WO2012088151A1 - System and method for trading and selling digital music - Google Patents

System and method for trading and selling digital music Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012088151A1
WO2012088151A1 PCT/US2011/066242 US2011066242W WO2012088151A1 WO 2012088151 A1 WO2012088151 A1 WO 2012088151A1 US 2011066242 W US2011066242 W US 2011066242W WO 2012088151 A1 WO2012088151 A1 WO 2012088151A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
content
physical media
user
owner
media
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Application number
PCT/US2011/066242
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Matthew YOUNKLE
Preston H. AUSTIN
Original Assignee
Murfie, 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.)
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Publication date
Priority to US201061425657P priority Critical
Priority to US61/425,657 priority
Application filed by Murfie, Inc. filed Critical Murfie, Inc.
Publication of WO2012088151A1 publication Critical patent/WO2012088151A1/en

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    • 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
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce

Abstract

An interface may be provided that allows for users to buy, sell, and trade physical media. The interface may allow users to buy, sell, or trade the content from the physical media without the need to transport the original physical media, which may be held in a storage facility on behalf of the owner. The interface may include a web site in which each user has a listing of the physical media owned by that user.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TRADING AND SELLING DIGITAL MUSIC

PRIORITY

[0001] This Application claims priority to U.S. Provisional App. No. 61/425,657 filed on December 21 , 2010, entitled "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TRADING AND SELLING DIGITAL MEDIA."

BACKGROUND

[0002] Many consumers have collections of physical media (e.g. compact discs (CDs), digital versatile discs (DVDs), Blu-ray discs, long playing records (LPs), and books) that require substantial physical space. Should they wish to remove this clutter, their options are limited. They may attempt to sell their collection to a store that buys and sells used media; unfortunately, prices paid for used media tend to be well below market rates. They can list their collection for sale online; this is tedious and time-consuming in that each piece of physical media must be listed, sold and shipped separately. They can donate their collection to a charity. Finally, they can throw their collection into the trash; many physical media formats, however, are best kept out of landfills as they are mostly produced from plastic and decompose extremely slowly.

SUMMARY

[0003] The disclosure relates to a re-distribution system or process that allows users to trade or sell the content from a given piece of physical media without the need to transport the original physical media to a trader or buyer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Figs. 1 A and IB illustrate a process for content distribution;

[0005] Fig. 2 illustrates an interface embodiment;

[0006] Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate a sale process;

[0007] Figs. 5 and 6 illustrate a one for one trading process;

[0008] Figs. 7 and 8 illustrate a one for many trading process;

[0009] Figs. 9 and 10 illustrate a many for one trading process;

[0010] Fig. 11 illustrates eligibility of content delivery;

[0011] Fig. 12 illustrates further eligibility of content delivery;

[0012] Fig. 13 illustrates an exemplary network system; and [0013] Fig. 14 illustrates an exemplary content server.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] A content owner who wishes to trade or sell physical media may create an account on a publicly accessible network such as the Internet. There may be a web site accessible over the network that operates as an interface for downloading content from the physical media and/or selling/trading the physical media and its content. The interface may require a user to enter a sequence to gain access such as a password and/or other information that uniquely identifies the content owner. As described below, the physical media has a single owner; however, that owner may sell the physical media to another user, who then becomes the owner of the physical media. The owner may then physically ship the physical media to a processing location. This shipment may be identified by indicia such as an identification code that may be used for rapid error free input into an electronic commerce server. The indicia may include information that identifies the content owner's account. In some systems the indicia or identification may include a combination of images, number, letters or a combination that that include error checking and may be read in two, three, or more directions by a scanner or other input device.

[0015] For the purposes of this application, the terms "physical media", "content object", and "object" refer to any physical item/media. For simplicity, the physical media will be described as a content object that includes a creator's work (i.e. the "content" that is a part of the content object). The content may be an analog or digital representation of the creator's published work with audio, visual, written, and/or interactive components. For example, in the case of compact discs (CDs), the content object is the physical CD itself, while the content is the audio or files stored on the CD. The content may be the digital version of the content that is on the content object. Other examples of content objects are digital versatile discs (DVDs), Blu-ray discs, cassette tapes, long playing records (LPs), magazines, comics, newspapers, and books. In the case of DVDs or Blu-ray discs as the content object, the content may be the movie or video on the disc, which can be provided in digital form. In the case of books as the content object, the content may be a digital representation of the content of the book. For simplicity, many examples and embodiments may be described using CDs as the content object, but CDs are merely one example of a content object.

[0016] The content may include published works, which are physical media that is lawfully duplicated and who's ownership was given or sold by the rights holder of the work, their agent, or assignee, to any other individual or company. Examples include CDs, DVDs, videotapes, books, audio tapes, phonographic records, whether in digital or analog form. Copies of personal recordings, photographs, diaries, or personal records may also be considered physical media when distributed by a lawful rights holder, their agent, or assignee with intent of public distribution or display.

