A patent request filed by Apple last week points would allow fans to get digital autographs of an album download, eBook or other digital content. Like the old fashioned sharpie autograph, the e-signature would unique and be tied to the user’s specific digital copy. Included are cloud based authentication certificates.
Signing purchases offer a near-free method of rewarding fans and deepening the artist-to-fan connection. But that tradition has begun to disappear in the age of digital downloads.
While the new patent request focuses primarily on ebooks, according to Apple Insider, it is transferable to all digital formats including downloads. The filing includes several methods that would enable the digital autograph including both in-person and remotely.
The filing notes that an "autograph" can take the form of any other digital media fit for storage and display on a user's device," says reporter Mickey Campbell. "Apple For example, a photo with the author or a recorded soundbite can be clipped to the autograph page."