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MidWinter report

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    MidWinter report MidWinter report Document Transcript

    • Committee 703 Mid-Winter Report COMMITTEE NO. 703 Scott M. Alter, Chair Contributing Committee Members: Dean R. Nicyper David Hinshaw Michael C. Hochman Christine Brick Patrice Lyons COMMITTEE ON NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES The Committee continues to focus on the increasingly important and prevalent technology relating to wireless computing, particularly as it concerns copyright and the dissemination of content (though other legal areas of concern and interest are touched upon, as well). Since the current leading wireless standard in the U.S. is IEEE 802.11, this particular standard was focused on by the Committee in considering many pertinent issues in this area. The impetus for focusing on wireless technology is that the spread of wireless computing generally (and access points in particular) and the increasing ease of obtaining content in an illicit fashion may cause content providers (and others) to become increasingly concerned that their material is being obtained without just compensation. This could ultimately result in greater initiative on the part of the electronics industry to implement heightened security procedures. Consequently, our Report is divided into the following four parts: I) Current direction and technical implications of the IEEE 802.11 standard and related issues, II) reactions by “content providers” to the dissemination issue, III) the response of the electronics industry to this “dissemination” issue, and IV) content identification. WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Part I – The Technology This first section on the impact of wireless networking on intellectual property rights addresses two issues: (1) The current and projected usage of wireless networking, including estimates as to future usage of the following three versions of IEEE standard 802.11:1 • 802.11b (2.4 GHz, 11 Mbps2) • 802.11a (5 GHz, 54 Mbps) • 802.11g (2.4 GHz, 54 Mbps) (2) Any security problems inherent in the current 802.11 standards; also, any plans for future changes in 802.11 standards relating to security. I.Current and projected usage. Hundreds of millions of people exchange information every day using pagers, cellular telephones, and other wireless communication products. Following on the tremendous success of wireless telephony and messaging services, wireless communication is beginning to be applied to the realm of personal and business computing.3 The use of wireless LANs is expected to increase dramatically in the future as businesses discover the cost savings from deployment, as well as the enhanced productivity and increased mobility that wireless communications can provide. 1 The IEEE 802.11 specifications are wireless standards that specify an "over-the-air" interface between a wireless client and a base station or access point, as well as among wireless clients. These specifications address both the Physical (PHY) and Media Access Control (MAC) layers and are tailored to resolve compatibility issues between manufacturers of Wireless LAN (local area network) equipment. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ("IEEE") is a private organization composed of engineers, scientists, and students, that develops standards for the computer and electronics industry, including standards for local-area networks under IEEE 802. For example, standards for Ethernet for wired LANs are contained in IEEE 802.3. < http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/>. 2 Megabits per second are a measure of data transfer rates. 3 A Short Tutorial on Wireless LANs and IEEE 802.11, by Daniel L. Lough, T. Keith Blankenship, Kevin J. Krizman. <http://computer.org/students/looking/summer97/ieee802.htm.>. WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • The Gartner Group projects that in 2004, 700 million mobile phones, 30 million personal digital assistants (PDAs) and 10 million pagers will have been sold.4 Further, it projects that by 2005, 50 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies will have extensively deployed wireless local area network ("WLAN") technology based on standards like IEEE 802.11.5 WLAN equipment sales grew by 40 percent in 2001, to reach $1.5 billion.6 In dollar amount, the worldwide WLAN market is projected to reach about $3.8 billion by 2006;7 and it is anticipated that WLAN adapter shipments will rise to more than 40 million in 2006. Examples of the practical uses for wireless network access include: • Medical professionals can obtain not only patient records, but real-time vital signs and other reference data at the patient bedside without relying on reams of paper charts and physical paper handling. • Factory floor workers can access part and process specifications without impractical or impossible wired network connections. • Wireless connections with real-time sensing allow a remote engineer to diagnose and maintain the health and welfare of manufacturing equipment, even on an environmentally-hostile factory floor. • Warehouse inventories can be carried out and verified quickly and effectively with wireless scanners connected to the main inventory database. • Wireless "smart" price tags, complete with liquid crystal display (LCD) readouts, allow merchants to virtually eliminate discrepancies between stock-point pricing and scanned prices at the checkout lane.8 One immediate and tangible benefit for enterprises is that deploying a wireless LAN now costs less than deploying a wired version. A major cost of installing and modifying a wired 4 March 27, 2001, South China Morning Post. 6 "Wireless LAN Market Set for Strong Growth Through 2005," Strategy & Tactics/Trends & Direction, Andy Rolfe, March 11, 2002 <http://www4.gartner.com/Init> . 7 Based on a 2001 Gartner Dataquest projection. 12/17/01 Network Computing. According to research firm Cahners In-Stat, by 2005 the worldwide WLAN equipment market is expected to approach US$4.6 billion. Bangkok Post, February 13, 2002. 8 A Short Tutorial (see footnote 3, supra) <http://computer.org/students/looking/summer97/ieee802.htm.>. -2- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • network is the expense to run network and power cables, all in accordance with local building codes. One study of 300 companies concluded that using wireless LANs saved these companies an average of $164,000 annually on cabling costs and labor.9 As a second benefit, the study showed that using wireless LANs let end-users stay connected 1.75 hours longer each day, amounting to a time savings of 70 minutes for the average user, increasing their productivity by as much as 22%. Similarly, for the individual user, WLAN technology can provide tremendous mobility and flexibility. Consider the following example of a potential near-future use: Gwenn fires up her laptop at the breakfast table and, through the wireless Wi-Fi10 Ethernet link in her house, logs on to the corporate virtual private network (VPN) to check her e-mail before leaving for the airport. She'll get coffee at Starbucks, which has a public Wi-Fi service, and she figures she can run the numbers her boss is asking for and send them from there. At the airport she logs on one last time before boarding the plane, downloads the PowerPoint slides she'll need for her presentation and double-checks the timing for the videoconference she intends to include in the presentation once she has a Wi-Fi link set up at the conference center in San Jose.11 Still looking to the near future, one proposal for consumer use would allow a single radio, located where the cable comes into the home, to communicate with TVs, PCs and cordless phones. Next-generation wireless technology includes integrated wireless monitoring and security systems, personal email pads, portable electronic newspapers and books, portable music and video-on-demand, cordless Internet telephony and utility meter readings. "Wireless distribution can dramatically reduce the deployment costs of these services within the home," said Adam Grosser, president of Subscriber Networks for ExciteHome. 9 HP White Paper, "Understanding Wi-Fi™", January 2002. <http://h30008. www3.hp.com /whitePapers/understandingwifi.html>. 