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(19) 



J 



(12) 



Europaisches Patentamt 
European Patent Office 
Off ice europeen des brevets (11) EP 0 989 554 A1 

EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION 



(43) Date of publication: 

29.03.2000 Bulletin 2000/13 

(21) Application number: 99118542.2 

(22) Date of filing: 20.09.1999 



(51) IntCI 7 : G11B 20/00, G11B20/12, 
G06F1/00, G06F 17/30, 
G07G 1/00, G07F7/02 



(84) 


Designated Contracting States: 


• Obata, Masayuki 




AT BE CH CY DE DK ES Fl FR GB GR IE IT LI LU 


Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo (JP) 




MCNLPTSE 


• Sako, Yoichiro 




Designated Extension States: 


Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo (JP) 




AL LT LV MK RO SI 


• Ito, Shuichi 
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo (JP) 


(30) 


Priority: 22.09.1998 JP 26848698 


(74) Representative: 


(71) 


Applicant: SONY CORPORATION 


Melzer, Wolfgang, Dipl.-lng. et al 




Tokyo (JP) 


Patentanwalte 
Mitscherlich & Partner, 


(72) 


Inventors: 


Sonnenstrasse 33 


• 


Inokuchi, Tatsuya 


80331 Munchen (DE) 




Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo (JP) 



(54) Recording medium, recording method and recording apparatus 



(57) The recording medium (1) having the write- 
once recording area in which any information can be 
recorded and the recorded information cannot be rewrit- 
ten is employed. A partial area of the write-once record- 
ing area is provided with the billing information 
recording area in which the billing information is 

fig. t 



sequentially recorded once, whereby it is possible to 
effectively prevent the wrong use when carrying out the 
off-line processing to bill by using the recording 
medium. 



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Description 

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 

Field of the Invention 5 

[0001] The present invention relates to a recording 
medium such as an optical disk or the like recordable of 
information, a recording method using this recording 
medium and a recording apparatus using the same, and 10 
particularly to a technique using a recording medium 
which has a write-once recording area that is nonrewri- 
table. 

Description of the Related Art is 

[0002] Systems of billing transaction include those 
which access a management center of billing informa- 
tion by on-line telephone or computer network, etc. to 
transact for billing and those which make the billing 20 
information to be stored in a magnetic recording 
medium such as a telephone card or IC card, etc. to 
transact for billing in an off-line way. 
[0003] Those which process for billing in the off-line 
way are already widespread as a prepaid card, etc. 25 
because they are simple in system structure and supe- 
rior in mobility as compared with the on-line system. 
[0004] Each of these off-line systems using the pre- 
paid card, etc. employs a rewritable recording medium 
to process for billing, so that there is some fear that the 30 
billing information is falsified and actually considerable 
damage is also caused. For this reason, counter-meas- 
ures have been proposed, such that the billing informa- 
tion recorded in the recording medium is enciphered or 
a structure is incorporated that if anyone attempts to 35 
analyze recorded information by force, the information 
is then destroyed. However, the actual situation is that 
no effect has been obtained because of problems of its 
cost and convenience and a vicious spiral between the 
counter measure and wrong users is caused on account 40 
of rapid progress of deciphering technique. 

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 

[0005] An object of the present invention is to prevent 45 
effectively the illegal use when carrying out the off-line 
processing to bill. 

[0006] In order to achieve this object, the present 
invention employs for processing to bill a recording 
medium having the write-once recording area in which 50 
any information can be recorded, but the recorded infor- 
mation cannot be rewritten, and having, a billing infor- 
mation recording area in which the billing information is 
sequentially once recorded on a partial area of the 
write-once recording area. 55 
[0007] The write-once recording area of the recording 
medium makes it impossible to erase any information 
written into that, and therefore providing the billing infor- 



mation recording area in the write-once recording area 
makes difficult of the wrong use of billing information. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 
[0008] 

Figure 1 is a structural diagram showing an exam- 
ple of the structure of a recording/reproducing 
apparatus for the recording medium according to 
an embodiment of the present invention; 
Figures 2A to 2D are each an explanatory diagram 
showing an example of data structure on the 
recording medium according to an embodiment of 
the present invention; 

Figure 3 is an explanatory diagram showing an 
example of data structure ( an example of data 
structure of a packet by the track-at-once method) 
on the recording medium according to an embodi- 
ment of the present invention; 
Figure 4 is an explanatory diagram showing an 
example of data structure ( an example of data 
structure of a packet by the variable length packet 
method ) on the recording medium according to an 
embodiment of the present invention; 
Figure 5 is an explanatory diagram showing an 
example of data structure ( an example of data 
structure of a packet by the fixed length packet 
method) on the recording medium according to an 
embodiment of the invention; and 
Figure 6 is an explanatory diagram showing an 
example of data structure ( an example of data 
structure of link blocks) on the recording medium 
according to an embodiment of the present inven- 
tion. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODI- 
MENTS 

[0009] An embodiment of the present invention will be 
described below with reference to the accompanying 
drawings. 

