While Sony did confirm that the Playstation 4 will in fact not block used games, that doesn’t mean that Sony isn’t interested in fighting piracy. Two days ago, a NeoGaf member posted a patent that was filed by Sony in August 2011. The patent outlines a way to measure load times, and if the load times discovered don’t fall within a specific range then the user is blocked. Below is one of the flow charts found in the Sony patent that explains how it works.
The patent’s abstract states:
“A system and method for detecting piracy of a software product that is distributed on a particular media type is described. Embodiments of the invention track a title load time of a software product that is distributed on a particular media type, and compare it against a benchmark load time for that media type. This comparison is used to detect if the title may have been illegally transferred or pirated to another, unauthorized media type.”
The summary section of the patent offers this bit of information:
“Thus, there is a continuous and ongoing need for novel and improved digital rights management schemes that provide additional layers of protection against piracy. Embodiments of the invention meet this need and others by providing a system and method for measuring and employing benchmarks for legitimate duplication validation.”
Indeed, this does appear to be a protocol to determine whether or not a piece of media is legitimate based on how fast it loads. The patent filed says that this form of DRM can be used for multiple kinds of media, as well. Take this quote from the detailed section area of the patent file for example, “The media product can comprise any type of media or combinations thereof, such as a games, movies, television shows, applications, and the like. ”
While the patent doesn’t specifically mention the Playstation 4, there is a possibility that the patent filed still pertains to Sony’s next-gen console. Regardless, we shouldn’t rush to any judgments. After all, this patent could pertain to other Sony products such as their line of Vaio computers. Tell us what you think about this Sony patent in the comments below. For further reading, check out the official patent found here.