1 10 Wi-Fi™ and Wi-Fi5™ are trademarks of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance. 1 11 "What if wireless Ethernet becomes as ubiquitous as cell service?" by Joanie Wexler, Network World, 3/25/02. -3- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Similarly, Microsoft has formed an entire division ("eHome") to achieve the vision of creating in every home an "ecosystem," which would link handheld organizers, the family car, the big-screen TV, the stereo, the DVD player, the digital camera and even the home security system. Most of the major notebook computer makers ship products today with embedded 802.11 NICs.12 In fact, Microsoft has embedded 802.11b capabilities into Windows XP, so that it automatically searches for an access point and, if it finds one, asks if the user would like to use the service. 13 For less than $300, a home network can be set up in minutes. More than 300 products are certified for IEEE 802.11b.14 802.11b and 802.11a compared. There are several key factors to consider in weighing the technologies based on the above two IEEE standards. These factors include interference, speed, established market share, and price. Operating in the 2.4GHz frequency range, 802.11b ("Wi-Fi")15 has two significant drawbacks: It has more interference, and is slower. The problem with interference arises from the fact that 802.11b operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band.16 This has the advantage of being 1 12 Network Interface Cards. 1 13 Each component of a WLAN requires a radio transceiver and antenna. Components are either stations (STAs) or access points (APs). Stations are wireless LAN client radios. Access Points form a bridge between wireless and wired LANs. < http://h30008.www3.hp.com/ whitePapers/understandingwifi. html>. 1 14 "Wi-Fi-Certified Products Surpass The 300 Mark". In only 24 months over 300 Wi-Fi wireless LAN products have received Wi-Fi wireless LAN certification in nine different product categories. <http://www.wi- fi.com/pr/pressrelease.asp?PRID=73>. 1 15 Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity and is another name for IEEE 802.11b. It is a trade term promulgated by the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA). WECA is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of Wi-Fi and to promote it as the global, wireless LAN standard across all market segments. Products certified as Wi-Fi by WECA are interoperable with each other even if they are from different manufacturers. A user with a Wi-Fi product can use any brand of access point with any other brand of client hardware that is built to the Wi-Fi standard. 1 16 802.11b transmits data via the unlicensed radio frequency (RF) range of 2.412 GHz to 2.484 GHz. The 802.11b standard divides this spectrum into 14 data channels at roughly 5-MHz intervals. But the 30-MHz signal used by 802.11b spans adjacent channels, limiting 802.11b to four channels in the same location. In the United -4- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • accepted worldwide, but within the United States this is a constraint that seriously compromises its flexibility, since the 2.4GHz frequency band is crowded, and subject to interference from other networking technologies, microwave ovens, 2.4GHz cordless phones (a huge market), and Bluetooth wireless handheld computers.17 In March, 2002, Michael Powell, Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), told an audience at the annual PC Forum that Wi-Fi could eventually cause a "meltdown" of overtaxed frequencies, as the number of unlicensed devices skyrocket.18 By contrast, WLANs using 802.11a operate in the 5-GHz spectrum, where there is minimal interference. Because the 5-GHz spectrum allocation is relatively new, com- peting protocols for different applications do not yet exist. Also, 802.11a is approximately 5 times faster than 802.11b, and hence is sometimes referred to as "Wi-Fi5." 802.11b has a nominal maximum data rate of 11Mbps, but overhead, configuration, and security factors can cut the actual throughput down to between 4 and 7 States, where WLAN operations are restricted to channels 1 through 11, only channels 1, 6 and 11 are usable. (Varbusiness, May 13, 2002, "The Plunge Into Wireless.") 1 17 Bluetooth (named for Harald Bluetooth, the Viking king who united Denmark and Norway in the 10th century) was developed originally by Ericsson in Sweden in 1994. It is a protocol for the efficient wireless transmission of data between two devices which are Bluetooth compliant. It uses RF (radio frequency) waves, and can connect any Bluetooth device (phones, PDAs, cameras, music players, etc.) to another. The range is normally about 10 meters. ("Emerging Technologies: Wireless Networks," University of Hawaii, National Foreign Language Resource Center, vol. 6, issue 1, January 1, 2002.) Once the PC peripherals are commercially available, Microsoft said consumers would be able to create personal area networks (PANs), which lets them wirelessly link Bluetooth-enabled portable devices and peripherals to computers by simply plugging in Microsoft's USB Bluetooth transceiver. According to Microsoft: The Microsoft Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and mouse will work reliably as much as 30 feet away from the computer, eliminating the need for inconvenient and troublesome cables and wires. In addition, the transceiver will also act as a portal to the PC for up to seven Bluetooth-enabled devices, and seamless integration with Windows XP will make it easier than ever for consumers to connect additional peripherals to their computer. <http://www.internetnews.com/infra/article/0,,10693_1012141,00.html>. 1 18 Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2002, p. B1. -5- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Mbps.19 In one multimedia streaming video testing, the differences between 802.11b and 802.11a were dramatic: The DVD streaming content via 802.11b media was choppy and broken -- there were many pauses in both audio and video -- even under what should have been optimal conditions, the experience was terrible. With 802.11a, however, streaming DVD content via 802.11a media was satisfactory although not perfect -- it was good enough, however so that you could enjoy watching a movie.20 On the other hand, 802.11b enjoys the advantage of market share and price. The greater market share means that the standard is commercially established, and therefore represents less of a gamble for companies that are making commitments to this technology. Also, multimedia streaming video is not considered as important in selling to enterprises as in selling to consumers. Under these circumstances, Gartner has recommended that, except for special needs, enterprises should not deploy 802.11a until the second half of 2003, when 802.11a products will mature, Wi-Fi certification becomes available, and the price difference between 802.11a and 802.11b decreases. 802.11a and 802.11b projected usage. Because of the combination of adaptive chipsets (supporting both 802.11b and 802.11a devices), higher speeds, and the backing of industry giant Intel, Gartner believes 802.11a is the standard that is most likely to become the high-data-rate wireless LAN standard in 2003. A December, 2001 article in ExtremeTech noted that, with initial 802.11a products just starting to trickle to market, it is not expected that any user category will commit to 802.11a immediately. One reason is that the first 802.11a products will likely be too expensive for most home and Small Office/Home Office (“SOHO”) users. 