Title: Analysis of membership sharing problem in digital subscription services

Authors: Jianwen Xiang, Jing Tian, Kazuhiro Ogata, Kokichi Futatsugi, Akira Mori

Addresses: Common Platform Software Research Laboratories, NEC Cooperation, 2 11 5 Shibaura, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 108 8557, Japan; Graduate School of Information Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), 1 1 Asahidai, Nomi, Ishikawa 923 1292, Japan; Center for Service Research, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1 18 13 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 101 0021, Japan. ' Graduate School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), 1 1 Asahidai, Nomi, Ishikawa 923 1292, Japan. ' Graduate School of Information Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), 1 1 Asahidai, Nomi, Ishikawa 923 1292, Japan. ' Graduate School of Information Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), 1 1 Asahidai, Nomi, Ishikawa 923 1292, Japan. ' Center for Service Research, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1 18 13 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 101 0021, Japan

Abstract: A common problem to current digital subscription services is how to prevent membership (e.g. account and password) sharing beyond authorised consumers. Unlike traditional subscription services such as wired phone examples, sharing is much more popular in a digital world due to the access of information goods is typically portable and the identifications can be easily transferred. In this article, we first present a formal game-theoretic analysis of the sharing problem, and then propose an incentives-based secrets protection system (IBSPS) so as to encourage consumers to keep their memberships private rather than to share them among friends. The analysis on user|s behaviour and producer|s revenue management with IBSPS is presented so as to achieve a win-win game between them. Finally, a proposal on conjoint analysis of user behaviours is presented to further verify the effectiveness and efficiency hypotheses of IBSPS.

Keywords: DRM; digital rights management; e-commerce; electronic commerce; game theory; revenue management; membership sharing; digital subscription services; authorisation; incentives-based secrets protection; security; privacy; user behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRM.2009.027388

International Journal of Revenue Management, 2009 Vol.3 No.3, pp.284 - 306

Published online: 21 Jul 2009 *

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