, respectively, a much more complex problem of administration and control of data content delivery arises. For example, the data content portion 120a is a video film with moving images and a sound track in English language, whereas the data content portion 120b is a text overlay into Norwegian for the video film which needs to be synchronized and overlaid onto the video film for presentation at the target device 150. Optionally, delivery of the first and second data content portions 120a, 120b has to be temporally coordinated on account of limited data storage capacity available at the target device 150. A special situation can arise when the first data content portion 120a is a real-time video conference hosted on the target device 150, wherein the second data content portion 120b is a simultaneous translation performed real-time into Norwegian. Such an implementation of the system 10 enables business people represented by the user 40 to arrange video conferences and arrange simultaneous translation as the second data content portion 120b hosted via the Internet. The simultaneous translation can be provided by human translators at remote locations or by real-time computer-based simultaneous translation facilities and associated computer executable advanced software products recorded on data carriers. Temporal synchronization between the first and second data content portions 120a, 120b can be achieved by the servers 130a, 130b being configured in mutual coordination for providing the content portions 120a, 120b to the target device 150 in an appropriately timely manner.

Alternatively, as illustrated in Figure 3, the user 40 invokes the user device 140 to instruct the servers 130a, 130b to send the data content portions 120a, 120b to the apparatus 80 for subsequent routing to first and second target devices 150a, 150b respectively, which then send their respective notifications 160a, 160b to the user device 140 for confirming successful receipt of the data content portions 120a, 120b thereat. Alternatively, the first and second target devices 150a, 150b send their notifications to the brokering apparatus 80 which subsequently notifies the user 40, for example via the user device 140.

For example, the target device 150a is a high-definition television requiring high-definition presentation of data content 120a in HDTV format with stereo and ambient sound channels together with a so-called surrounding-illumination "ambilight" channel, whereas the second target device 150b is a personal digital assistant (PDA) including a low-resolution liquid crystal display (LCD) screen with stereo audio outputs for headphones. The user 40 orders the data content portions 12Oa1 120b by selecting the data content portions 120a, 120b using the user device 140, which for example is implemented as a mobile telephone having short messaging service (SMS) and/or direct Internet browsing functionality. The user 40 can then watch and thereby enjoy the data content in high quality on the high-definition television at home and also in lower quality when travelling to work by public transport. The data content portions 120a, 120b can, for example, comprise latest news reports to avoid a need for printed newspapers whose production is potentially costly and environmentally damaging. The notifications 160a, 160b enable the user 40 to be informed that the data content has been successfully delivered in response to the request 100 being sent by the user 40. Optionally, the notifications 160a, 160b are conveyed via the brokering apparatus 80.

A content portion 120 can be selected in various ways, for example by one or more of: (i) sending an SMS message from the user device 140 to the content brokering apparatus 80 via an SMS gateway, wherein the SMS message identifies the content portion 120; and

(ii) sending an Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) GET or HTTP POST message from the user device 140 to the content brokering apparatus 80, wherein the message identifies the content portion 120.

As described earlier, the apparatus 80 is optionally implemented within the Internet, for example as a Web portal or proxy server. Similarly, the user device 140 is optionally a terminal interface to the Internet so that the request 100 includes messages conveyed within the Internet from one Internet site to another thereof. Alternatively, at least one of the servers 130a, 130b, the apparatus 80 and the user device 140 are local to the home, for example in a form of a Set-Top-Box provided with a local remote handheld control. The foregoing is also applicable when the home represents an office, cinema, ship, road vehicle or aircraft including a user-reconfigurable infotainment system. Moreover, the user device 140 and the apparatus 80 are optionally spatially located together in a data content resource terminal. Thus, optionally, the user device 140 and the apparatus 80 can be configured to form a data content brokering apparatus and the one or more target devices 150 functionally form a configuration of devices.