19 1 A throughput of 4 to 7Mbps would still be sufficient for supporting users who primarily move text-based documents around networks; however, more demanding applications such as multimedia streaming can easily exceed the throughput potentials of 802.11b, particularly if there is contention for bandwidth from many other users. -6- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • 802.11g. The 802.11g standard operates entirely in the 2.4GHz frequency, but uses a minimum of two modes (both mandatory) with two optional modes.21 The obvious advantage of 802.11g is that it maintains compatibility with 802.11b, but at the same time offers faster data rates comparable with 802.11a. However, since the number of channels available is not increased, 802.11g (like 802.11b) has only three channels available, compared to the eight channels of 802.11a. Another disadvantage of 802.11g is that its widespread use would cause the 2.4GHz frequency to become even more crowded. Further, in terms of market acceptance, 802.11g gives up roughly one year to 802.11a. Hybrid chipsets. Products complying with all three 802.11 standards (a, b, and g) are expected to be available by the second half of 2003. Atheros Communications22 has begun sampling a hybrid chipset that can support the 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless standards in a single product. The hybrid 802.11a/b/g chipset uses an additional radio to support the additional protocols. "Certain customers want 802.11b legacy support," said Rich Redelfs, president and chief executive at Atheros, based in Sunnyvale, Calif. "The installed base is not huge in the grand scheme of things. . . . We're not waving the white flag at all. The reality is that the market is moving to 802.11a."23 The chipset will automatically configure itself for the market that it is in; Europe and Asia use a different portion of the 5-GHz spectrum band for 2 21 The mandatory modulation/access modes are the same CCK (Complementary Code Keying) mode used by 802.11b, and the OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) mode used by 802.11a (but in this case in the 2.4GHz frequency band). The mandatory CCK mode supports 11Mbps and the OFDM mode has a maximum of 54Mbps. There are also two modes that use different methods to attain a 22Mbps data rate -- TI's PBCC-22 (Packet Binary Convolutional Coding, rated for 6 to 54Mbps) and Intersil's CCK-OFDM mode (with a rated max of 33Mbps). 2 22 Atheros has about a half-year lead on the other 802.11a chipset sources. Other companies developing 802.11a including Intersil (www.intersil.com), Envara (www.envara.com), and Resonext Communications (www.resonext.com). 2 23 The chipset includes a 5 GHz radio-on-a-chip with a 5.150-5.850 GHz tuning range, a 2.4 GHz RF chip, and a multiprotocol MAC and baseband processor that supports both RF front ends. The chipset only turns on a single radio at once, minimizing power consumption, Redelfs said. The hybrid chipset will consume 35 percent less power over time then existing 802.11b chipsets, he claimed. -7- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • wireless communications. The chipset also supports Atheros' second-generation "turbo mode" which allows wireless data rates of up to 108 Mbps using several channels simultaneously. Other standards. Another new protocol is being discussed, 802.11e, which adds QoS ("quality of service") to high-speed bandwidth, guaranteeing a reliable stream of data transmission to individual clients, vital for effective video streaming. Also, outside of the IEEE specifications are a number of important standards. One wireless standard just emerging which looks promising is HiperLAN2, developed by Nokia and Ericsson, and approved by the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute (ETSI). It is similar to, but not compatible with, 802.11a in that it uses the 5.4 GHz frequency with a throughput of 54Mbps. However, while 802.11a is primarily a data-delivery protocol, HiperLAN2 offers built in support for voice and video and allows for QoS transmissions. HiperLAN2 also provides for unicast, multicast, and broadcast transmissions. Many experts see it as the most advanced wireless standard currently available. A standard that is still in developmental phase is 3G, the third-generation cellular network, combining high speed mobile access with Internet Protocol (IP)-based services, which proponents have hailed as the future of Internet access, with fast, reliable, always-on connections. Anticipated data transfer rates range from 144 kbps to 2 Mbps. It is based on a revised version of CDMA24 called Wideband-CDMA (with several different implementations in the works including CDMA2000 and 3GPP). Telecommunication companies have spent billions of dollars to purchase licenses to operate 3G networks and since then have invested billions more in developing the technology and buying the hardware to build the needed new infrastructure. 24 2 CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is a "spread spectrum" technology, which means that it spreads the information contained in a particular signal of interest over a much greater bandwidth than the original signal. When implemented in a cellular telephone system, CDMA technology improves call quality. <http://www.cdg.org/tech/tech.asp>. -8- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • So far, no 3G systems have seen the light of day, except in experimental trials, and it seems likely that in 3G implementation North America and Europe may again go their separate ways. In North America, one other wireless Internet option is a satellite connection, offered by vendors such as Starband, DirecPC, or Earthlink. Satellite access is particularly attractive in areas not served by cable or digital subscriber line (DSL) service, but hardware costs are considerably higher than for other broadband services. The FCC recently awarded licenses to 11 satellite vendors to provide new satellite telecom services including high-speed Internet. These systems will be using satellites in geostationary orbit broadcasting "spot beams" in the "Ka- band" of 20/30 GHz. The promise is for faster, more affordable service throughout the U.S. Vendors such as WildBlue are planning to enable easy sharing of the satellite Internet connection with multiple users in a home, office, or school.25 (b) Security: Current problems and projected plans. Current problems. 802.11b wireless LAN standards include specification of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).26 However, WEP has been a source of a serious security problems. In fact, the basic insecurity of WEP as it is implemented under 802.11 has now been well docu- mented, including published outlines of how to crack the master WEP key and to pose as a legitimate user.27 Projected plans. An IEEE 802.11 working group (IEEE 802.11i) is currently working on extensions to WEP for incorporation within a future version of the standard. WECA expects to 2 25 University of Hawaii, National Foreign Language Resource Center, January 1, 2002. 2 26 ExtremeTech, May 14, 2002, "802.11 Security Standard Stalled By Infighting" <www.extremetech.com>. 2 27 Programmers Scott Fluhrer, Itsik Mantin, and Adi Shamir published a paper titled "Weakness in the Key Scheduling Algorithm of RC4." < http://www.drizzle.com/aboba/IEEE/rc4_ksaproc.pdf>. -9- WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • include the new security enhancements from IEEE 802.11i in the next update to Wi-Fi certification testing.28 The only encryption scheme that is receiving support from the IEEE is a proposal known as AES-OCB, which is based on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).29 AES was selected by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to replace the 3DES (Triple Data Encryption Standard) standard currently used for banking and other high-security applications. The AES standard is not backwards compatible, and will require new hardware. VPNs. Perhaps the most significant security measure companies are expected to take in the near future is to adopt Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Atheros' hybrid 802.11a/b/g chipset supports four security protocols: • AES encryption; • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs); • 802.1x authentication;30 and • Virtual LANs (VLANs). Application of the Law It is estimated that by 2005, one billion people will be connected to the Internet. In this context, three powerful and related trends have been identified as fundamentally reshaping the global economy. 31 The first is the exponential growth in connectivity resulting from increased adoption of information and communication technologies. The second is convergence, the 2 28 WEP Security Statement, Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, September 7, 2001. <http://www.wlana.com/pdf/security_weca.pdf>. 