[0017] As shown in Fig. 1A and Fig. IB, upon receipt of the physical media at the content-processing location, the title of each content object is read or referenced (with other metadata that maybe available) and the content object is automatically assigned a unique identifier which may be affixed or associated with each content object. In some systems the unique identifier is entered into a database that tracks the physical media associated with the current content owner.

[0018] When a shipment of one or more content objects arrive 30 at the content process location, the shipment may be identified by a scanner or input device. The content object(s) may arrive through mail or other delivery at the content process location. In some systems, the content objects are cross-referenced for Shipment ID 32. The Shipment ID may be a number, letter, string or image that is unique to a shipment that is written, printed, programmed, on the shipping container, a packing slip, or other label. In the event a Shipment ID is not found, the shipment is scanned for the presence of a User ID or the name of an individual (e.g. the owner of the content object) that might be associated with a User ID 34. The User ID may be any number, letter, combination or string unique to a particular user on the system. If the shipment has no Shipment ID, but does have sufficient information to determine a User ID, that User ID is referenced to generate a Shipment ID that is assigned to that User ID 40. If the shipment arrives with an identifiable Shipment ID, that Shipment ID is automatically referenced through a database server that may access the User ID associated with that particular shipment 38. If the shipment does not contain a Shipment ID, a User ID or other information which would allow the Shipment ID and/or User ID to be determined, the shipment may not be processed 36 and may be segregated for a physical identification.

[0019] Once the User ID is determined for a particular shipment, each content object within the shipment is processed. This processing may involve creating a record through a database engine or processor for each content object (a Unique Content Record 72), associating this record with the content owner, and associating this record with the information about the content and metadata of the content object. Each Unique Content Record 72 may hold a Unique Content ID, a User ID, an Album ID (if known and if applicable depending on a type of content object), and other information that may link to images of the content object. The Unique Content ID may comprise unique indicia such as a number, letter, or string that is unique to a particular content object. The Unique Content Record may represent the overall database record of which the Unique Content ID is the primary key. The User ID may associate the content object with an owner. The association may be stored in a database and may associate each content object with an owner of that content object. The association may be for each Unique Content Record with a particular User ID. Each content object may only have one owner, but an owner may own multiple content objects. The Album ID may comprise an identifier or some other means for relating the content object to metadata related to the content. In the case of CDs, the Album ID references the particular album for the CD and information related to each on a given CD may be associated with the Album ID.

[0020] A content processing server or content server may process a content object from the shipment, by communicating with a content database that may store a database record for that content object. The content server may assign that content object a Unique Content ID 42. There may an association in the database for each content object and their respective owners and that association may utilize the Unique Content Record 72 and user ID for tracking the association. Next, in the case where a content object is a CD, DVD, blu-ray, or vinyl record, images of both sides of the content object may be captured via digital photography or by scanning the object through optical scanning 44. In the case where a content object is a book, images of the front and back cover of the content object may be captured via digital photography or by scanning the object through optical scanning. The images may be part of the metadata for the content object that may also include the time and date the images were captured or became associated with the content object. The metadata combined with the image characteristics (e.g., unique scratch patterns found on the back sides of content objects) may provide auditable evidence that the content process location is in possession of a given content object.

[0021] If content objects were shipped with some or all of their original packaging materials such as liner notes, cases, sleeves or jackets, a manufacturer's code might be present. If a manufacturer's code such as a Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is present, it may be scanned by a bar code reader 46 or otherwise recorded and associated with that content object.

[0022] Once images of the front and back side of the content object have been captured 44, and once a U.P.C. or ISBN has been scanned if present 46, the next step in processing the content object may involve determining information about the content on the content object. The information about the content may be additional metadata for the content object. Unique Content Records 72 relate to metadata on a many-to-one basis. In other words, one or more content objects may include identical or substantially identical content. Each unique set of metadata may be assigned a unique Album ID the first time this set of metadata is encountered. For example, there may be multiple copies of the Beatles White Album from different owners. The Album ID is the same even though each owner provides their own copy of the album. As described in Fig. 1A and Fig. IB, the content object is a CD, but in other embodiments, the content object may be a different type of media.

[0023] Optical image recognition software may be used to compare the image of the front side of the content object with content objects that have been previously processed with known Album IDs 48. Also the U.P.C. or ISBN may be compared against the U.P.C. or ISBN associated with known Album IDs 48. If there is an image match and/or a U.P.C/ISBN match, the corresponding Album ID is associated with the Unique Content Record 62.

[0024] In the event where the Album ID corresponding to the content cannot be determined as a result of optical scanning or a UPC/ISBN, and in the event the content object is a CD or DVD, the content object may be inserted into a CD, DVD, or other drive where the content object's table of contents (TOC) or other identifying information is determined. Likewise, contents of a book may be reviewed for further metadata. The TOC may be compared against one or more databases where TOCs are associated with known Album IDs 50. If there is a TOC match, the corresponding Album ID may be associated with the Unique Content Record 62.

