04977594 is referenced by 799 patents and cites 53 patents.

A "return on investment" digital database usage metering, billing, and security system includes a hardware device which is plugged into a computer system bus (or into a serial or other functionally adequate connector) and a software program system resident in the hardware device. One or more databases are encrypted and stored on a non-volatile mass storage device (e.g., an optical disk). A tamper-proof decrypting device and associated controller decrypts selected portions of the stored database and measures the quantity of information which is decrypted. This measured quantity information is communicated to a remote centralized billing facility and used to charge the user a fee based on database usage. A system may include a "self-destruct" feature which disables system operation upon occurrence of a predetermined event unless the user implements an "antidote"--instructions for implementing the antidote being given to him by the database owner only if the user pays his bills. Absolute database security and billing based on database usage are thus provided in a system environment wherein all database access tasks are performed at the user's site. Moreover, a free market competitive environment is supported because literary property royalties can be calculated based on actual data use.

Title
Database usage metering and protection system and method
Application Number
918109
Publication Number
4977594
Application Date
February 16, 1989
Publication Date
December 11, 1990
Inventor
Victor H Shear
Bethesda
MD, US
Agent
Nixon & Vanderhye
Assignee
Electronic Publishing Resources
MD, US
IPC
H04K 1/00
View Original Source