Daniel K. Lau wrote an anti-ideal paper . A tiny informative content is scattered amongst 22 (of 21 !) uninformative pages. The content is a solution to the following problem.
The ordinary CDs and DVDs, which can be played by ordinary players, are prone to illegal copying. The people who sell illegal copies do not pay royalties to the companies, which have copyright on the content of the CDs and DVDs. What is to be done ?
Daniel K. Lau describes a solution proposed by the company he works for. It is to encrypt the content of CD or DVD and thereby make it impossible to play on ordinary players. Now it can only be decrypted and played on a computer provided a permission from an internet server is received.
Daniel K. Lau claims that the solution was obtained by TRIZ, specifically by the use of SuField diagrams and one of 76 Standard Solutions. I disbelieved him and decided to search on the Internet for the methods of CDs/DVDs protection against copying with the help of encryption and authentication by a server.
I invoked Google and entered the following words: CD DVD copy protection encryption. Google returned me a plenty of sites from which I learned that encryption of CDs/DVDs and playing them on a computer is a very old idea ( see e.g. "CD/DVD protections" or "Starforce CD-R copy protection system"). Then I added two more words to the search keys - authentication and server - and Google returned me another bunch of sites from which I learned that authentication by an internet server in order to prevent copying is also not a new idea (see e.g. "The copy protection dilemma" or US Patent 6,681,212). SONY introduced authentication by an internet server in order to prevent use of illegal copies a while ago. Every original CD and DVD is sold with a secret key which is required to be submitted to the server for authentication every time a CD or DVD is played. (Here is how the idea is described at http://slashdot.org: "DVDs and CDs will be imprinted with unique serial numbers, and the PS2 will authenticate over a network connection before allowing playing." )
If there is something new in Mr. Lau solution as compared to the afore-mentioned ones, it is missing in the paper. As it stands now, Mr. Lau paper is yet another attempt to retroactively fit old solutions into TRIZ schemes. Poor knowledge of TRIZ did not allow him to do it well, however. I would not use SuField diagrams for this purpose. They require imagination of the reader to be stretched beyond the limits to comprehend what the solution and SuField diagrams have in common.
R E F E R E N C E S:
1. Daniel K. Lau, "TRIZ Development Model in China", The March 2005 issue of the TRIZ-journal.