[0025] In the event where the Album ID corresponding to the content cannot be determined as a result of optical image recognition, a UPC or the content object's TOC, or other means, some systems may determine that an Album ID does not presently exist 56. Thus, album metadata may be generated and associated with a new Album ID. First the TOC or other identifying information of the content object is compared against the TOCs in one or more databases containing album metadata 52. If there is a match, a new Album ID is generated 58, and the appropriate metadata is associated with this Album ID 60. If there is no TOC match and album metadata can be identified in some other way 54 (e.g. from the album art, liner notes, or screen printing on the content object), then a new Album ID is generated 58 and the metadata is associated with this Album ID 60. In each case, once an Album ID is determined for a particular content object, that Album ID is associated with the corresponding Unique Content Record 62. If album metadata cannot be determined from either the TOC or via some other method, then no Album ID is associated with this content object 56; the contents of the content object may remain unidentified. [0026] This entire process may be repeated in serial or parallel for each content object in the shipment 64. At the conclusion of the database population process, each content object may be transferred to a warehouse or storage facility for physical storage 68. The storage of the content object may be maintained in the storage facility regardless of the transfer of ownership. In other words, the storage facility only possesses the content object on behalf of the content object owner. Alternatively, after the content object is authenticated with an owner, the content object may be destroyed provided such act is in compliance with the owner's terms of use. The precise location of the stored physical content object within the warehouse may be tracked through a database engine or database server. Each content owner who has shipped content objects to the central location or storage facility may be notified via email that his content objects are now available to be managed within that owner's online account 66, and the content owner may then offer the each content object for sale or trade on the provided interface, which may include a content trading/distribution web site.

[0027] As shown in Fig. 2, content objects 340, 342 that are received as part of an incoming shipment 30 or purchased by a user from the interface are listed in that user's account 352. In this case, the user is the owner and the interface is displaying the content objects owned by that user. Those content objects may be sold or traded by the user.

[0028] Within each content owner's account, the content owner is able to toggle whether each content object is listed for sale 348 and, if listed for sale, establish the price 344, 346 at which each content object 340, 342 is offered for sale. Alternatively, the system may also attempt to automatically price or suggest prices for content objects based on market conditions, sales history or other conditions. Separately from offering each content object for sale, the content owner may also toggle whether to solicit offers from other users to trade each content object for other content objects 350. Fig. 2 is one embodiment of a web site interface in which owners may provide their content objects, which are stored, and published for sale or trade to other users.

[0029] As shown in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, the purchase process involves modifying the database to remove the association of a given content object with its old owner and establish an association of the content object with its new owner. Fig. 3 and Fig. 4, illustrate a number of unique content IDs, 82, 84, 86, 88, which are owned by User A 80, and a number of unique content IDs 92, 94, 96, 98, 100, which are owned by User B 90. The transfer of ownership may occur after a sale or a trade. For example, assume User A 80 wishes to purchase the album Legend by artist Bob Marley, which is listed as Unique Content ID 16 103 and is associated with Album ID 185627 in a database of album metadata. A search for instances of Album ID 185627 indicate that User B 90 presently owns Unique Content 16 96 with the matching Album ID 104. Further, User B 90 has marked this Unique Content 96 for sale at a price of $8.00 105. Upon receipt of payment from User A 80 via credit card, wire transfer, store credit or some other common means, ownership of Unique Content 16 96 transfers contractually from User B 90 to User A 80. This contractual change of ownership from User B 90 to User A 80 is reflected in the database by associating Unique Content 16 96 with User A 80 rather than User B 90. Since User B is the new owner of Unique Content 16 96 User B may download the content from that album or may attempt to resell or trade that album. The storage facility holds the content object on behalf of the owner and may maintain physical possession of the content object even when ownership of the content object has been transferred.

[0030] When trades of one or more content objects are completed with another user, the content object(s) that was/were traded away is/are no longer listed in or associated with that user's account, and the content object(s) that was/were traded for become listed in or associated with that user's account. Trades can be consummated in a variety of ways. They can be one-for-one, one-for-many, many-for-one, or many-for-many.

[0031] First, consider an example of a one-for-one trade between two users, shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6. User A who owns copies of Michael Jackson's Thriller (represented by Unique Content 01 142), Dave Matthews Band Crash (represented by Unique Content 02 144), and the Verve Pipe Villians (represented by Unique Content 03 146) which are listed in the system. User A 140 wishes to acquire the album Bob Marley Legend via a trade, and is willing to trade Thriller 142 or Crash 144 or Villians 146 for the album Legend. User A 140 may utilize the interface on the system to indicate that he is offering any one of his three titles for Legend. Assume the album Legend is associated with Album ID 185627 104 in a database of album metadata. The system may find all users owning contents with this Album ID 104 that have indicated a willingness to accept trade offers against that album. Trade offers may be proposed to this set of users, and the first user accepting the trade offer is the user that consummates the trade with User A 140. In this example, User B 150 owns Unique Content 16 156 with the matching Album ID 104, and User B 150 has indicated this content is available for trade 106. Assume User B 150 is the first user to accept the trade offer proposed by User A 140. Then, upon acceptance of the trade offer by User B 150 ownership of Unique Content 16 {Legend) 156 is transferred to User A 140, and ownership of Unique Content 02 {Crash) 144 is transferred to User B 150. This contractual change of ownership is reflected in the database by associating Unique Content 16 156 with User A 140 and Unique Content 02 144 with User B 150. Since User A 140 trades away one content object (Crash 144) and receives one content object (Legend 156) in exchange from User B 150, this is a one-for-one trade.