[001 0] In the present embodiment, the present inven- 
tion is applied to a recording medium having a write- 
once recording area in which recorded information can- 
not be rewritten. In this case, an optical disk referred to 
as a CD-R is used as the recording medium having the 
write-once recording area. First of all, a recording for- 
mat of the CD-R will be described. This format is such 
that described in a standard document called an orange 
book. 

[0011] Data structure of the CD-R will be described 
below. Figure 2 shows the data structure on the CD-R. 
Referring to Figure 2A, in the innermost peripheral por- 
tion close to a disk center 100 is provided a PCA ( 
Power Calibration Area ) 101 indicating a light quantity 
adjustment area. The PCA 101 has a test area for 
adjusting the light quantity of an optical beam during 



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recording and a count area for recording the state of use 
of the test area. 

[001 2] Adjacent to the PCA 1 01 in the outer peripheral 
direction from the disk center 100 is provided a PMA ( 
Program Memory Area ) 102 indicating a program area. 
On this PMA 102 is recorded the state of use of the pro- 
gram area of CD-R. Specifically, start address informa- 
tion and end address information of data recorded at a 
track unit are recorded in a manner to repeat a plurality 
of times. 

[0013] Adjacent to the PMA area in the outer periph- 
eral direction from the disk center are provided a plural- 
ity of sessions 103, 104 and 105. The respective 
sessions 103, 104, 105 have in the outer peripheral 
direction from the disk center 100 lead-in areas 106, 
109, 112, program areas 107, 110, 113 and lead-out 
areas 108, 111, 114. In the lead-in areas 106, 109, 112 
are recorded data of index information of signals 
recorded in the program areas 107, 110, 1 13 as TOC ( 
Table of Contents ) 1 1 5, 1 16, 1 1 7 in a manner to repeat 
a plurality of times. 

[0014] Each session is recorded sequentially toward 
the outer periphery direction from the disk center 100. 
For example, the session 3 of 105 becomes recordable 
only when the lead-in and lead-out areas 109, 111 in the 
session 2 of 104 have been recorded to complete the 
session 2. At the same time, the session 2 of 104 
becomes impossible of additional recording. 
[001 5] Specific contents of the TOCs 1 15, 1 1 6, 1 1 7 
are as follows. The TOCs 115, 116, 117 will begin at 
starting times of the lead-in areas 106, 109, 112, 
respectively Within TOCs 115, 116, 117 each item is 
repeated three times. The completed TOCs 115, 116, 
1 1 7 are repeated continuously within the lead-in areas 
106, 109, 112. 

[0016] On the program areas 107, 110, 113 are 
recorded audio data and the like. Data structure of the 
session 103 is shown in Figure 2B. The program area 
107 is given track numbers TNOs depending on the 
number of recorded data, as shown in Figure 2B. In this 
example, three data tracks 118, 119, 120 are provided 
in one session. Each of tracks 1 18, 1 19, 120 is made up 
of two areas distinguished by an index. Data structure of 
the track 1 18 is shown in Figure 2C. The track 118 has, 
as shown in Figure 2C, a TD ( Track Descriptor) 121 for 
giving track information and a packet 123 which is a 
data unit smaller than the track 118. Within the TD 121 
also is recorded the same information in a manner to 
repeat a plurality of times. 

[001 7] Specific contents of the TD 1 21 are as follows. 
The TD contains information on the track attribute of 
user data 122. The track attribute means three kinds of 
track recording method, i.e. a track-at-once method, a 
fixed length packet method and a variable length packet 
method as well as a packet size and so on. To write into 
the TD the same information is repeated for two or more 
seconds within this area. 

