Several weeks ago, I posted a link to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast where he urges his listeners to support the Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act, a pending bipartisan bill that would force patent trolls to pay defendants’ attorney’s fees in unsuccessful litigation.
This week, NPR’s Planet Money team discusses patent law and the patenting of podcasts. Here is a description of the story:
Back in the nineties, Jim Logan started a company called Personal Audio. The concept was simple — people could pick out magazine articles they liked on the internet, and his company would send them a cassette tape of those articles being read out loud. The cassette tapes didn’t catch on like Jim hoped, but he had bigger dreams for the idea behind them.
He dreamed that one day you wouldn’t need a cassette player, you would just be able to hear smart people talking about whatever subject you wanted, and that audio would be magically downloaded to a device of your choice. He says he dreamed of podcasting as we know it today.
Now Jim Logan did not create the technology to podcast. He himself is not a modern-day podcaster. But he did get a patent on that big dream of downloading personalized audio, and he claims to have the patent on podcasting.
On today’s show, he says all the people out there podcasting today, owe him money.