[0032] The willingness for a trade and/or the willingness to receive trade offers for a given content object may be indicated with each unique record by a tradeable 106 field for that content object. There may also be a delivered field which reflects whether the content has been downloaded or otherwise transferred to the owner. When an owner downloads the content from a content object, that content object cannot be sold or traded. However, in one embodiment, there may be a time limit after which the owner can sell or trade a content object from which content was already downloaded, as long as the owner deletes the content. The time limit may be thirty days in one example and may be used to prevent copyright violators.

[0033] As another example of trading, consider a one-for-many trade between two users, shown in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8. User A who owns copies of Michael Jackson's Thriller (represented by Unique Content 01 142), Dave Matthews Band Crash (represented by Unique Content 02 144), and the Verve Pipe Villians (represented by Unique Content 03 146) which are listed in the system. User A 140 wishes to acquire both the album Bob Marley Legend and the album R.E.M. Green via a trade, and is willing to trade Thriller 142 or Crash 144 or Villians 146 for both album Legend and Green. User A 140 uses the interface on the system to indicate that he is offering any one of his three titles for Legend and Green.

Assume the album Legend is associated with Album ID 185627 104, and assume the album Green is associated with Album ID 100611 108. The system finds alls users owning contents with both Album ID 104 and Album ID 108 that have indicated a willingness to accept trade offers against both albums. Trade offers are proposed to this set of users, and the first user accepting the trade offer is the user that consummates the trade with User A 140. In this example, User B 150 owns Unique Content 16 156 with the first matching Album ID 104 and Unique Content 18 160 with the second matching Album ID 108. Further, User B 150 has indicated that both contents are available for trade 106, 109. Assume User B 150 is the first user to accept the trade offer proposed by User A 140. Then, upon acceptance of the trade offer by User B 150 ownership of Unique Content 16 (Legend) 156 and Unique Content 18 (Green) 160 are transferred to User A 140, and ownership of Unique Content 02 (Crash) 144 is transferred to User B 150. This contractual change of ownership is reflected in the database by associating Unique Content 16 156 and Unique Content 18 160 with User A 140 and Unique Content 02 144 with User B 150. Since User A 140 trades away one content object {Crash 144) and receives two content objects {Legend 156 and Green 160) in exchange from User B 150, this is a one-for-many trade.

[0034] As another example of trading, consider a one-for-many trade between two users, shown in Fig. 9 and Fig. 10. User A who owns copies of Michael Jackson's Thriller (represented by Unique Content 01 142), Dave Matthews Band Crash (represented by Unique Content 02 144), and the Verve Pipe Villians (represented by Unique Content 03 146) which are listed in the system. User A 140 wishes to acquire the album Bob Marley Legend via a trade, and is willing to trade any two of those albums (i.e. Thriller 142, Crash 144 and Villians 146) for the album Legend User A 140 uses the interface on the system to indicate that he is offering any two of his three titles for Legend and Green. Assume the album Legend is associated with Album ID 185627 104 in a database of album metadata. The system finds all users owning contents with this Album ID 104 that have indicated a willingness to accept trade offers against that album. Trade offers are proposed to this set of users, and the first user accepting the trade offer is the user that consummates the trade with User A 140. In this example, User B 150 owns Unique Content 16 156 with the matching Album ID 104, and User B 150 has indicated this content is available for trade 106. Assume User B 150 is the first user to accept the trade offer proposed by User A 140, and chooses to receive Thriller 142 and Crash 144. Then, upon acceptance of the trade offer by User B 150 ownership of Unique Content 16 {Legend) 156 is transferred to User A 140, and ownership of Unique Content 01 {Thriller) 142 and Unique Content 02 {Crash) 144 are transferred to User B 150. This contractual change of ownership is reflected in the database by associating Unique Content 16 156 with User A 140 and Unique Content 01 142 and Unique Content 02 144 with User B 150. Since User A 140 trades away two content objects {Thriller 142 and Crash 144) and receives one content {Legend 156) in exchange from User B 150, this may be referred to as a many-for-one trade.

[0035] As a final example of trading, consider a user (User A) who owns copies of Michael Jackson Thriller and Dave Matthews Band Crash which are listed in the system. User A wishes to acquire both Bob Marley Legend and REM Green via a trade, and is willing to trade both Thriller and Crash for both Legend and Green. User A uses the interface on the system to indicate that he is offering Thriller and Crash in exchange for both Legend and Green, and the system finds alls users who own copies of both Legend and Green that have indicated a willingness to accept trade offers against both titles. Trade offers are proposed to this set of users, and the first user accepting the trade offer is the user that consummates the trade with User A. Since User A trades away at least two content objects {Thriller and Crash) and receives at least two content objects [Legend and Green), this may be referred to as a many-to-many trade.