[0018] Data structure of the packet 123 is shown in 



Figure 2D. At the head of the packet 123 is provided a 
link block area 124. This link block area 124 forms a 
connecting portion to a previous packet together with a 
run-in area 125. This example shows the fixed length 

5 packet method in which a length of the packet is fixed. 
Between the run-in area 125 and a run-out area 126 is 
sandwiched a user data area 127. These run-in area 
125 and run-out area 126 are guard areas on which no 
data can be recorded. 

10 [0019] Next, the recording method will be described. 
Figure 3 shows the data structure of packet according to 
the track-at-once method. An area whose index is "00" 
is a TD 160. In the TD 160 recorded is information indi- 
cating that a packet 162 is recorded using the track-at- 

15 once method. An area whose index is "01" is a record- 
ing area of user data 161 . Link blocks 163 and 164 are 
buffer zones. 

[0020] Figure 4 shows the data structure of packet 
according to the variable length method. An area whose 
20 index is "00" is a TD 1 70. In the TD 1 70 recorded is 
information indicating that a packet 172 is recorded 
using the variable length method. An area whose index 
is "01 " is a recording area of user data 1 71 . The packet 

1 72 has an arbitrary number of blocks equal to or more 
25 than eight blocks ( user data is one block ). Link blocks 

1 73 and 174 are buffer zones. 

[0021] Figure 5 shows the data structure of packet 
according to the fixed length packet method. An area 
whose index is "00" is a TD 180. In the TD 180 there are 

30 recorded information indicating that a packet 182 is 
recorded using the fixed length method as well as a 
number of blocks in the packet length. The packet 
length means the number of blocks of user data within a 
single packet. An area whose index is "01" is a record- 

35 ing area of user data 181. The user data 181 is com- 
prised of the number of blocks in the packet length 
which is recorded in the TD 180. Link blocks 183 and 
184 are buffer zones. 

[0022] Figure 6 shows the data structure of link blocks. 

40 The link blocks are comprised of seven blocks in total, 
one block of a link block area 191 , four blocks of a run- 
in area 192 and two blocks of a run-out area 193. This 
data structure of link blocks shows that the link blocks of 
the current packet are the link block area 191 and the 

45 run-in area 1 92, and the link blocks of the packet imme- 
diately before the current packet by one are the run-out 
area 193. 

[0023] As concerns the method of recording on the 
track, any one method of the track-at-once method 

50 shown in Figure 3, the variable length packet method 
shown in Figure 4, and the fixed length packet method 
can be selected at each track. The selected method is 
described in the TD. Moreover, the lead-in area and 
lead-out area are handled as one track and the record- 

55 ing method on these areas is limited only to the track-at- 
once method. 

[0024] As one of methods for writing once, i.e. for 
recording additional data within the program area of the 



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EP 0 989 554 A1 



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CD-R constructed in this manner, there is a track write- 
once operation in which data is written once by the track 
unit. 

[0025] In the case of performing the track write-once 
operation, data in the PMA area is read out to detect an 
area where data is not recorded within the program area 
on the optical disk, i.e. a nonrecorded area, on which 
nonrecorded area data is written once in a unit of track. 
[0026] Furthermore, there is a case where data is writ- 
ten once in a unit of packet which is a unit of data 
smaller than the track unit. The data write-once opera- 
tion carried out in the packet unit is also called an intra- 
track write-once operation. In this case, information on 
the start address and end address of the track is previ- 
ously recorded in the PMA area so that the track may be 
formed by an arbitrary number of packets. However, 
when the last track is in the open state, that is, the end 
address of track is not decided, the end address of track 
is regarded as the last end of user data recordable area 
of the disk and is not recorded in the PMA. In the intra- 
track write-once operation, data is continuously 
recorded in sequence from the first packet in the track. 
After this data recording operation is interrupted, data is 
again recorded from an address next to that of the last 
recorded data. 