2 29 Michael Hurwicz, "802.11 Insecurity," Network World, May 20, 2002. <http://www. nwfusion.com/techinsider/2002/0520wlan/0520feat3.html> 3 30 Authentication is the means by which one station is verified to have authorization to communication with a second station in a given coverage area. 3 31 "Impediments to Digital Trade" May 22, 2001. Prepared Witness Testimony of Ms. Deborah Waggoner Director, Public Policy Corning Inc., before the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Congressional Testimony by Federal Document Clearing House. - 10 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • merging of historically distinct communications systems and consumer devices. Third is the increasing use of electronic communications as a channel for connecting consumers and companies driving international business and social communities. In the aggregate, these forces are accelerating the process known as globalization as well as facilitating vast opportunities for worldwide e-commerce.32 These powerful trends reshaping the global economy will inevitably have a direct impact on the intellectual property rights of technology companies (e.g., Sony) and the content owners (e.g., Universal Studios). They ultimately will impact the interests of the general public. As the U.S. Supreme Court pointed out in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc,. 464 U.S. 417, 429, 104 S.Ct. 774, 782 (1984), intellectual property rights are "monopoly privileges" that are neither unlimited nor primarily designed to provide a "special private benefit." Rather, the limited grant is a means by which an important public purpose may be achieved. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired. The law’s response to emerging technologies at times has been hasty, providing a solution that necessarily addressed only the specific facts of a case, without the long-term benefit of time and experience with the technology that would have enabled the lawmakers to create a doctrine that struck the appropriate balances of the competing interests. The courts’ quick reactions to emerging technologies therefore have, at times, unfairly tipped the scales against content owners in some instances (for example, content owners have argued that Sony Corp of America v. Universal Studios, Inc. went too far), against technology developers in some instances (e.g., some would argue that the Napster decision went too far; see also EBAY, Inc. v. 32 Id - 11 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Bidder’s Edge, Inc., 100 F. Supp. 2d 1058 (N.D. Cal. 2000) (ruling that uninvited web crawlers’ entrance into a server constitutes a trespass to chattels)), and against the public and the public domain in other instances (e.g., MAI Systems, Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc., 991 F.2d 511 (9th Cir. 1993), cert. dismissed, 510 U.S. 1033 (1994) (ruling that the download of content from the web to RAM constitutes a copy under the Copyright Act, thereby shifting to every Internet user the burden to establish a fair use defense)). Therefore, in considering how the channels for electronic communication discussed in this paper will be connected, and under what technological restrictions convergence of technologies will take place, it will be important also to consider convergence of these technologies and the law so that the two employ parallel, compatible principles. Although a number of different intellectual property-related issues have (or will) undoubtedly arise from the wireless technology mentioned above, this Report leans its discussion toward copyright issues relating to the dissemination (i.e., transmission) of content by this technology. However, other issues related to wireless technology are considered, as well. - 12 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • - 13 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Part II – Reaction of the “content providers” There is a general concern that the IEEE Standard 802.11b, so-called “Wi-Fi” technology, has two potential weaknesses with regard to the dissemination of information: (1) interference, and (2) security. (In this regard, some additional aspects of the technology will first be presented.) The first issue arises as a result of the frequency – 2.4 GHz – that Wi-Fi uses. Not only is this unlicensed frequency utilized by Wi-Fi’s primary wireless networking technology competitor “Bluetooth,” it is also used for a variety of small consumer appliances, namely, cordless telephones, cellular telephones, and microwave ovens. See The Not So Obvious Facts About The Struggle Between Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) and Bluetooth for Co-Existence, Dominance and Marketability, (http://www.tecom-ind.com/WirelessPaper.htm), prepared by Tecom Industries, Inc., Aug. 21, 2001, at 4; Jim Geier, Minimizing 802.11 Interference Issues, (http://www.80211-planet.com/columns/article/0,4000,1781_947661,00.html), Jan. 2, 2002, at 2. Because the 2.4 GHz spectrum is so crowded, Wi-Fi is susceptible to interference (as is its competitor Bluetooth), which in turn may precipitate a degradation of transmission quality and/or transmission delays. Consequently, companies may be reluctant to deploy this technology. The second issue affecting wireless networking focuses on the potential security breaches for which Wi-Fi, and other technologies like it, are susceptible. Security experts have opined that 802.11 products lack sufficient encryption and are vulnerable to intrusion. See, e.g., Ben Charny, Wireless Workplaces Asking For Trouble, (http://news.com.com/2100-1033-823033.html), Jan. 25, 2002, at 2. “The main problem is that the information travels over a free-to-use and unregulated piece of radio frequency not protected - 14 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • by any kind of encryption.” Id. The absence of adequate Wi-Fi encryption has had a deterrent effect on some companies’ efforts to set-up wireless networks. In addition, because 802.11 products are readily available and relatively inexpensive, “rogue” networks may spring up. That is, individuals may purchase and implement an unauthorized wireless network, even as their employers debate on the viability of an employer-authorized system. As the CEO of ReefEdge (a seller of wireless network equipment), Inder Gopal, stated, “A lot of companies had plans [to implement a wireless network], and yes, a few have become gun-shy, but a lot of IT guys are saying, ‘Look, either I do it, or my employees are going to take the law into their own hands and set up a rogue access point.’” As quoted in Wireless Workplaces Asking For Trouble, (http://news.com.com/2100-1033-823033.html), Jan. 25, 2002, at 1-2. A real life application of this vulnerability came into focus as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Several airlines had been utilizing Wi-Fi technology to facilitate the tracking of baggage and relaying passenger information from curbside check-in stands to attendants within certain airport terminals. Post September 11th security testing highlighted that these systems were woefully unprotected from electronic intruders. Without sufficient encryption, terrorists and even more “typical” hackers could access the system and compromise airport security, even while the airlines were endeavoring to use the wireless technology to comply with federally-mandated baggage security and matching requirements. See Wireless LANs: Trouble In The Air, Bob, Brewin, Dan Verton, and Jennifer DiSabatino, (http://www.computerworld.com/itresources/rcstory/0,4167,STO67344_KEY73,00.html), Jan. 14, 2002, at 1-4. It appears that the airlines are in the process of resolving these security issues. [Text from here, up, seems to best be incorporated into first portion of article.] - 15 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • The potential for abuse of wireless networks is eventually bound to be a concern for content providers. At present, though, content providers have yet to voice strong concern about this particular technology, although the technology industry recognizes this could change, as discussed further below. Consider the following potential scenario: if, for example, a home is wired with a high-speed cable modem and Wi-Fi or other wireless technology to link several computers to the broadband connection, that network could be vulnerable to an unintended rogue access point beyond the walls of the intended user’s home. In theory, a substantial number of neighbors could exploit the one paying customer’s high speed cable link-up courtesy of Wi-Fi technology. As a result, content providers may be losing significant revenue to Wi-Fi savvy individuals. Similarly, the beleaguered music industry may be concerned that the security issues associated with Wi-Fi could provide another Napster-like front in its battle against copyright infringement. These concerns apply to both full songs, as well as ring tones, which often incorporate signature bars from popular songs and compositions. See Mobile Digital Rights Management Is Quickly Becoming A Hot Issue In Both The Cellular And WLAN