THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF) has confirmed that a patent troll threatening to sue anyone for making a podcast, which it claimed was an infringement of its patent, has been vanquished.
Personal Audio was granted a patent way back in 1996 for 'disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialised sequence'.
After pumping a shed load of money ($1.6m) into making an audio player and failing to come up with anything tangible, it decided to go into the trolling business and successfully sued Apple for making downloadable playlists and went on to sue companies including CBS and NBC.
However, EFF has confirmed that it has been able to find previous examples of similar technology, citing examples including Carl Malamud's weekly online show which is generally recognised as the first podcast. This predates the patent, thus invalidating it by several years.
James Logan, founder of Personal Audio told Slashdot back in 2013: "Personal Audio, LLC is a holding company. That is, we own property and our main activities relate to earning a return on that property. Now, it just so happens that our property consists of patents—not real estate, artwork, or copyrights—and that has apparently put us on the wrong side of the patent debate in the eyes of some people"
He goes on to argue that he deserves the patent for "trying" to create the product and continues to justify his company's role of sitting back and letting the money roll in.
He then proceeds to offer absolutely no advice on how to legally licence his patent. He does then assure people that he won't go after them if… well, basically, they don't have any money.
"…the cost of negotiating and setting up a patent license is not trivial. As such, it does not make sense for us to deal with hobbyists, non-commercial ventures, and small entities. The economics of it would be prohibitive.
"As such, we will be focusing on the largest users of our technology and those that collect significant revenues from ads placed on their podcasts or episodic video content, or who gain commercial value from that content in other ways. Finding good information on this score can be challenging, however, so we can't be certain that our efforts are always perfectly aligned with our strategy."
Interestingly, despite claiming to invented podcasting after it was already invented, he also claims not to be a patent troll as he was doing it before the term arose. I mean… just… wow.
What's even more amazing - these quotes, and the whole interview which reads like Donald Trump trying to justify molestation charges, are actually hosted on the Personal Audio website.
Of course, the EFF's further enforcement of the 2015 ruling means that James "Hanneman" Logan has lost his piggy-bank and might have to do some work for a change, so there's still the chance of him taking it to the Supreme Court.
Perhaps a better use of his time would be to get a job at Apple as head of "inventing things that already exist and saying the change everything".
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