[0027] In the present embodiment, the CD-R having 
the structure as described above is used for the 
processing to record the billing information. Specifically, 
a part of the write-once area of CD-R being the record- 
ing medium recordable ( writable once ) of data is 
defined as the billing information recording area, in 
which area the billing information is recorded 
[0028] The billing information is recorded, for exam- 
ple, using the above described fixed length packet 
recording method. First of all, a data vacant area ( non- 
recorded area) for processing to bill is defined on the 
disk. Specifically, for example, a predetermined track is 
reserved ( i.e. track information is registered in the PMA 
area, but in fact the track is not written) and that track is 
defined as the billing information recording area so that 
a size of the area for processing to bill may be fixed. 
Alternatively, by utilizing the last end of recordable area 
of the disk, that last end area may be defined as the 
fixed billing information recording area. However, the 
billing information recording area need not necessarily 
be a continuous area on the medium ( on the disk ). 
[0029] Suppose now that, for example, eighty thou- 
sand blocks of vacant areas are set on the disk for the 
billing information recording area. These eighty thou- 
sand blocks correspond, according to the CD-R format, 
to an area for recording a digital audio signal of frames 
for seventeen minutes forty-six seconds and fifty 
Assuming that a fixed packet whose packet length is 
one block is recorded on this area, because the total 
number of packets is 80000/(1 + 7) = 10000, that area is 
set as such that ten thousand packets can be recorded. 
So, if one packet is compared to one billing unit, e.g. 
one yen to assume a recorded portion of the billing 



information recording area to be a spent amount of 
money and a nonrecorded portion thereof to be the bal- 
ance, it will then be possible to process for billing of ten 
thousand yen. 

5 [0030] Figure 1 shows an example of the structure of 
recording/reproducing apparatus for a CD-R which is 
provided with the billing information recording area in 
this way. A disk (CD-R) 1 , in which the billing information 
recording area is set, is driven to rotate by a spindle 

10 motor 2, thus causing an optical pickup 3 to reproduce 
from each track and record onto each track. The repro- 
duced signal by the optical pickup 3 from the disk is sub- 
jected to a demodulation processing for reproduction by 
a demodulation processor 4 and then processed to 

15 extract the reproduced data by a reproduced data proc- 
essor 5. The extracted reproduced data is then proc- 
essed to be output by a data input/output processor 6 
and is then output from an output terminal 7 as data of 
predetermined format. 

20 [0031] Incoming data on an input terminal 8 is deter- 
mined by the data input/output processor 6 that it is to 
be handled by this apparatus and then processed to be 
recorded by a recorded data processor 9. The proc- 
essed data is further processed to be modulated for 

25 recording by a modulation processor 10 and the modu- 
lated signal is then supplied to the optical pickup 3 for 
processing to carry out the recording onto a target track. 
[0032] In this connection, the reproduction processing 
and recording processing are arranged to be executed 

30 under the control of a controller 1 1 which is a system 
controller of this apparatus. To this controller 1 1 is con- 
nected a key input device 1 2, thus causing the controller 
1 1 to execute processing based on user's key opera- 
tion. Also, a display device 13 for displaying results 

35 processed by the controller 11 is connected thereto, 
thereby allowing various displays with numerals, char- 
acters and the like to be displayed under the control of 
controller 1 1 . Furthermore, the controller 1 1 is arranged 
so that, when the optical disk 1 installed in this appara- 

40 tus is such one as has the billing information recording 
area, it can control the processing to bill through a billing 
processor 14 which inputs and outputs specific billing 
data. 

[0033] Where the CD-R having the billing information 
45 recording area is installed as the optical disk 1 to be 
installed in this recording/reproducing apparatus, the 
optical pickup 3 reproduces information on the billing 
information recording area under the control of control- 
ler 1 1 and from the recorded state of billing information 
so recording area the balance established on the optical 
disk is decided through the billing processor 14, thus 
causing the display device 1 3 to display the balance, for 
example. Specifically, the controller 11 decides an area 
set for the billing information recording area through the 
55 billing processor 14 and reproduces the billing informa- 
tion recorded in the decided billing information record- 
ing area. The billing processor 14 measures the number 
of blocks recorded in the billing information recording 



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area and decides the balance from the number of blocks 
to make the display device 1 3 to display it using the con- 
troller 11. 

[0034] When it is arranged, for example, that the 
eighty thousand blocks (ten thousand packets) are pre- 
pared for the billing information recording area to proc- 
ess for billing of ten thousand yen, as described above, 
if no information is recorded at all in this area, the bal- 
ance is then determined to be ten thousand yen and if a 
number of recorded blocks are detected, the balance is 
then determined to be an amount of money which is 
obtained by subtracting the number of blocks in yen 
from ten thousand yen. 