Markets. Find Out What The Big Players Are Doing About It Ed Sutherland, (http://www.mcommercetimes.com/Marketing/210), Jan. 25, 2002. Transmitting copyrighted materials via Wi-Fi could make an already vulnerable medium even more so. Accordingly, content providers are utilizing Digital Rights Management Plans (DMRs) to prevent unauthorized copying and access to copyrighted materials. Other content providers of valuable, copyrighted content, e.g., software providers (with products available via download) are likely to share similar concerns. Also, content providers that collect credit card numbers and personal information from their online customers should also be concerned that such sensitive information - 16 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • could be intercepted more easily via the wireless Internet. For example, recently, The New York Times featured an article discussing the deployment of Wi-Fi wireless Internet access in airports around the nation.33 According to Charles Barclay, chairman of the Wireless Airport Association and president of the AmericanAssociation of Airport Executives, “All of the major airports are experimenting with [wireless networks].” Id. As the number of business travelers availing themselves of this service increases, the temptation for criminals to “eavesdrop” on the transmission of sensitive business (and personal) information may also increase. Particularly with the heightened sensitivity to online privacy and identity theft, Wi-Fi may inadvertently provide additional exposure that could discourage customers from engaging in wireless e- commerce. Advances in wireless DRM will help to bolster confidence and to encourage the roll- out of Wi-Fi technology. Content providers may also be concerned with the U.S. Department of Defense’s contention that Wi-Fi frequencies interfere with military radar. John Marokoff, Limits Sought on Wireless Internet Access, www.nytimes.com/2002/12/17/technology/17WIRE.html. DOD officials are seeking technical restrictions to prevent Wi-Fi and other wireless Internet access technologies from jamming several of the military’s radar systems. Id. While this may predominantly be an issue for wireless service providers, content providers may be discouraged by the government “static.” As wireless Internet service becomes more available, additional spectrum will be necessary to accommodate the increased traffic. However, if the government restricts expansion into the required frequencies, speed and/or reliability of wireless systems may become compromised, which in turn could discourage the public’s use of wireless Internet systems. If the public turns away from the Internet, content providers may be discouraged from offering increasingly robust online content. 33 Susan Stellin, The Many Ways to Stay Connected at Airports, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 24, 2002. - 17 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • - 18 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Part III – Reaction of the Technology Providers The focus of Part III of this paper is to provide a summary and assessment of the consumer electronics industry’s role and reaction to the content dissemination issue relating to wireless networking and the resulting developments in wireless networking technology. Essentially, the focus of the consumer electronics industry as it relates to wireless networking is tied to the concept of the wirelessly networked home. The consumer electronics (CE) companies most likely view wireless networking as an opportunity to increase revenues through the deployment of digital rights management technology (DRM). To support this position, a recent IBM whitepaper focused on the consumer electronics industry argues that, telephones, televisions and computer networks are beginning to converge in the home and as a result “Businesses that electronically enter homes to deliver services to consumers – from electricity to internet access – are having to decide whether to battle for control of the networked home themselves, concede to other “better connected” competitors, or join forces with their peers.”34 Further, IBM’s whitepaper states that, “Many argue that set top box manufacturers will eventually dominate the interactive relationship with the end consumer, since their product will serve as the home’s electronic command center”. 35 If the set top boxes become the home’s “electronic command center” the CE industry must find a way to satisfy the content industries fear that content will be pirated and shared without reward to the content owner. In conflict with the need to protect the content provider, Netscape cofounder, Marc Andreesen, in a recent address of the National Association of Broadcasters about copy protection efforts, stated the entertainment industry need look no further 34 Ether, Thomas & Friel, Thomas; IBM Global Services; The Consumer Electronics Squeeze Play. 35 Ether, Thomas & Friel, Thomas; IBM Global Services; The Consumer Electronics Squeeze Play. - 19 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • than the software industry’s own expensive, failed attempts at encryption to realize its ineffective at stopping piracy – “if a computer can see it, display it and play it – it can copy it.” Despite these comments Andreesen was in support of the complexity of wireless home networks, and specifically stated “wireless home networks will have the capacity to pass digital movies, music or favorite episodes of Seinfeld to every smart device in the house.”36 Although Andressen’s message was to incite the broadcasters to build new business models since content protection efforts are not working, his comments are still relevant to the consumer electronics industry’s efforts and in fact some of the current developments in the consumer electronics industry may prove Andreesen wrong. Prior to discussing the current developments I will provide a brief history of the legislation and bills surrounding content dissemination generally, and the act of protecting this content from piracy, often referred to as “Digital Rights Management” (DRM) and the historical activities and standards developed related to content dissemination and DRM. Digital Millennium Copyright Act The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was enacted in 1998 to prevent “circumvention of a technical measure that effectively protects the right of a copyright owner in the ordinary course of its operation.”37 38 However, the DMCA did not address what an “effective” technological measure is or whether the designer of a device is under any duty to include functionality to prevent the dissemination of protected content. The lack of direction on these issues has caused a variety of reactions and activities in the CE industry, including introduction of a bill at the Senate level and potentially the House level. 36 Chmielewski, Dawn C.; Andreesen: Copy Protection Efforts are Doomed: The Mercury News, April 9, 2002. 37 Schwartz , Robert S. and Turner, Jeffrey, L; The DMCA: When is a Technological Measure Effective and When is Compliance Mandated; www.hrrc.org. 38 The DMCA Act, 17 USC §1201, October 26, 1998. - 20 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • In March, 2002 Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings introduced a controversial copyright- protection bill (the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Act). The bill was not passed in 2002, but if it or some rendition thereof is passed in the future, will require technology companies, consumer electronic manufacturers, consumer groups and the entertainment industry to sit down and figure out a standard to build anti-piracy protections into devices.39 Further the bill requires a FCC and US Copyright mandate should the groups be unable to come to some resolution on a standard within one year.40 In response, Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif, sent a letter to his colleagues attempting to enlist support for proposing a similar bill in the House (as of January 6, 2003 no bill has been introduced). The bills really dictate that the CE industry must play a role in the anti-piracy fight and further become the designers and distributors of devices that prevent unlawful content dissemination.41 Some of the large consumer electronics and technology groups (e.g. Consumer Electronics Association, Information Technology Industry Council) have already expressed their opposition to the bill and generally cite the issue that a mandate promoting a single means of protecting content will not be effective.42 Based upon this legislation and proposed bill(s) it is clear that the CE industry will play a key role in DRM. However, prior to discussing the initial reactions and activities of the CE industry to this call, a limited overview of the debate between technology providers and content providers that ensued post DMCA enactment is provided below.43 39 Borland, John: Anti-piracy bill Finally See Senate; CNET News; March 21, 2002. 