A patent licensing company called Personal Audio LLC has claimed that it owns a patent to podcasting technology and has sent letters to a bunch of podcasters, requesting to be paid for the use of said technology. The patent itself is for an “apparatus for disseminating a series of episodes represented by media files via the Internet as said episodes become available,” which is incredibly vague and ridiculous. This represents a great threat to the booming comedy podcast scene, and industry leaders like Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Jesse Thorn, Joe Rogan, Kevin Smith, Dan Harmon, and Earwolf have all taken to Twitter to spread the word about the dangers of this situation.
Personal Audio sued Adam Carolla’s company ACE Broadcasting and HowStuffWorks.com over this same patent last month, but hopefully they stop with this parasitic bullshit there. If you are one of the estimated two million Americans who has their own podcast (that’s probably an inaccurate estimate) or are just a fan of this amazing medium, head on over to the Electronic Frontier Foundation so you can read up on the facts and get involved in this (sort of) important fight.