Microsoft has been granted a patent on a content distribution system that uses cameras built into televisions, PCs, and mobile phones to act as a “consumer detector,” to enforce DRM licensing terms.
“A fee can be charged for each viewer of the content for each view,” the patent reads. “Viewers may be uniquely identified and a count of the viewers determined, with the licensee then charged for each viewer accessing the content. Age and identity restrictions can be applied in this embodiment as well.”
The patent is designed to work with both streaming content and downloaded material stored in “RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, DVD or other optical disk storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices.”