40 Borland, John; Net Anti-piracy Debate Heads for House; CNET News; Marc 28, 2002. 41 Borland, John; Net Anti-piracy Debate Heads for House; CNET News; Marc 28, 2002. 42 Borland, John: Anti-piracy bill Finally See Senate; CNET News; March 21, 2002. 43 Manasse, Mark S.; Why Rights Management is Wrong (and What to Do Instead); www.w3org - 21 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Content vs. Technology For purposes of this discussion, the information technology industries will be viewed as the “Technology Faction” and includes computer makers, software makers, and related digital device manufacturers; the content industries will be addressed as the “Content Faction.”44 The Content Faction would like the government to mandate a standard, as they believe the failure to standardize on universal digital rights management technology that is built into devices will lead to the destruction of the digital-content industries.45 Surprisingly, the consumer electronics makers (the manufacturers of VCR’s and DVDs) have seemed to align themselves with the Content Faction, possibly due to the understanding that they may be required to work with the content providers to develop a standard and want to align themselves early. The Technology Faction supports various technologies and, as a result, wants their own technologies to be adopted and denounces design mandates.46 With this understanding of the current legislation and the two factions and their positions the next section of this paper will focus on DRM and DRM technology solutions. Digital Rights Management “Digital Rights Management” is the generic term used to “characterize any technology (software, hardware, or both) that prevents unauthorized copying of, or that controls access to, copyrighted materials.”47 DRM enables owners of copyright works to control (restrict) the use of the copyrighted material or content.48 44 Goodwin, Mike; Coming Soon: Hollywood versus the Internet; December 18. 2001; www.lawlists.net 45 Goodwin, Mike; Coming Soon: Hollywood versus the Internet; December 18. 2001; www.lawlists.net 46 Goodwin, Mike; Coming Soon: Hollywood versus the Internet; December 18. 2001; www.lawlists.net 47 Goodwin, Mike; Coming Soon: Hollywood versus the Internet; December 18. 2001; www.lawlists.net 48 Clarke, Roger: DRM will Beget DCRM; January 2001; www.w3.org - 22 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • According to Gerald Lokhoff, Technology Officer of Phillips CryptoTec, DRM is in its “infant stage.” He further states, “It will be some time before the market will settle down and DRM becomes a ‘standard component’.”49 In Microsoft’s US Patent 6,330, 670 filed January 8, 1999 and granted December 11, 2001 Microsoft indicated that there “appears to be three solutions to the DRM problem”: tamper resistant boxes; development and use of a secret proprietary data format; or the modification of PCs to support client side security and DRM.50 It seems that DRM technology solutions introduced to date focus on one of the three solutions listed above, the solutions summarized later in this paper support this claim. DRM Technology and Solutions DRM has its roots in the notion of encrypted content. In initial DRM technologies content would be encrypted at the source so access could be managed over the Internet. The data that is then passed along would be decrypted once a person paid for it and allowing the content to be viewed or played.51 When peer-to-peer networks were introduced DRM systems were moved out of the operating system and into the applications to combat the problem peer-to-peer networks posed. These “application DRM systems” still allow users to share the content, but require that each application contain the specific decryption code (the specific decryption code is usually incompatible with other applications). Thomson Media’s SmartRight technology solved this problem, but the introduction of the wireless network introduced a new issue – IEEE 802.11. Phillips has reacted and introduced a technology that works with the 802.11 standard. The 49 Lokhoff, Gerald: Internet Digital Rights Management for Consumer Electronics Applications; Position Paper for W3C workshop on Digital Rights Management. 50 Microsoft Corporation; Patent Application 227561: Digital Rights Management Operating System; www.uspto.gov. 51 Boulton, Clint: Will a Foolproof DRM Solution Please Stand Up?; Business News, February 12, 2001; www.internetnews.com - 23 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • following sections provide a summary of these technologies and provide the framework on how the CE industry is currently involved and an understanding of how future CE developments and possibly standards will be introduced. A. 5Cs Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) was created by Intel, Hitachi, Sony, Toshiba, and Matsushita, collectively known as the “5C.” DTCP focuses on high-speed wireless connections and works by encrypting content where devices connect. 52 53 More specifically, DTCP defines a cryptographic protocol which safeguards content against illegal copying, intercepting and tampering. Trying to apply the DTCP- “which requires high-speed encryption and decryption at every digital interface – over a wireless network is not easy,” said Leon Husson of Phillips and proponent of wireless DRM. The reason for the complexity is that applying DTCP to wireless process could slow down the wireless transmission and “tax the computing power locally available in digital computer appliances.”54 B. Occam - Cisco Cisco developed Open Conditional Content Access Management (Occam), which is hardware based DRM using the 128-bit advanced encryption standard to control content broadcast to interactive TV and portable devices.55 Although, Occam is an end-to-end content encryption and access control specification designed for implementation in hardware and interactive television and portable network devices, Phillips does not believe that Occam 52 Sutherland, Ed: Hubster: the WLAN Copyright Wars; www.80211-planet.com 53 www.dtcp.com; Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator; DTCP Specification. 54 Farber, Dave; IP content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; www.interesting- people.org. 55 Sutherland, Ed: Hubster: the WLAN Copyright Wars; www.80211-planet.com - 24 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • proposal will work as every digital device in the home would need to have a separate Internet Protocol (IP) address.56 The need for multiple ISP’s does not tend to bode well with consumers. C. SmartRight copy protection and content management technology – Thomson Media SmartRight developed by Thomson Media is an end-to-end solution to protect digital video content meeting commercial requirements for digital home entertainment networks (e.g. TV sets, Set-Top boxes, DVD players, digital video recorders, and PCs).57 The introduction of SmartRight was viewed favorably as it eliminated the need to re-encrypt at each device. Further, the SmartRight technology can be combined with conditional access systems or other DRM systems. Although there are currently many DRM systems/technologies available none are easily adaptable to the various devices, applications and systems. Phillips seems to be in the forefront of the CE’s response to this void/issue with the designs and developments of its CrypoTec division. However, as can be appreciated from the discussion above, Phillips has a biased opinion of the products listed above and although there are limitations to each, this bias is partly due to Phillips’ position as a competitor in this emerging market. D. CryptoTec - Phillips Phillips believes the plans underway to use the DRM principles with home digital networks won’t work with wireless, thus Phillips is talking with other consumer electronics companies in an effort to work collaboratively to extend DRM to wireless devices.58 In January 