[0036] At any point, each content owner may elect to take either physical or digital delivery of the content objects in his/her account. Physical delivery means that the original physical content object is mailed or shipped to the content owner. Digital delivery means that electronic files containing at least a portion of the content are delivered to the content owner. The mechanism for digital delivery may be downloading of the files, streaming playback of the files, or transfer of the files over a network to any electronic storage repository accessed and/or controlled by the content object owner. For simplicity, the electronic transfer of the content may be referred to simply as downloading. The digital delivery mechanism may also include writing the electronic files containing at least a portion of the content to optical (e.g. CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R), magnetic (e.g. USB hard drive), or solid state media (e.g. USB thumb drive) and then mailing or shipping this media to the content object owner.

[0037] The mechanism by which electronic files containing at least a portion of the content are generated depends upon the format of the content object. In the case where the content object is optical media (e.g. a CD or DVD), the content object may be ripped from the media using an optical drive capable of reading the content object. In the case where the content object is a vinyl record, audio cassette tape, or other analog media, the content object may be played using a turntable, a cassette deck or other device suited for playback of the analog media. Upon playback, the resulting audio signal may be converted into a digital signal via well-established analog-to-digital conversion means with the digital data stored in the form of electronic files suitable for digital delivery to the content object owner. The process of capturing an electronic version of the content may be referred to as digitizing the content. In the case where the content object is a book, each page of the content object may be optically scanned or photographed using well established means in order to generate one or more electronic files suitable for digital delivery to the content object owner.

[0038] After taking delivery of the digital files, the content owner may elect to have the original content object destroyed and/or recycled. Alternatively, the storage facility may maintain possession of the content object on behalf of the owner of the content object. The transfer of ownership between users of a content object may result in a change of the association for that content object as stored in the database, while the physical possession may remain at the storage facility on behalf of the owner.

[0039] In some instances, content may be transformed before it is digitally delivered. For example, the content on a music CD may be transformed into files corresponding to individual tracks on the CD. Further, each file may be converted into one or more compressed formats such as MPEG-1 Layer III (mp3), Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), Ogg Vorbis (ogg) or any other format capable of representing the content in digital form. As another example, the scanned pages from a book may be converted from images into text via optical character recognition (OCR).

[0040] Once a content owner has taken physical delivery, the content may be removed from the owner's account on the interface and this content object is no longer available for sale or trade. Removal may be because the owner downloads the content, or they have requested the physical content object to be returned.

[0041] In one embodiment, once an owner has taken digital delivery, the content object remains listed in the owner's account, but the owner can no longer sell or trade the content object. As shown in Fig. 11, specific logic programmed or written onto a computer readable media that may be used to determine whether any given content object is eligible to be sold or traded on the system. In some systems, a determination may be made as to whether a content object holds a legitimate, licensed copy of the given content 302. If a content object is not a legitimate, licensed copy, that content object is not eligible to be sold or traded on the system 304 and the content object may be returned to its owner 306 or destroyed. Next, it is determined whether a content object has been physically delivered to its owner 308. If the content object is no longer in the warehouse or storage facility due to physical delivery, this content object is not eligible to be sold or traded on the system 310. Next it is determined if content has previously been ripped or digitized from the content object and delivered to the content owner on some form of physical media (e.g. CD-R, USB drive, or other storage media) 312. If so, the content object is not eligible to be sold or traded on the system 310. Finally, it is determined whether content from the content object has previously been downloaded by its owner 316. If so, the content object is not eligible to be sold or traded on the system 310. Thus, if a content object is a legitimate licensed copy 302, and if a content object has not been physically delivered to its owner 308, and if content from the content object has not previously been ripped and delivered to the owner on physical media 312, and if content from the content object has not previously been downloaded by the content object owner 316, then the content object is eligible to be sold or traded on the system 320.

[0042] In another embodiment, once a content object owner has taken digital delivery, the content object remains listed in the owner's account, but the owner can no longer sell or trade the content object on the system until a predetermined minimum amount of time (e.g. 30 days, but any amount of time 0 seconds or greater is contemplated) has elapsed. As shown in Fig. 12, specific logic programmed or written onto a computer readable media that may be used to determine whether any given content object is eligible to be sold or traded on the system. In some systems, a determination may be made as to whether a content object holds a legitimate, licensed copy of the given content 332. If a content object is not a legitimate, licensed copy, that content object is not eligible to be sold or traded on the system 334 and the content object is not permitted to be sold or traded on the system 336 or destroyed. Next, it is determined whether a content object has been physically delivered to its owner 338. If the content object is no longer in the warehouse or storage facility due to physical delivery, this content object is not eligible to be sold or traded on the system 340. Next, it is determined whether content from the content object has previously been downloaded by its owner 342. If not, the content object is immediately sellable or tradeable on the system 350. If so, the date of the most recent download is checked 346. If a minimum predetermined amount of time has not elapsed since the date of the most recent download, then the content object is not presently sellable or tradeable on the system 352. Alternatively, if a minimum predetermined amount of time has elapsed since the date of the most recent download, then the content object is sellable or tradeable on the system 350. In addition, the owner may have to confirm that previously received version of the content has been deleted before the owner is allowed to sell the content object. Thus, if a content object is a legitimate licensed copy 332, and if a content object has not been physically delivered to its owner 338, and if content from the content object has not previously been downloaded by the content object owner 342, or if a minimum amount of time has elapsed since the content was downloaded by its owner 346, then the content object is eligible to be sold or traded on the system 350.

