New patents are issued by the USPTO on Tuesdays. Both of this week's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital rights management. Assigned to Intel, the first patent addresses techniques for distributing digital rights management digital content in a controlled network ensuring digital rights. Assigned to Netflix, the second patent addresses techniques for fast-expiring licenses used to speculatively authorize access to streaming media content.
10,108,945, "System and method for distributing digital rights management digital content in a controlled network ensuring digital rights," assigned to Intel.
A system and method for managing digital rights includes receiving a Universal Resource Identifier (URI). The URI is used to identify a location for a user selected digital media item. The digital media item is to be played in a local area network (LAN). The selected digital media item is retrieved from a content server over a network connection. If the selected digital media item is encrypted, a license to decrypt the selected media item is obtained. Access to the license is based on a plurality of access rules, which are based on the terms of the license. The plurality of access rules may also include personal owner rules. If a request for the license adheres to the access rules, the license is received via a secure out of band transfer and the selected digital media item is decrypted for playback via one or more media rendering devices.
10,108,788, "Fast-expiring licenses used to speculatively authorize access to streaming media content," assigned to Netflix.
Techniques are disclosed for improving user experience of multimedia streaming over computer networks. More specifically, techniques presented herein reduce (or eliminate) latency in playback start time for streaming digital media content resulting from digital rights management (DRM) authorizations. A streaming media client (e.g., a browser, set-top box, mobile telephone or tablet "app") may request a "fast-expiring" license for titles the streaming media client predicts a user is likely to begin streaming. A fast-expiring license is a DRM license (and associated decryption key) which is valid for only a very limited time after being used for playback. During the validity period of such a license, the client device requests a "normal" or "regular" license to continue accessing the title after the fast-expiring license expires.