56 Farber, Dave; IP content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; www.interesting- people.org. 57 Micronas and Thomson multimedia Showcase a New Copy Protection System that will Drive the Future of Digital Television; January 8, 2002; www.thomson-multimedia.com 58 Sutherland, Ed: Hubster: the WLAN Copyright Wars; www.80211-planet.com - 25 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • of this year Phillips indicated that it had discussed its DRM ideas with companies like Sony and Samsung, and had recently had conversation with Cisco and expected to have high-level meetings with Thomson Multimedia later in the month. However, the outcome of such meetings have not been publicized and although early in 2002 Leon Husson of Phillips indicated during an interview that there is a “high level awareness among consumer electronic companies that this [rights management over home networking] needs to be resolved quickly, any recent efforts or developments have been largely unnoted.”59 Technically the CE devices Phillips hopes to introduce would require a single, unified DRM client and content would be downloaded via a DRM gateway system (allowing the transcription of the DRM rules to the DRM protected formats to the standardized format).60 61 62 This technology is in response to the anticipated widespread adoption of digital home networks (digital hubs) and the popularity of IEEE 802.11 wireless standard (802.11 being the prime enabler of these digital hubs). The only existing specifications directed at entertainment hubs is DTCP. However, because DTCP precedes the wireless home it does not focus on wireless.63 These digital hubs will distribute on demand content to any place/device in the home or on the Internet and many use 802.11 as the backbone of these home entertainment networks. Forrester Research predicts that the number of devices able to receive and manage broadband signals and the Internet will jump from 5 million today to 25 million in 2006 and that 802.11 based systems will be the mainstay of these digital hubs.64 59 Yoshida, Junko; Content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; Electronic Engineering Times. 60 Lokhoff, Gerald: Internet Digital Rights Management for Consumer Electronics Applications; Position Paper for W3C workshop on Digital Rights Management. 61 www.digitalnetworks.phillips.com; Cryptotec. 62 Lokhoff, Gerald: Internet Digital Rights Management for Consumer Electronics Applications; Position Paper for W3C workshop on Digital Rights Management. 63 Sutherland, Ed: Hubster: the WLAN Copyright Wars; www.80211-planet.com 64 Sutherland, Ed: Hubster: the WLAN Copyright Wars; www.80211-planet.com - 26 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Thus, Phillips is focusing its DRM technology on the wireless networked home. Leon Husson, executive vice president of consumer businesses at Phillips Semiconductors, stated, “At stake here is the free floating copyrighted content that will soon be redistributed or rebroadcast to different TV sets throughout a home by consumers using wireless networking technologies like IEEE 802.11”65 In addition to working collaboratively with other CE companies, Phillips hopes to develop its solutions with the Content Faction. Rather than wait for Hollywood studios to raise a red flag over unprotected wirelessly transmitted content, Phillips wishes to tackle the issue in advance, Leon Husson of Phillips stated, “We are dying to lobby Hollywood studios on this 66 67 issue.” It will be interesting to watch the developments of Leon Husson and his colleagues in 2003 as all efforts, if any, in late 2002 were highly unpublicized. Next Steps/Future So, although in the beginning of 2002, wireless networking technology developments and partnerships were common68 during the second half of 2003 advancements seemed to be non- existent. Steve Vonder Haar, a senior consultant with Yankee Group stated, “It is unlikely that a 65 Farber, Dave; IP content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; www.interesting- people.org. 66 Farber, Dave; IP content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; www.interesting- people.org. 67 Yoshida, Junko; Content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; Electronic Engineering Times. 68 In January of 2002 the Digital Video Broadcast Group, the copy protection technology group of Europe, called for proposals on Intellectual Content Protection Plans and within the first thirty days of such request had received 23 proposals. The goal of the DVB is to assess these proposals and come to a consensus and recommend a preliminary working standard by the end of 2002. Farber, Dave; IP content Protection Plan Targets Wireless Home Networks; January 15, 2002; www.interesting-people.org. On April 22, 2002 Vivendi and Thompson Multimedia announced their forming of an alliance of which one of the three major areas covered by the alliance is copy protection. This alliance marks the first worldwide cooperation between a content company and a technology group. Vivendi and Thompson Multimedia form an Alliance, www.digitalmediaweb.com - 27 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • cure-all will be found to protect digital content despite the fact that it has been the ‘dream of technology companies big and small since the birth of the Web.’” Mr. VonderHaar’s prediction seemed to be exemplified in the third and fourth quarters of 2003. The CE industry just may be waiting for the proposed legislation to shake-out prior to publicisizing or releasing any new technology. But it is anticipated that the continued need for an open and available standard to meet consumers’ wireless networking needs will keep the Content and Technology Faction working hard to deliver wireless networking tools that allow consumers to access content expediently. On July 17, 2002 the Technology Administration held its second workshop on Digital Content and Rights Management the focus of the event was: progress toward technical standards that provide the framework necessary to enable legitimate digital media distribution, developments in the market for digital content as well as consumer perceptions and expectations, and the proper role for the government in facilitating solutions that are best for innovation and best for consumers. The roundtable discussion was attended by both government officials (Phil Bond, Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology and Chief of Staff to Secretary Don Evans, and James Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property) and representatives of the entertainment and technology industries. Media Advisory, Technology Administration to Hold Second Workshop on Digital Content and Rights Management. Officials Will Be Joined by Representatives of the Entertainment and Tech Industries. - 28 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • Part IV – Content Identification As this article has been considering certain intellectual property ramifications relating to the transmission of content, it is important to consider how content can be identified (e.g., tracked for such purposes as collecting royalties) in the course of its transmission. A starting point in an analysis of “content identification” with respect to wireless networking technology, and in particular, the role of the IEEE standard 802.11, is an understanding of what is meant by “content.” This has important ramifications for intellectual property owners and information systems developers alike. Further, the use of higher level identifiers to authorize or coordinate simple lower level functions such as “change status to activate or not” may assist in the provision of digital information and other digital goods and services that may be subject to intellectual property restrictions; and such identifiers may also be required for the management of more complex types of wireless networking operations. Despite the unfortunate tendency to view “content” as restricted to traditional copyright works, whether “born digital” or converted to digital form, a much wider variety of digital “content” is being implemented in a network environment. These new resources are likely to involve the application of bodies of law other than copyright, such as patent, securities, banking, insurance, and communications. When organizing and deploying identifier systems at lower 802.11 levels, care should be taken to accommodate the interaction between 802.11 identifier - 29 