Image Processing Reference
Who pays me?
How do they pay?
When do they pay?
These are negative cash-flow items, which are equally important:
Who do I have to pay?
How much do I pay them?
How do I pay them?
When do I pay?
It looks fairly simple, doesn't it? Answers to these questions will determine how you con-
struct your business model, and the efficiency that you are able to muster will make the
difference between a successful business and one that fails.
For a business model to work, you need to be sure that people pay you money for
your products before you have to pay the royalties on the content and technology licenses.
Getting some business administration knowledge is vital, and having some kind of credit-
control process to chase in the revenues will ensure that your cash flow is positive.
Examples of DRM and Rights-Control Systems
A few schemes are becoming used in a widespread manner. They are still proprietary but
more generic approaches are being developed.
Apple Fair Play
This is a scheme currently deployed in the distribution of music via the iTunes service; it
is embodied in the iPod hardware.
The system allows the user a certain amount of freedom to duplicate tracks. There
are limitations on how many computers are authorized to play the track back. You are per-
mitted to burn a CD audio disk of an iTunes play list. The Fair Play system intervenes so
that the same play list can only be duplicated a limited number of times.
The Fair Play system is designed to recognize a user whose activity is legitimate and
only intervene when the fair-use boundary is crossed. Most users will never be presented
with a warning message that they have contravened the Fair Play rules. How many copies
of a play list burned onto a CD would you legitimately need to create?
There are limits to the formats that this protection scheme will support at present but
it may be licensed to other organizations in the future.
MPEG-4 Content Protection Specification
The Internet Streaming Media Alliance has published an initial draft of the specification
for the protection of MPEG-4 content. This is quoted as being the first step toward an open