The Digital Media Project


Philip Merrill


TRU #64 to compel real-time only consumption





Philip Merrill

Affiliation/additional information:

Active Contributor, Pasadena, California

Date submitted:







Name of TRU

Usage to compel real-time only consumption


Summary description of TRU

primitive analogue ability to perform written or composed creations in real-time only at a performance venue; significant mainly as having affected the analogue past of TRU reproduction thus conditioning economic aspects within which Middle-men tried to "game" the system


Use records of TRU

As with TRU to distribute lower-res copies only, this TRU is born out of the analogue past in a way that is important to declare because it is so fundamental (as in, fundamentally obvious). If there is a live performance and you are not in your seat watching it, then to a degree you have missed it. The creators exercise a large amount of control over what a member of the audience can or should do, with the "OK, we did it but you missed it" risk always implied.

Picture for example the owner of a fabulous mansion who is having a party but is stuck doing something in the library. Beyond the window, some wonderful performance is occurring on the lawn outside that can be clearly heard and where friends are having fun. This removed listener is also the one who will be paying for the performance, as part of a lavish party in progress. Meanwhile, the mansion-owner is embroiled in some task requiring presence in the library. On the walls are either books only or, according to taste, DVDs and an audio archive as well. One can only imagine that it would be longer than a lifetime to try to consume everything in the mansion-owner's fine library. Nonetheless, the party-giver will soon exit this place of tomes for the fun outside.

What is wrong with that example? Could it be that the rich person is able to enjoy a lifestyle that is not glued to a chair because of this wealth, so walking around and being surrounded by beautiful and wonderful things is a part of this figure's life? Then what about the DMP user? Like it or not, long periods of passive sitting are implied by media consumption in this day and age, for example watching a film at a theater or sitting at a computer or in a meeting. So the main thing wrong with the example is that the user is not almost completely sedentary.

Note that in the example, some of the party-thrower's friends are in fact completely sedentary enjoying the performance outside. Note also that the library in the example by definition has more stuff in it than can be used in a lifetime of real time consumption, so having it means something more along the lines of having the right piece of media available at the right time so that it can be consumed with greatest enjoyment.

This principle of greatest enjoyment has characterised public performance spaces for centuries, characteristically for orchestral performances, opera and ballet. Many of these spaces also have remarkable art and interiors. Arguably the neighborhood cineplex has notable interiors - reflecting the highest commonly used "quality" of media consumption. The walls of most movie theaters are "plastered" with colorful notices of upcoming productions featuring some distinctive art that "brands" the media title. This rich sort of experience goes beyond what can be experienced at home, except by the rich, and so has been part of "public" life for centuries (and millennia).

Based on these preconditions, titles appearing in the normal course of the presentation space's availability are "published" or "made available to the public" (the predecessor language to TRU communication to the public before it took on its 1996 WCT/WPPT meaning). Also, those who attend such public presentations do so not only because of the art, interiors, and media consumption experience, but also because the collective act of absorbing the performance's content is enhanced and the attention is focused by the sense of humanity's surrounding group.

We can safely assume that some sort of public performance in a public performance space will remain a compelling part of people's lives for generations to come, and to a degree this is naturally characteristic of the word "performance". There is included in this - this putatively valuable performance - a supposition that the TRU performance's Right-holder can compel real-time consumption.


Nature of TRU

A strangely trivial and obvious Right-holder TRU, worth stating explicitly, or else it could be overlooked because of its obviousness.


Benefits of TRU



Possible digital support

The financial potential of identifying real-time usage is huge, immediately triggering issues of privacy and TRU of respect for performance royalties terms and conditions.

For example, one can expect that a live webcast is just such an event, and this could be considered to already have an established pricing model through different aggregators like AOL, MSN, Real and B2B syndication packager Middle-Men.

Real-time usge while it occurs can be valuable to advertisers, which triggers privacy implications. But users could select to cede aspects of their privacy in order to participate in valuable promotions, as is now commonly done, and then receive advertisements or promotional messages at some time as they go about other things, like watching or listening to DM.

For TRU quote support, it could be very valuable to be able to objectively distinguish whether or not an End-User has already consumed an item of digital media in real time. Take videogames for example. I played the first three 3 versions of Sonic the Hedgehog extensively on Sega Genesis. This could potentially allow me to participate in a community of players who could illusrate levels of the game in their quotations to each other about the game. There could be financial opportunities to support TRU adaptation in such a model, so derivative creations could be published in this community as a DMBM. But the ability to support this requires being able to

There is related and interesting potential for digital support to block suspicious End-user behavior by allowing Right-holders to configure mathematical limits on how much of certain transactions a person is allowed to do. For example, personal use of digital media occurs in real-time and this means an individual cannot claim to be personally viewing more than ten thousand hours a day of videos. Such boundaries need to be feasibly supported for configuration within DMBMs.



DMP shall support the ability of the End-User to allow information to be made available to others as to what DM they are consuming in real time, and what DM has been consumed in real time in the past.