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • systems and new forms of “content.” Examples of such content might be one or more virtual machines implemented at various points in a 802.11 network, as well as the static and dynamic relationships of such information management systems or other identifiable elements in the Internet or other networking environment. For example, much effort has been expended on the development of various computational facilities known as “virtual machines;” and these facilities are being used to perform various operations for a wide variety of home and business applications. Where such virtual machines interact with information elements in an underlying 802.11 physical layer, manage access to external digital resources or perform other “stated operations,” these computational facilities may themselves be viewed as “content.” The interaction of identifiers assigned to this new form of "content" at various levels of granularity, as well as the identifiers used for more traditional copyright resources, and the interaction of any such identifiers with lower level 802.11 information elements, is an important area for further consideration within the IEEE 802.11 standards process. Where content providers have developed digital asset management systems to identify their digital goods and services, including specialized metadata and related rights management technology, the tracking of such good and services may be important for owners of intellectual property rights. Several concepts used in 802.11 may require reassessment to accommodate this development. In particular, the medium access control (MAC) management capability is an example of an 802.11 specification that may require adjustment. For example, as described in the IEEE 802.11 Handbook by Bob O’Hara and Al Petrick (1999), at page 101, “dot11StationID is a 48-bit attribute that is designed to allow an external manager to assign its own identifier to a station, for the sole purpose of managing the - 30 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • station.” Where an access point or “station” is an element in a distributed information management system, either entity could come within the meaning of the 802.11 standard, or parts of it could be relegated to the status of an 802.11 higher level protocol. From a content viewpoint, various software capabilities now typically treated as higher level protocols in the IEEE 802.11 standard could also be viewed as part of the access point or station in 802.11 terminology. While the issue of digital asset management might be seen as unimportant to the developers of wireless networks, whose focus may only be on communications connectivity, it could be of real concern to owners of content who may have no other effective recourse to monitor or verify compliance with terms and conditions placed on specific digital information goods or services. The ability for a sufficiently endowed (i.e., with powerful computer resources) unauthorized “outside party” to tap into an 802.11 network, effectively subverting normal security provisions, is clearly within the realm of possibility. If such concerns become prevalent, it may be desirable to assign some form of identifier external to the 802.11 specification to each transmitted frame, or specific elements of a frame, so that the identifier can be used to maintain records of authorized transactions or to track any unauthorized use or interception back to its source (indeed, a "frame" may itself be viewed as a structured information resource in this context, i.e., content with its own identifier and stated operations). A question may also be raised with respect to other information elements and associated element identifiers set forth in 802.11 (Id. at 67). Any identifiers or other metadata associated with “access points,” “stations,” “MACs,” “frames,” or other 802.11 compliant elements, could - 31 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • be made known to digital information management systems, or mutually trusted third parties, and steps taken to coordinate such 802.11 identifiers with identifiers associated with “content,” whether or not such identifiers are external to the 802.11 standard. This would appear to be a useful step toward encouraging the development of commerce based on wireless networking technology where intellectual property, security, privacy or other restrictions apply. At the present time, virtually all computer-based communication systems involve moving bits from a source to one or more destinations (in the latter case this may occur by broadcast or selective multi-cast as well as multiple one-to-one interactions) without regard to the meaning of the bits being communicated. For purposes of content identification, it would be most useful and practical to identify content at higher levels than either 802.3 or 802.11 now appears to allow. For example, if content capable of being independently identified and processed was present in the form of a digital object, i.e., structured data having an associated unique persistent identifier, then it would be possible to track content at various points in the communications pathway, or even identify transaction records at such points. However, since actual content may be encrypted in different networks or, more generally, in different information systems, explicit arrangements would have to be made with the system operators to leave the identifier field in the clear (if, indeed, the 802.11 standard would allow this when encryption is used), or to trust various intermediary systems along the way that see the content in the clear to extract the identifiers for the purpose of content identification and processing. - 32 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • At best, this is a very sensitive matter. Any such arrangements would have to be built into agreements with the originators of the content and managed within the overall communications environment. This may be accomplished through such means as associating specific terms and conditions with individual digital objects in a form that is interpretable along the way so that appropriate decisions can be made on the performance of permitted operations such as further dissemination, reproduction or aggregation. An example of an identification/resolution system that can assist here is the Handle System (see www.handle.net). The assignment and use of identifiers associated with digital objects and other digital resources is an important area of research. Some progress has been made in this context, but much remains to be done. Coordination of these efforts with the IEEE 802.11 standard development process, and related efforts, is desirable. While 802.11 may be viewed by some as too low-level a system to encumber with this kind of baggage, certain basic identification elements might be desirable at that level to authenticate information systems and other digital resources in order to facilitate verification and compliance with approved “stated operations” for each digital object or other digital resource (whether also viewed as a “MIB,” "communication" or "frame") without violating any confidences or other restrictions placed on the material. It is also important to provide a logical distributed connection between any such lower level identifiers with intermediate management system identifiers, e.g., URI’s or other names assigned to various elements in one or more virtual machines that may be connected with an 802.11 computational facility, and, ultimately, with identifiers and other metadata that may be associated with information elements by intellectual property owners or their agents for purposes - 33 - WASHINGTON 201268v2
    • not just of delivery of digital objects or other digital resources, but to enable a wide variety of stated operations to be performed on such objects on a static or dynamic basis. In summary, at a minimum, there is a need for visibility between higher level identifiers and those assigned at lower levels such as MAC addresses, as well as the coordination of these identifiers and related metadata with network system elements such as IP addresses. This may take the form of simple methods for tracking and accounting of identifiable digital information in order to facilitate the enforcement of contractual restrictions on material subject to intellectual property, or the detection of unauthorized external intrusions. - 34 - WASHINGTON 201268v2