Episode 177: Podcasting Under Attack

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A lawsuit filed in a small Texas town is taking aim at the entire genre of podcasting. A company called Personal Audio, an entity founded in 1996 that is yet to produce a single product, owns a patent on ‘disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence.’ Essentially, Personal Audio argue that they invented podcasting back in 1996. Now through the targeting of podcast pioneers such as Adam Carolla, Marc Maron, and others, their litigation has the potential to make podcasting impossible for those unable to pay licensing fees

Personal Audio has been labelled as the quintessential ‘patent troll’ – that is, a ’non-operating entity…who owns or buys patents for the sole purpose of suing companies or individuals they claim to be infringing on their patents. As Attorney Daniel Nazer argues, “Personal Audio hasn’t produced podcasts, they haven’t done anything to contribute to podcasts as we know them today. They’re really asking for a cut when they did nothing.”

Whilst Personal Audio has sent demand letters to a number of well-known podcasters, currently they have only sued Adam Carolla, the host of ‘the most downloaded show on the entire Internet‘, The Adam Carolla Show. The cost of Adam’s legal defense of this action is estimated to be in the $1.5-2 million range.

You can contribute to the ‘Save Our Podcasts Legal Defense Fund’ at this link. For more on the issue, click here to download today’s podcast.

Smells Like Human Spirit is a DAILY podcast that covers society, culture, and everything in between! Previous guests include Professor Noam Chomsky, Lee Camp, Michael Ruppert and many others…


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