[0043] Fig. 13 illustrates an exemplary network system 1300. There may be a number of user devices (e.g. user device 1 1302 and user device 2 1304) connected with a network 1306. The user devices may access an interface from a content server 1312. There may be any number of users that access an interface provided by the content server 1312, and two are illustrated as merely being exemplary. The user devices may each be associated with an owner of one or more content objects who maintains an account on the system for buying, selling, and trading content objects.

[0044] Either of the user devices 1302, 1304 may be a computing device which allows a user to connect to the network 1304, such as the Internet. Examples of a user device include, but are not limited to, a personal computer, personal digital assistant ("PDA"), laptop computer, tablet computer, smartphone, cellular phone, or other electronic device. The user devices may be configured to allow a user to interact with a page or site provided by a server (e.g. the content server 1312) over the network 1306. The user devices 1302, 1304 may include a keyboard, keypad or a cursor control device, such as a mouse, or a joystick, touch screen display, remote control or any other device operative to allow a user to interact with the interface provided by the content server 1312. The user devices 1302, 1304 may be configured to access other data/information in addition to web pages over the network 1306 using a web browser, such as INTERNET EXPLORER ® (sold by Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Washington). The data displayed by the browser may include the interface which facilitates the buying, selling, and trading of content objects. In an alternative embodiment, software programs other than web browsers (e.g. smartphone applications) may also provide the interface that facilitates the buying, selling, and trading of content objects.

[0045] Any of the components in the network system 1300 may be coupled with one another through a network, including but not limited to the network 1306. Accordingly, any of the components in the network system 1300 may include communication ports configured to connect with a network. The network or networks that may connect any of the components in the network system 1300 to enable communication of data between the devices may include wired networks, wireless networks, or combinations thereof. The wireless network may be a cellular telephone network, a network operating according to a standardized protocol such as IEEE 802.1 1, 802.16, 802.20, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., or WiMax network. Further, the network(s) may be a public network, such as the Internet, a private network, such as an intranet, or combinations thereof, and may utilize a variety of networking protocols now available or later developed including, but not limited to TCP/IP based networking protocols. The network(s) may include one or more of a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a direct connection such as through a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, and the like, and may include the set of interconnected networks that make up the Internet. The network(s) may include any communication method or employ any form of machine-readable media for communicating information from one device to another. For example, the content server 1312 may provide an interface (e.g. a web site) over a network, such as the network 1306.

[0046] The content objects may be received at the storage facility 1322 where they may be stored on behalf of the owners, such as the owners associated with user device 1 and user device 2. A digitizer 1324 may extract the content from the content objects. The content database 1326 may store the digital versions (i.e. content) of the content objects that may be provided by the content server over the network. The storage facility 1322 and/or the digitizer 1324 may be coupled with the content server 1312 and/or a content database 1326.

[0047] The content server 1312 may provide several functions. Each function may be provided by a separate server and/or processor, but for simplicity, the content server 1312 is illustrated and described as a single server. In one embodiment, the content server 1312 may provide the interface, which may be a web site. In other words, the content server 1312 may provide web server functionality in providing web pages over the network and receiving information from the user devices over the network. The content server 1312 may store information about the content objects, including metadata and ownership associations in a content database 1326. The content database 1326 may also include a listing of Unique Content Records, Unique Content IDs, and User IDs in addition to Album IDs.

[0048] The content server 1312 may also maintain the ecommerce functionality that allows owners to buy, sell, and trade content objects, as well as to download or receive the content from the content object. Additional functions of the content server 1312 are described below with respect to Fig. 14.

[0049] The content server 1312 may also be described as an interface in that users/owners are presented with an interface (e.g. a web site) with which to interact. However, the content server 1312 may also include an interface 1314 by which the system may be controlled or modified. For example, changes to the web site may be implemented server side through the content server 1312. The interface 1314 may communicate with any of components of the system 1300. The interface 1314 may include a user interface configured to allow a user and/or administrator to interact with any of the components of the content server 1312. For example, the administrator and/or user may be able to configure the settings and features of the content server 1312.