The aforesaid method steps (a) to (d) optionally include an additional step of selecting the one or more target devices 150 among a set of one or more target devices whose identities are stored in the apparatus 80. More optionally, the selection is susceptible to being made based on one or more of:

(i) meta data associated with the data content 120, for example a file extension, a file type, or a Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) media type for the data content 120. In the file extension example, data content 120 with file names ending with ".mp3" are optionally routed via the apparatus 80 to the target device 150a for playing music, whereas data content 120 with file names ending with ".mpg" are routed via the apparatus 80 to the target device 150b for playing movies. In the file size example, data content 120 smaller than a certain file size are optionally routed via the apparatus 80 to the target device 150a, whereas data content 120 larger than a certain file size are via the apparatus 80 to the target device 150b; (ii) meta data included in the data content 120, for example programme listings or programme indexes useable for data content searching and navigation purposes; and (iii) one or more identified addresses of the one or more servers 130a, 130b from which the data content 120 is available.

When implementing the aforesaid method in the system 10, the request 100 optionally further includes an identification of the one ore more target devices 150a, 150b and the redirection within the apparatus 80 is performed on the basis of the identification being subsequently received at the apparatus 80. By adopting such an approach, the data content 120 itself is able to control the apparatus 80 to determine to which target device 150 the data content 120, or a portion thereof, is automatically routed or otherwise directed. The system 10 is itself optionally capable of functioning, at least partially, in a manner of one or more of the servers 130a, 130b for further distributing the data content 120 in a peer-to- peer manner. Thus, the aforementioned method in steps (a) to (d) optionally includes a step of configuring the content brokering apparatus 80 to initiate an aforementioned peer-to-peer transfer of the data content 120, and receiving said data content from one or more additional content brokering apparatus 80 configured to operate as peers to the content brokering apparatus 80 in a manner of a peer-to-peer network. The aforesaid method optionally therefore includes a step of the content brokering apparatus 80 configuring itself to operate as a part of a peer in the peer-to-peer network. Moreover, in order to provide for rapid data content searching, the aforesaid method optionally includes a step of configuring the content brokering apparatus 80 to provide at least one of a searching service and a directory service to the peer-to-peer network. Thus, the brokering apparatus 80 is optionally susceptible to configuring itself to operate as an uploading peer in the peer-to-peer network.

The system 10 and its associated apparatus 80 are susceptible to being implemented in several different practical forms. For example, the system 10 and its apparatus 80 are susceptible to being implemented as a home media server and/or a Set-Top-Box (STB). According to an exemplary embodiment, message exchanges arising during operation of the system 10 are not all presented to the user 40 so that the user 40 perceives the system 10 to be transparent in use. Moreover, the aforesaid method optionally includes a step of encrypting and/or decrypting the data content 120 communicated between the content data brokering apparatus 80 and one or more of the servers 130a, 130b; such encryption is optionally based on public-private key encryption and decryption, wherein the public key is employed for encryption and the private key is employed selectively for performing decryption. However, other modes of encryption are also alternatively or additionally possible.

In respect of digital rights management (DRM) for example, the data content brokering apparatus 80 is optionally operable to preserve use rights associated with the defined data content 120, the use rights restricting access to the data content 120 based on at least one of:

(a) a user identity of the user 40;

(b) an identity of the one or more target devices 150 and/or the user device 140 to which the data content is downloaded, and a time period of validity for the data content 120; and

(c) authorized payment having been initiated by the user 40. Redirection of content 120 optionally occurs in the brokering apparatus 80 without interaction with the user 40.

According to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, for providing ease of use to the user 40, for example to obtain prompt responsiveness, the content brokering apparatus 80 is operable to receive the defined data content 120 from the one or more servers 130a, 130b and also redirect the defined data content 120 provided from the one or more servers 130 within an Internet session, without closing any connection or session between the user 40 device and the one or more servers 130a, 130b. Encryption and/or decryption is optionally performed for data communicated between the brokering apparatus 80 and the one or more servers 130a, 130b.

The user device 140 is optionally selected from a set of:

(a) a mobile phone; (b) a personal computer (PC);

(c) a laptop computer;

(d) a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or similar palm-top computer.

(e) a Set-Top-Box (T) a game console.

