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SBIR Phase I: Secure Software Rental and Subscription System

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0610821
Agency Tracking Number: 0610821
Amount: $98,417.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EO
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-605
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
3000 Kent Avenue Suite D2-100
West Lafayette, IN 47906
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Eric Bryant
 (765) 775-1004
Business Contact
 Eric Bryant
Title: Mr
Phone: (765) 775-1004
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project advances the state of software licensing and distribution through the development of a secure software rental/subscription system. The proposed technology builds upon existing Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Electronic License Management (ELM) principles, as well as Arxan's state-of-the-art anti-tamper technology, to provide robust security for software download services that may be purchased or subscribed to in a variety of ways. The results of this project will bring about advances in DRM technology and will make important steps in the evolution of software development practices and content distribution that will benefit both software vendors and consumers alike. The primary research objectives of this project are to design the security and policy enforcement mechanisms, software individualization, and distribution technologies to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology. The detailed design specification for the proposed architecture will set the stage for Phase II development efforts and provide an opportunity to gain valuable feedback and support from otential stakeholders. This project will largely impact the way software usage and ownership is viewed by changing the landscape of software licensing to shift away from shrink-wrapped products. This new paradigm of software creates not only new usage models but also new payment models. Customers, instead of "owning" software, will now rent software on a per-need basis. Correspondingly, cost/pricing will shift from current all-or-nothing payment schemes to more flexible ways to pay for the utilization of software. This makes software more affordable to the consumer, enables software providers to target a broader market, and helps curb piracy through strong anti-tamper technology and frequent updates. The results of this project will also enhance the scientific community's understanding of software security technologies through the creation of innovative protection techniques and security policies that support true fair-use. This has become a major issue as the DRM field continues to advance, and it is important that emerging technologies take into careful consideration the rights of consumers to ensure unreasonable constraints are not imposed on their electronic purchases. The results of this project will set the stage for future developments in this area and establish a positive standard for fair-use in online software distribution.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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