[0050] The processor 1320 in the content server 1312 may include a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU), a digital signal processor (DSP) or other type of processing device. The processor 1320 may be a component in any one of a variety of systems. For example, the processor 1320 may be part of a standard personal computer or a workstation. The processor 1320 may be one or more general processors, digital signal processors, application specific integrated circuits, field programmable gate arrays, servers, networks, digital circuits, analog circuits, combinations thereof, or other now known or later developed devices for analyzing and processing data. The processor 1320 may operate in conjunction with a software program, such as code generated manually (i.e., programmed). [0051] The processor 1320 may be coupled with a memory 1318, or the memory 1318 may be a separate component. The interface 1314 and/or the software 1316 may be stored in the memory 1318. The memory 1318 may include, but is not limited to, computer readable storage media such as various types of volatile and non-volatile storage media, including random access memory, read-only memory, programmable read-only memory, electrically programmable read-only memory, electrically erasable read-only memory, flash memory, magnetic tape or disk, optical media and the like. The memory 1318 may include a random access memory for the processor 1320. Alternatively, the memory 1318 may be separate from the processor 1320, such as a cache memory of a processor, the system memory, or other memory. The memory 1318 may be an external storage device or database for storing recorded ad or user data. Examples include a hard drive, CD, DVD, memory card, memory stick, floppy disc, universal serial bus ("USB") memory device, or any other device operative to store ad or user data. The memory 1318 is operable to store instructions executable by the processor 1320.

[0052] The functions, acts or tasks illustrated in the figures or described herein may be performed by the programmed processor executing the instructions stored in the memory 1318. The functions, acts or tasks are independent of the particular type of instruction set, storage media, processor or processing strategy and may be performed by software, hardware, integrated circuits, firm-ware, micro-code and the like, operating alone or in combination. Likewise, processing strategies may include multiprocessing, multitasking, parallel processing and the like. The processor 1320 is configured to execute the software 1316. The software 1316 may include instructions for providing handling the buying, selling, and trading of content objects, as well as the digital distribution of content from the content objects.

[0053] The interface 1314 may be a user input device, a display, or any other device operative to interact with the content server 1312. In another embodiment, the interface 1314 may be a web server that receives requests from users and provides data (e.g. pages) to those users. In particular, the interface 1314 may allow an administrator and/or users to interact with the content server 1312 regarding the buying, selling, and trading of content objects, as well as the digital distribution of content from the content objects. The present disclosure contemplates a computer-readable medium that includes instructions or receives and executes instructions responsive to a propagated signal, so that a device connected to a network can communicate voice, video, audio, images or any other data over a network, such as the network 1306. [0054] Fig. 14 illustrates an exemplary content server 1312. In particular, Fig. 14 illustrates one embodiment of components of the content server 1312 and the respective functions of those components. The content server 1312 may include a receiver 1402 that receives the content object and/or information about the content object. The content object may be physically stored in the storage facility and the information about the content object is stored in the content database 1326. Based on the received content object and information, including owner information, an identifier 1404 may identify the content from the content object as well as the owner of the content object. The identifier 1404 may also identify the content object, such as identifying a particular album for a CD. The identifier 1404 may be used for at least part of the process described with respect to Figs. 1A and IB. An authenticator 1406 may determine whether a content object is an original licensed copy and whether the owner has the right to sell the content object. The authenticator 1406 may be used for at least part of the process described with respect to Figs. 11 and 12. The distributor 1408 may distribute content from the content object as described above. In particular, the distributor 1408 may provide the content from the content object over the network. The distribution of content may be limited to a current owner of the content object.

[0055] Other alternate systems and methods may include combinations of some or all of the structure and functions described above or shown in one or more or each of the figures. These systems or methods are formed from any combination of structures and function described or illustrated within the figures.

[0056] The methods and descriptions above may be encoded in a signal bearing medium, a computer readable medium or a computer readable storage medium such as a memory that may comprise unitary or separate logic, programmed within a device such as one or more integrated circuits, or processed by a controller, server or a computer. If the methods or descriptions are performed by software, the software or logic may reside in a memory resident to or interfaced to one or more processors, servers, or controllers. The memory may retain an ordered listing of executable instructions for implementing logical functions. A logical function may be implemented through digital circuitry, through source code, through analog circuitry, or through an analog source such as through an analog electrical, or audio signals.

[0057] The software may be embodied in any computer-readable storage medium or signal-bearing medium, for use by, or in connection with an instruction executable system or apparatus resident to an electronic commerce system. Such a system may include a computer-based system, a processor-containing system that includes an input and output interface that may communicate with through a publicly or privately accessible network to a local or remote destination, server, or cluster.

[0058] A computer-readable medium, machine-readable storage medium, propagated- signal medium, and/or signal-bearing medium may comprise any medium that contains, stores, communicates, propagates, or transports software for use by or in connection with an instruction executable system, apparatus, or device. The machine-readable storage medium may selectively be, but not limited to, an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus, device, or propagation medium. A non- exhaustive list of examples of a machine-readable medium would include: an electrical or tangible connection having one or more links, a portable magnetic or optical disk, a volatile memory such as a Random Access Memory "RAM" (electronic), a Read-Only Memory "ROM," an Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM or Flash memory), or an optical fiber.