[0035] When a user confirms an amount of money dis- 
played on the display device 13 and makes by the key 
in-put device 12 an operation to spend some amount of 
money of the balance, the controller 1 1 controls the bill- 
ing processor 14 to allow the use of the apparatus for 
the input amount of money, causes the billing processor 
14 to use the number of blocks corresponding to the 
spent amount of money on the billing information 
recording area of the optical disk 1 to record the infor- 
mation on spending the amount of money, and causes 
the display device 13 to display the balance. In this 
case, for example, log information relating to billing utili- 
zation is recorded on the billing information recording 
area. In other words, log information on the billing utili- 
zation such as " when, how much, what, and how is it 
purchased" is recorded. Alternatively, only a fact that the 
billing of that amount of money is carried out may simply 
be recorded. 

[0036] By processing to bill in this way, it is possible to 
process for billing using the CD-R being the write-once 
medium in which the recorded information cannot be 
erased so as to prevent effectively the wrong use. Spe- 
cifically, in case of the present example, "a size of non- 
recorded portion of the billing information recording 
area" of the disk is equal to "the balance" ( or "a size of 
recorded portion of the billing information recording 
area" as equal to "the spent amount of money" ) and so 
it is impossible to reduce the spent amount of money 
because the recorded portion cannot be erased physi- 
cally even though anyone trys to falsify the amount of 
money. Even if anyone trys to write something into the 
billing information recording area by force, only a reduc- 
tion of the balance will thereby result, or only a loss will 
result. In short, it is physically impossible to make mali- 
cious falsification of the billing information. 
[0037] By using the recording medium of the present 
example in this manner, it is possible to build up the bill- 
ing processing system which enables the off-line 
processing at low cost without any special processing 
such as enciphering the billing information, making use 
of the physical property of irreversibility of the recording 
area of the medium. 

[0038] In addition, the size ( the number of blocks) of 
the billing information recording area need not be made 
corresponding directly to an amount of money. Instead, 



for example, it may be arranged that the spent amount 
of money ( or the balance) is recorded as data, e.g. on 
the user block of packet in the billing information record- 
ing area and then whenever money is spent, the spent 

5 amount of money is sequentially written. Even when 
processed in this way, because the already recorded 
portion cannot be erased, it is impossible to falsify the 
recorded portion. Even though new data in which the 
spent amount of money is wrongly reduced is written, 

10 because all the records remain in the billing information 
recording area on the medium, checking the records in 
turn will make it possible to easily detect that a wrong 
processing takes place. 

[0039] Moreover, when the above described log infor- 

15 mation is recorded on the billing information recording 
area, the managing side of the billing system can grasp 
the use state of this system by each user by collecting 
the log information to analyze it later. Furthermore, by 
arranging to record such log information, instead of so- 

20 called prepaid system in which a payment of a certain 
amount of money is required at the stage when the 
recording medium is distributed to the user, it is possible 
to construct a system in which, after money was spent, 
a settlement of the amount of money is carried out at 

25 some stage based on the log information recorded on 
the billing information recording area of the medium. 
[0040] In addition, the off-line billing system is gener- 
ally weak at an illegal act in which recorded signals in 
the medium is whole transferred to another cheap avail- 

30 able medium. However, in case of the write-once 
recording medium, it is impossible to transfer whole 
unless it is in a completely nonrecorded condition. Even 
if it is such a nonrecorded medium, by buring in advance 
special information only in the medium for billing and cir- 

35 culating it, the above illegal act can also be prevented. 
[0041] Although, in the above description, the CD-R 
installed in recording/reproducing apparatus is used 
only for processing to bill, it may be arranged that infor- 
mation on contents forming objects of billing is before- 

40 hand recorded on the same recording medium so that 
the contents and billing information may simultaneously 
be provided to the user with a single sheet of medium. 
For example, if an enciphered application software is 
recorded on the first session of the disk and the second 

45 session of the same disk is defined as the billing infor- 
mation recording area, the processing to bill for the 
application software of the first session can be carried 
out by using that disk only. 

[0042] In this case, if a so-called hybrid disk is 
50 employed that a "read-only portion" in which data is pre- 
viously recorded by the so-called stamping process 
when manufacturing the disk and a " recordable once 
portion" used for the billing information recording area 
can both be intermingled on the same medium, it will 
55 then be possible to provide the software effectively and 
process the billing required when using the software. 
For example, if the first session is formed by the stamp- 
ing process and the second session is formed as the 



