n. An online retailing scheme that encourages the free and widespread distribution of digital files that can only be opened under a restricted set of circumstances.
Superdistribution tracks and enforces usage rather than possession and is generally recognized as the best approach to selling digital property (digital versions of text, data, knowledge, pictures, music, videos, etc.) on the Internet.
—“TragoeS Releases New Version of RightsMarket,” Information Today, January 01, 1999
1989 (earliest)
Now I believe that 'superdistribution' will be the most interesting and important issue in the field of personal computing in the foreseeable future. Superdistribution is a way of distributing programs, using a tamper-resistant module to keep track of usage rights and billing charges….My method uses digital detection and has a system architecture — thus, I named it 'superdistribution.'
—Ryoichi Mori, “What Lies Ahead,” Byte, January 01, 1989
Superdistribution's restrictions include opening the file only on a single computer; opening the file a limited number of times; and allowing the file to be opened only after a payment has been processed.
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