[0059] While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and

implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A method for distributing content from physical media comprising:
receiving the physical media from an owner of the physical media, wherein the physical media includes the content;
authenticating the received physical media;
associating, upon the authentication, the received physical media with the owner; maintaining the physical media on behalf of the owner; and
providing an interface in which the content from the physical media is available over a network.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the interface is configured to provide the content to another user over the network upon the owner selling the physical media to the another user, wherein the associating comprises transferring the association with the physical media from the owner to the another user.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the interface is configured to provide the content to another user over the network upon the owner trading the physical media with another user, wherein the owner surrenders ownership of the physical media to the another user in exchange for other physical media owned by the another user, and further wherein the associating comprises transferring the association with the physical media from the owner to the another user.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the interface further comprises:
making a digital version of the content available for downloading over the network from the interface.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the physical media comprises a compact disc, digital versatile disc, vinyl album, or a book.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the content of the compact disc comprises an electronic sound file, the content of the digital versatile disc comprises an electronic video file, the content of the vinyl album comprises a digital version of the vinyl album, and the content of the book comprises a digital version of the book.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein the authenticating comprises confirming the physical media is an original licensed copy and is owned by the owner.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein the associating comprises maintaining a database that associates any physical media that is maintained with a single owner.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein the content for the physical media can only be distributed over the network to the single owner associated with the physical media, further wherein the owner can transfer ownership of the physical media and the transfer of ownership comprises updating the association of the physical media with a new owner.
10. The method of claim 1 wherein the maintaining the physical media on behalf of the owner comprises storing the physical media.
1 1. A content distribution system comprising:
a receiver that receives information about a physical media that includes content, wherein the information comprises a first user who owns the physical media and comprises identification of the physical media;
an authenticator that authenticates the physical media based on the information and the first user;
a distributor for providing an interface over a network from which content from the physical media is available to be downloaded by the first user or by a second user who receives ownership from the first user; and
a storage facility for maintaining the physical media on behalf of the first user of the physical media while the first user owns the physical media or for maintaining the physical media on behalf of the second user when the second user receives ownership of the physical media from the first user.
12. The system of claim 1 1 wherein the authenticator determines whether the first user provided the physical media and determines whether the physical media is an original licensed copy or is owned by the first user.
13. The system of claim 1 1 further comprising an identifier that provides the identification information for the physical media and the content from the physical media.
14. The system of claim 1 1 wherein the second user who receives ownership from the first user is a purchaser who purchases the physical media from the first user and receives access to the downloadable content.
15. The system of claim 1 1 wherein the second user who receives ownership from the first user is a trader who trades for the physical media from the first user and receives access to the downloadable content.
16. The system of claim 1 1 further comprising a digitizer that extracts the content from the physical media.
17. A computerized method for media distribution comprising:
receiving authenticated indicia associated with a licensed media;
assigning a unique identifier to the licensed media that associates an owner of the media to a unique identifier;
identifying metadata for the licensed media that relates the metadata to the unique identifier;
servicing a request for transfer of ownership for the licensed media;
transferring ownership to a purchaser by relating indicia associated with the purchaser to the unique identifier; and
providing the licensed media over a network to the owner before ownership is transferred and to the purchaser after ownership is transferred.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein the licensed media comprises a compact disc (CD), digital versatile disc (DVD), vinyl album, or a book, further wherein the providing over the network comprises making content from the CD, DVD, vinyl album or book available for downloading over the network.
19. The method of claim 18 further comprising:
maintaining the CD, DVD, vinyl album, or book in storage while making the content from the CD, DVD, vinyl album, or book available for downloading.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein ownership of the CD, DVD, vinyl album, or book cannot be transferred after the content from the CD, DVD, vinyl album, or book has been downloaded.
21. The method of claim 20 wherein a waiting period is established after which a downloader who has deleted the downloaded content will be permitted to transfer ownership.
PCT/US2011/066242 2010-12-21 2011-12-20 System and method for trading and selling digital music WO2012088151A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US61/425,657 2010-12-21

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050188424A1 (en) * 2004-02-25 2005-08-25 Kizyma Adrian S. System and method for trading digital content and ownership transfer
US20070219949A1 (en) * 2006-01-11 2007-09-20 Mekikian Gary C Electronic Media Download and Distribution Using Real-Time Message Matching and Concatenation
US20100153203A1 (en) * 2003-06-18 2010-06-17 Koppy Nicholas J Technology migration program

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100153203A1 (en) * 2003-06-18 2010-06-17 Koppy Nicholas J Technology migration program
US20050188424A1 (en) * 2004-02-25 2005-08-25 Kizyma Adrian S. System and method for trading digital content and ownership transfer
US20070219949A1 (en) * 2006-01-11 2007-09-20 Mekikian Gary C Electronic Media Download and Distribution Using Real-Time Message Matching and Concatenation

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