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recordable once portion, it is possible to manufacture it 
at nearly the same manufacturing cost as an optical disk 
like a usual CD ( compact disk), etc. and make mass 
production of the disk compatible with secure process- 
ing to bill. 5 
[0043] Although, in the above described mode for car- 
rying out the invention, the processing to bill is per- 
formed using the optical disk called the CD-R for the 
recording medium, other recording media may be used. 
In other words, if a recording medium has at least par- 
tially the recordable once area in which recorded data 
cannot be rewritten, any such recording medium can be 
used. Moreover, the recording medium need not be dis- 
kform in shape like the aforesaid CD-R. For example, a 
cardform optical recording medium may be employed. 
Additionally a solid memory such as One Time ROM in 
which once recorded data cannot be altered may also 
be used for the recording medium. 
[0044] The present invention is applicable to various 
billing processing systems to which the recording 
medium is utilized. It is applicable to various modes of 
billing system, e.g. not only for processing to bill for the 
use of pay software of computer as well as software of 
video program, audio program, etc. but also for process- 
ing to pay an audience fee of a pay channel by providing 
receivers for various broadcast such as satellite broad- 
cast with a function to record/reproduce on or from the 
recording medium according to the present embodi- 
ment. 

[0045] According to the recording medium of the first 
aspect of the present invention, the recording method 
which is applied to this recording medium of the sixth 
aspect of the present invention and the recording appa- 
ratus of the eleventh aspect of the present invention in 
which the recording medium is installed, by using the 
write-once recording area on the recording medium for 
the recording area of billing information, no information 
written into the write-once recording area can be erased 
physically, thus making difficult of the wrong use of bill- 
ing information. Therefore, the off-line processing to bill 
using the recording medium becomes satisfactory one 
preventing effectively the wrong use by simply process- 
ing to write in turn the billing information. 
[0046] According to the recording medium of the sec- 
ond aspect of the present invention, the recording 
method of the seventh aspect of the present invention 
which is applied to this recording medium, and the 
recording apparatus of the twelfth aspect of the present 
invention in which the recording medium is installed, 
because the billing information is such on the balance 
which reduces by the billing from the amount of money 
initially set up, such a wrong use that increase the bal- 
ance will be difficult, thus enabling the wrong use to be 
effectively prevented. 

[0047] According to the recording medium of the third 
aspect of the present invention, the recording method of 
the eighth aspect of the present invention which is 
applied to this recording medium, and the recording 



apparatus of the thirteenth aspect of the present inven- 
tion in which the recording medium is installed, because 
the billing information recording area is comprised of a 
predetermined number of blocks and the number of 
blocks on which the billing information is not yet 
recorded has a definite relation with the balance, the 
balance is readily decided and besides, when anyone 
trys to write some information into the billing information 
recording area on purpose to wrongly use, the balance 
will only reduce, which functions so as to prevent the 
wrong use as a result. 

[0048] According to the recording medium of the 
fourth aspect of the present invention, the recording 
method of the ninth aspect of the present invention 
which is applied to this recording medium, and the 
recording apparatus of the fourteenth aspect of the 
present invention in which the recording medium is 
installed, because the recording medium has the con- 
tents information recording area in which information on 
contents forming an object of billing of the billing infor- 
mation is previously recorded, the processing to bill 
when that contents information is used can prevent 
effectively the wrong use using the billing information 
recording area provided on the same recording 
medium. Thus, both of the distribution of the pay con- 
tents information using the recording medium and the 
processing to bill therefor can be carried out satisfacto- 
rily. 

[0049] According to the recording medium of the fifth 
aspect of the present invention, the recording method of 
the tenth aspect of the present invention which is 
applied to this recording medium, and the recording 
apparatus of the fifteenth aspect of the present inven- 
tion in which the recording medium is installed, because 
the billing information contains the log information on 
utilization being an object of billing, information on con- 
ditions of utilization to be the object of billing is simulta- 
neously recorded, so that a history of the utilization or 
the like can be seen from this log information and at the 
same time the utilization conditions can be later ana- 
lyzed based on the recorded log information, thus allow- 
ing the wrong use to be prevented more effectively. 
[0050] Having described preferred embodiments of 
the present invention with reference to the accompany- 
ing drawings, it is to be understood that the present 
invention is not limited to the above-mentioned embodi- 
ments and that various changes and modifications can 
be effected therein by one skilled in the art without 
departing from the spirit or scope of the present inven- 
tion as defined in the appended claims. 

Claims 

1. A recording medium (1) having a write-once record- 
ing area in which any information can be recorded, 
but the recorded information cannot be rewritten, 
comprising 



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25 



30 



35 



40 



45 



50 



6 



11 



EP 0 989 554 A1 



12 



a billing information recording area in which the 
billing information is sequentially once 
recorded, on a partial area of said write-once 
recording area. 