The system 10 is also optionally operable to function as a content brokering apparatus 80 for redirecting downloaded data, wherein the brokering apparatus 80 includes:

(a) a user device 140 which is operable to send a request 100 identifying data content

120; (b) at least one server 13Oa1 130b from which the data content 120 is available, the one or more servers 130a, 130b being operable to provide the data content 120 in response to receiving said request 100;

(c) the content brokering apparatus 80 being operable to redirect the data content 120 to one or more target devices 150a, 150b to which the data content 120 is downloadable, the one or more target devices 150a, 150b being a different device from the user device 140; and

(d) the one or more target devices 150a, 150b being operable to at least partially download the data content 120, and to transmit at least one notification 160a, 160b of the download of the data content 120 to the user device 140, the notification optionally being sent via the brokering apparatus 80. Consistent with exemplary embodiments of the invention, the data content brokering apparatus 80 is optionally implemented as a Set-Top-Box 500 as illustrated in Figure 4. The Set-Top-Box 500 is optionally integrated into a television or similar. One or more of the user device 140, and apparatus 80 and the one or more target devices 150a, 150b optionally includes software code stored upon a machine-readable data medium, the software code being executable upon computing hardware for implementing aforementioned methods of brokering data content 120.

Although only two target devices 150a, 150b are shown in the accompanying diagrams, it will be appreciated that less than two such target devices or more than two such target devices are optionally also feasible pursuant to the present invention.

Referring next to the at least one server 130, the at least one server 130 comprise content data access information which is optionally data representing a mapping between a Uniform Research Locator (URL) and a file system path; such a correspondence is contemporarily routinely used for Web servers. When configured with such mapping data, a Web server is able to translate a URL received in a request 110 from the content brokering apparatus 80, into a file system path accessible by the Web server. An example of such a contemporary Web server is the Apache® Web server as reported at an Internet Web-site: www.apache.org. For the present invention, a "mod_alias" module of the Apache Web server is capable of being configured with a mapping between a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and a file system path by using a DocumentRoot directive and/or an Alias directive.

Content data access information is optionally data representing a mapping between a first URL and a second URL; such a mapping is conventionally employed in Web servers. When the content brokering apparatus 80 is configured to operate with such a Web server, the apparatus 80 is operable to send a first URL to the Web server which translates the first URL into a second corresponding URL. The second URL may be employed in at least two mutually different ways.

In one example embodiment of the present invention, the Web server is configured to function as a reverse proxy, namely the Web server, upon receiving a request 110 including a first URL from the content brokering apparatus 80, uses mapping data to translate the first URL into a second URL, and then transmits a subsequent request to a second server identified by the second URL, the second server being different from the Web server. The second URL optionally comprises a different protocol name identifying the protocol to be used in the subsequent request, for example the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Upon reception of content data from the second server, the Web server then redirects the content data to the content brokering apparatus 80. An example of a Web server which is capable of functioning as a reverse proxy is the aforesaid Apache Web server. The mod_rewrite and mod-proxy Apache modules are susceptible to being configured with a mapping between a first URL and a second URL for such a purpose by using a RewriteRule directive and/or a ProxyPass directive.

In another example embodiment of the present invention, the Web server is configured, upon receiving a request 110 including a first URL from the content brokering apparatus 80, to use the mapping data to translate the first URL into the second URL, and then to transmit the second URL back to the content brokering apparatus 80. For example, the second URL may be attached to a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) response status code, for example:

HTTP/1 . 1 302 Found Loca tion : h t tp : //www. con tentprovider . com/ con ten t . mpg

Upon receiving such a response status code and a second URL, the content brokering apparatus 80 transmits a request to a server identified by the second URL. An example of a Web server being capable of instructing a content brokering apparatus to transmit a request to a second URL is the aforesaid Apache Web server. The mod_alias Apache module is susceptible to being configured with a mapping between a first URL and a second URL for such a purpose by using a Redirect directive.

