Tuesday the PTO issues new patents. Today's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital fingerprinting and digital watermarking. Assigned to Yahoo!, the first of today's patents address techniques for media fingerprinting. Assigned to Time Warner Cable, the second patent addresses
8,752,185, "Method for media fingerprinting," assigned to Yahoo!
A method of checking whether a content aggregator's content matches a content owner's content involves generating a fingerprint of the content and looking for a matching fingerprint from the content owner through a service provided by the content owner. In one aspect, the fingerprints are generated from an intermediate digest of the content instead of the original form.
8,752,099, "Method and apparatus for network content download and recording," assigned to Time Warner Cable.
Methods and apparatus for providing content to users of a network that can be selectively recorded via the user's equipment. In an exemplary embodiment, the network comprises a hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network, and on-demand (OD) sessions are used to provide high-speed download of the requested content to the users. The user's equipment (e.g., set-top box) is equipped with a high-density recording device which can both record the content onto a selected medium (e.g., DVD) and optionally provide copyright protection via one or more means such as limiting the number of copies that can be made, and/or digital watermarking. The network operator can also restrict the establishment of the on-demand sessions and/or release of the content to subscribers based on parameters including prior purchase of the content by the user, and the timing of the release of the same content via other distribution channels such as rental and retail.