5 

2. A recording medium (1) according to Claim 1, 
wherein 

said billing information is information on a bal- 
ance which reduces by the billing from an w 
amount of money initially set up. 



of blocks corresponding to the spent amount of 
money is recorded. 

9. A recording method according to Claim 6, compris- 
ing the step of 

processing (5) to reproduce contents informa- 
tion which is recorded on other area of the 
same recording medium (1) when said billing 
information is recorded (9) on said billing infor- 
mation recording area. 



3. A recording medium (1) according to Claim 2, 
wherein 

15 

said billing information recording area is com- 
prised of a predetermined number of blocks 
and a number of blocks on which said billing 
information is not yet recorded has a certain 
relation with said balance. 20 



10. A recording method according to Claim 6, compris- 
ing the step of 

recording log information on utilization forming 
an object of billing on said billing information 
recording area in said processing. 

11. A recording apparatus, comprising 



4. A recording medium (1) according to Claim 1 , com- 
prising 

a contents information recording area on which 25 
contents information forming an object of billing 
of said billing information is previously 
recorded. 

5. A recording medium (1) according to Claim 1, 30 
wherein 



an estimating section (6, 11) for estimating a 
billing information recording provided in a write- 
once recording area in which recorded informa- 
tion cannot be rewritten from an installed 
recording medium (1) and 
a recording section (9, 14) for recording 
sequentially once said billing information on a 
nonrecorded portion of the billing information 
recording area estimated by said estimating 
section. 



said billing information contains log information 
on utilization forming an object of billing. 

35 

6. A recording method for a recording medium having 
a write-once recording area in which any informa- 
tion can be recorded, but the recorded information 
cannot be rewritten, comprising the steps of esti- 
mating (6, 11) a partial area of said write-once 40 
recording area to be a billing information recording 
area for recording the billing information, and 



12. A recording apparatus according to Claim 11, 
wherein 

said billing information which is recorded by 
said recording section is information on a bal- 
ance which reduces by the billing from an 
amount of spent money initially set up. 

13. A recording apparatus according to Claim 12, 
wherein 



processing (1 1 , 14) to record sequentially once 
said billing information on the estimated area. 45 

7. A recording method according to Claim 6, wherein 

said billing information processed to record is 
information on a balance which reduces by the so 
billing from an amount of money initially set up. 

8. A recording method according to Claim 7, wherein 

said balance is estimated from a number of 55 
non-recorded blocks in the area estimated to 
be said billing information recording area, and 
when the estimated balance is spent, a number 



said estimating section estimates the balance 
from a number of nonrecorded blocks in the 
area which is estimated to be said billing infor- 
mation recording area by said estimating sec- 
tion, and 

said recording section, when processing to 
spend the estimated balance is carried out, 
processes to record a number of blocks corre- 
sponding to the spent amount of money. 

14. A recording apparatus according to Claim 1 1 , com- 
prising 

a reproducing section (5) for reproducing con- 
tents information which is recorded on other 



7 



13 



EP 0 989 554 A1 



area of the same recording medium when said 
recording section records (9) said billing infor- 
mation on said billing information recording 
area. 

5 

15. A recording apparatus according to Claim 11, 
wherein 

said billing information recorded by said 
recording section contains log information on 10 
utilization forming an object of billing. 



8 



EP 0 989 554 A1 




9 



EP 0 989 554 A1 



1 08 Lead-Out Area 1 1 1 Lead-Out Area 



FIG. 2A 




103 Session 1 



106 Lead-in Area 

( 107 Program 
«J >l« s Area — „ 



2%% 



104 Session 2 



109 Lead- In Area 

Program 
Are a \U 



(110 Program 



105 Session 3 



112 Lead-in Area 

13 Prog 
^ Area 



( 113 Program 



■ ■ 




H 





1 

115 T0C 
/106 Lead-in Area 
f 118Track 



-y- j 

116 \ 117T0C 114 
T0C Lead-Out Area 

Lead-Out Area 

119 Track 120 Track 108 



FIG. 2B 



r 

115T0C 





121 TD 

( 122 User Data 
„ 












I 


1 





FIG. 2C 



ndex-00 



lndex=01 



122 User Data 

<, 



7 



iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 



121 TD 



FIG. 2D 



i 

123 Packet 



124 Link Block Area 

^125 Run-in Area 

( 127 User Data Area 
U*u 



126 Run-Out Area 



1 



1/^11111111111111111111111111111111^ 



10 



EP 0 989 554 A1 



CD 




u: 