Optionally, in a context of the present invention, content data access information may be a metadata file identifying parts of at least one data content file and at least one address of a swarm discovery server. In such an embodiment, the content brokering apparatus 80 transmits a request to a server hosting the metadata file and receives a metadata file in response. The server is optionally a Web server. The content brokering apparatus 80 then extracts the at least one address of a swarm discovery server, and then transmits a request to at least one swarm discovery server in order to obtain a peer list therefrom. The peer list, namely a form of address list, may then be used by the content brokering apparatus 80 to contact peers in a peer-to-peer network. A peer of such a peer-to-peer network is optionally another content brokering apparatus 80.

In an example of the present invention implemented in a peer-to-peer manner, the aforesaid metadata file is a torrent file, the swarm discovery server is a BitTorrent tracker, and data content is received from other peers in the peer-to-peer network by employing a contemporary BitTorrent protocol. In another related embodiment of the present invention, a peer list comprises at least one address of a peer configured to function as a swarm discovery server using a contemporary Distributed Hash Table (DHT) method, and the content brokering apparatus 80 is operable to utilize the same method in its communication with the at least one peer.

Depending on the implementation of the content brokering apparatus 80, redirection in "realtime" can mean that as soon as an at least a part of the content data 120 is received by the content brokering apparatus 80, the at least a part of the content data 120 is transmitted to a target device 150 within 1 millisecond, optionally within 10 milliseconds, more optionally within 50 milliseconds, yet more optionally within 100 milliseconds, yet more optionally within 500 milliseconds or yet more optionally within 1 second. Other time periods are envisaged within the scope of the present invention.

Expressions such as "has", "is", "include", "comprise", "consist of, "incorporates" are to be construed to include additional components or items which are not specifically defined; namely, such terms are to be construed in a non-exclusive manner. Moreover, reference to the singular is also to be construed to also include the plural. Furthermore, numerals and other symbols included within parentheses in the accompanying claims are not to be construed to influence interpreted claim scope but merely assist in understanding the present invention when studying the claims.

Modifications to embodiments of the invention described in the foregoing are susceptible to being implemented without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims

1. A method in a data content brokering apparatus (80) of redirecting downloaded data content (120), said method comprising:
receiving a first request (100) from a user device (140), said first request identifying data content (120);
transmitting a second request (110) to at least one server (130), said second request (110) identifying said data content (120), said at least one server (130) comprising content data access information, said content data access information being indicative of a manner of accessing said data content (120);
receiving said data content (120); and
redirecting using said content brokering apparatus (80) said data content (120) to at least one target device (150) to which said data content (120) is downloadable, said at least one target device (150) being a different device from said user device (140).
2. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said transmitting of said second request (110) comprises forwarding at least a part of said first request (100).
3. A method as claimed in claim 1 , further comprising transmitting a notification (160) to said user device (140) when said data content (120) has been at least partially downloaded to said at least one target device (150).
4. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein transmitting said second request (110) comprises forwarding said first request (100).
5. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said method further includes defining said at least one target device (150) so that said content brokering apparatus (80) and said at least one target device (150) form a configuration of defined devices.
6. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said method includes selecting said at least one target device (150) among a set of one or more target devices (15Oa1 150b) whose identities are stored in said content brokering apparatus (80).
7. A method as claimed in claim 6, wherein said selection is made based on one or more of:
(a) a meta data associated with said data content (120);
(b) a file extension of said data content (120); and
(c) an identified address of said server (130) from which said data content (120) is available.
8. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said request (100) further includes an identification of said target device (150) and said redirection being performed on the basis of said received identification.
9. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said method includes downloading said content data access information, and based on said content data access information configuring said content brokering apparatus (80) to initiate a peer-to-peer transfer of said data content (120), and receiving said data content (120) from one or more additional content brokering apparatus (80, 20) configured to operate as peers to said content brokering apparatus (80) in a peer-to-peer network.
10. A method as claimed in claim 9, wherein said method includes said content brokering apparatus (80) configuring itself to operate as a peer in said peer-to-peer network.
11. A method as claimed in claim 9, wherein said method includes configuring said content brokering apparatus (80) to provide at least one of a searching service and a directory service to said peer-to-peer network.
12. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said method includes configuring said content brokering apparatus (80) to provide at least one of a searching service and a directory service to said user device (140).
13. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said method includes providing at least one of said content brokering apparatus (80) and said target device (150) as a home media server and/or a Set-Top-Box (STB).
14. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein redirection of said content (120) by said brokering apparatus (80) occurs without intervention by said user (40).
15. A method as claimed in claim 1 , including encrypting and/or decrypting data communicated between said content brokering apparatus (80) and said at least one server
(130).
16. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said content brokering apparatus (80) is operable to preserve use rights associated with the data content (120) defined by said request (100), said use rights restricting access to said data content (120) based on at least one of: a user (40) identity, an identity of an accessing device, an identity of a target device (150), and a time period of validity for said data content (120).
17. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said content brokering apparatus (80) is operable to redirect said defined data content provided from said at least one server (130) in real-time.
18. A method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the user device is selected from the set of: (a) a mobile phone; (b) a personal computer (PC);
(c) a laptop computer; and
(d) a personal digital assistant (PDA) or palm-top computer.
(e) a Set-Top-Box
(f) a game console
19. A system (10) including a content brokering apparatus (80) for redirecting downloaded data content (120), said system (10) including:
(a) a user device (140) which is operable to send a first request (100) identifying data content (120);
(b) at least one server (130) from which said data content (120) is available, said at least one server (130) being operable to provide said data content (120) in response to receiving said first request (100); (c) said content brokering apparatus (80) being operable to redirect said data content (120) to a target device (150) to which said data content (120) is downloadable, said target device (150) being a different device from said user device (140); and
(d) said target device (150) being operable to at least partially download said data content (120).
20. A system (10) as claimed in claim 18, wherein said system (10) is operable to transmit a notification (160) of said download of said data content (120) to said user device (140).
21. A set-top box (500) including a content brokering apparatus (80), wherein said content brokering apparatus (80) is operable to implement a method as claimed in claim 1.
22. A data product including software code stored upon a machine-readable data- carrying medium, said software code being executable upon computing hardware (80) for implementing a method as claimed in claim 1.
23. A method in a system (10, 30) comprising a data content brokering apparatus (80), at least one server (130), and at least one source of data content (20), said method comprising:
(a) receiving a first request (100) at said data content brokering apparatus (80) from a user device (140), said request identifying data content (120);
(b) upon reception of said first request (100), transmitting a second request (110) for said data content brokering apparatus (80) to at least one server (130), said second request (110) identifying said data content (120) and at least one target device (150) being a different device from said user device (140); and
(c) upon reception of said second request (110), transmitting from said at least one server (130) said data content (120) to said at least one target device (150).
24. A method as claimed in claim 23, further comprising, when said data content (120) has been at least partially downloaded to said at least one target device (150), transmitting a notification (160) from at least one of said one target device (150) to said user device (140).
25. A method as claimed in claim 23, further comprising, when said data content (120) has been at least partially downloaded to said at least one target device (150), transmitting a notification (160) from said data content brokering apparatus (80) to said user device (140).
PCT/NO2008/000386 2008-11-03 2008-11-03 Content brokering system WO2010050817A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/NO2008/000386 WO2010050817A1 (en) 2008-11-03 2008-11-03 Content brokering system

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/NO2008/000386 WO2010050817A1 (en) 2008-11-03 2008-11-03 Content brokering system
PCT/IB2009/007454 WO2010061262A2 (en) 2008-11-03 2009-11-03 Content brokering system

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080168129A1 (en) * 2007-01-08 2008-07-10 Jeffrey Robbin Pairing a Media Server and a Media Client
US20080235731A1 (en) * 2007-03-22 2008-09-25 United Video Properties, Inc. User defined rules for assigning destinations of content

Family Cites Families (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20040225728A1 (en) * 2003-05-05 2004-11-11 Huggins Guy Dwayne Network and communications system for streaming media applications

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080168129A1 (en) * 2007-01-08 2008-07-10 Jeffrey Robbin Pairing a Media Server and a Media Client
US20080235731A1 (en) * 2007-03-22 2008-09-25 United Video Properties, Inc. User defined rules for assigning destinations of content

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WO2010061262A2 (en) 2010-06-03

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