IEEE P1817 Standard for Consumer-ownable Digital Personal Property
Consumer-ownable downloads always include a GIVE button and a TAKE button
The vendor who intends for you to truly own your downloaded purchase of a movie, song, book, or game
adds two virtual buttons to your download: a GIVE button and a TAKE button.
These buttons are inseparable from the rest of the data; they cannot be removed.
Make backups and give copies to anyone using the GIVE button
Pressing the GIVE button creates new copies of your purchase and delivers them
to whomever you may choose.
You can use the Give button to make backups for yourself or customize copies
for each player device you might have.
Anyone who receives a copy can also press the GIVE button
to make more copies and share with anyone
they may choose.
Such copying and sharing is not limited
GIVE buttons always work.
Pressing the TAKE button makes all other copies unplayable
Everyone who has a copy also has a TAKE button.
Whoever presses the TAKE button first causes the product to become unplayable on any player
other than the one whose TAKE button was pressed.
By this means all existing copies truly represent a single product instance,
and anyone who might dare to share with strangers is guaranteed to lose his property
TAKE buttons always work.
Buy to Truly Own
The IEEE P1817 Working Group is developing a
content protection standard for downloadable,
digital products such as movies, music, books, and games.
The standard will
prevent counterfeiting and content ripping
to protect the profitability of supplier businesses,
but will also preserve the features
that consumers associate with personal ownership,
including the ability to share,
or to resell what they have bought.
Public Versus Private
the boundary between private behavior and public behavior
is defined by individual consumers,
not by digital rights management systems
or online Big Brothers.
Each item is available to its particular
circle of trusted sharers.
The owner draws that circle
by directly interacting with sharers.
They can redraw the circle at will,
without asking permission,
without registering devices or product items,
and without having to maintain lists of approved sharers.
No technological breakthrough is required,
just an emulation of the same mechanisms
that enable us to share our physical property
while naturally leading us to prudently share only with those
who we trust to respect our ownership.
Implications for Society
The P1817 Working Group is also studying the social,
and legal issues surrounding the concept of consumer-ownership
of copyrighted digital products.
The Working Group does not advocate public policy,
but serves as an information source for
those who are dealing with
the legal and societal implications of consumer ownership
of copyrighted digital objects.
The P1817 Project Authorization Request was approved on 10 May 2010.
Working Group meetings began in July of 2010.
Work has begun on a first draft of the standard
via online collaboration.
There have been four meetings to date.
The next face-to-face and teleconferenced Working Group meeting
will be announced soon
to review the initial draft.
Interested parties are invited to attend.
IEEE membership is not required.
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.