11 



EP 0 989 554 A1 





12 



EP 0 989 554 A1 




13 



EP 0 989 554 A1 




14 



EP 0 989 554 A1 



European Patent 
Office 



EUROPEAN SEARCH REPORT 



Application Number 

EP 99 11 8542 



DOCUMENTS CONSIDERED TO BE RELEVANT 



Category 



Citation of document with indication, where appropriate, 
of relevant passages 



Relevant 
to claim 



CLASSIFICATION OF THE 
APPLICATION (lnt.CI.7) 



A,P 



line 55 * 
line 35 * 
line 3 * 



PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN 

vol . 1997, no. 05, 

30 May 1997 (1997-05-30) 

& JP 09 007039 A (KAIJ0 CORP), 

10 January 1997 (1997-01-10) 

* abstract * 

EP 0 430 646 A (ALCATEL BUSINESS SYSTEMS) 

5 June 1991 (1991-06-05) 

* abstract * 

* column 3, line 33 - column 4, line 5 * 

* column 5, line 1 - line 53 * 

EP 0 702 286 A (FUJITSU LTD) 
20 March 1996 (1996-03-20) 

* column 1, line 40 - column 2, 

* column 4, line 16 - column 5, 

* column 6, line 56 - column 8, 

* column 10, line 16 - column 11, line 2 * 

* column 12, line 18 - column 15, line 2 * 

* claims 10-16; figures 1,2,8,23 * 

PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN 
vol . 013, no. 355 (P-914), 
9 August 1989 (1989-08-09) 

6 JP 01 113959 A (TAKESHI MIZUNUMA;0THERS: 
01), 2 May 1989 (1989-05-02) 

* abstract * 

EP 0 942 417 A (SONY CORP) 

15 September 1999 (1999-09-15) 

* abstract * 
* 
* 
* 
* 
* 



column 
column 



1, line 37 
3, line 39 
column 5, 1 ine 32 
column 6, line 22 
claims 1,4,6-10 * 



column 2, 
line 44 * 
line 58 * 
line 39 * 



line 26 * 



The present search report has been drawn up for all claims 



I, 2,6,7, 

II, 12 



G11B20/00 

G11B20/12 

G06F1/00 

G06F17/30 

G07G1/00 

G07F7/02 



1,2,5-7, 
10-12,15 



1-15 



TECHNICAL FIELDS 
SEARCHED (lnt.CI.7) 



1,2,6,7, 
11 



G11B 



1,2,5-7, 
10-12,15 



Place of search 

THE HAGUE 



Date of completion of the search 

30 December 1999 



Examiner 

Schiwy-Rausch, G 



CATEGORY OF CITED DOCUMENTS 

X : particularly relevant If taken alone 

Y : particularly relevant if combined with another 

document of the same category 
A : technological background 
O : non-written disclosure 
P : intermediate document 



T : theory or principle underlying the invention 
E : earlier patent document, but published on, or 

after the filing date 
D : document cited in the application 
L : document cited for other reasons 

& : member of the same patent family, corresponding 
document 



15 



EP 0 989 554 A1 



ANNEX TO THE EUROPEAN SEARCH REPORT 

ON EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION NO. EP 99 11 8542 



This annex lists the patent family members relating to the patent documents cited in the above-mentioned European search report. 
The members are as contained in the European Patent Office EDP file on 

The European Patent Office is in no way liable for these particulars which are merely given for the purpose of information. 

30-12-1999 



Patent document 
cited in search report 



Publication 
date 



JP 09007039 



10-01-1997 



Patent family 
member(s) 



Publication 
date 



NONE 



EP 


0430646 


A 


05-06-1991 


DE 


69015592 


D 


09-02-1995 










DE 


69015592 


T 


20-07-1995 


EP 


0702286 


A 


20-03-1996 


JP 


8106382 


A 


23-04-1996 










CN 


1139781 


A 


08-01-1996 










US 


5737415 


A 


07-04-1998 



JP 01113959 A 02-05-1989 NONE 

EP 0942417 A 15-09-1999 JP 11259764 A 24-09-1999 



IT) 

I 
tr 

2 

p 

m For more details about this annex : see Official Journal of the European Patent Office, No. 1 2/82 



16