On Tuesdays the USPTO issues new patents. Both of today's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital rights management. Assigned to RealNetworks, the first patent addresses techniques for a media service delivery system providing conditional access to media content from various client devices. Assigned to Sprint, the second patent concerns techniques for controlling playout of media in wireless network.
8,131,865, "Media service delivery system providing conditional access to media content from various client devices," assigned to RealNetworks.
A system for protecting the digital rights of content owners allows digital media to be delivered to only those media rendering client devices that have been approved for the media content. Before delivering requested media, the media service provider may determines whether the media rendering client device that requested the media is the type of device that is authorized to receive the request media. If it is, the media service provider may transmit the media to a middleman server over a network (such as the Internet). A middleman server may then serves the media to the client device over a local network. By allowing the media content to be distributed to approved devices only, the media service provider can prevent a user from using the media in a way that is not authorized by the content owner.
8,121,295, "Method, apparatus, and system for controlling playout of media," assigned to Sprint Spectrum L.P.
To manage playout of digital media by a media player, a wireless communication device (WCD) will include partitioned data storage including discrete partitions having distributor-modules corresponding with various media distributors, and including a digital rights management (DRM) controller. When the media player seeks to play media, it will request a DRM key from the WCD. The DRM controller may then identify the appropriate distributor-module and request the key from the distributor-module. If the distributor-module possesses the key, it will return it for transmission to the media player. Otherwise, the distributor-module may engage in secure communication with a provisioning system to obtain the DRM key and may then return the key. Upon receipt of the key, the media player may then play the media.