Jim Logan believes that every podcast ever made infringes on his patent. He claims that he invented podcasting with his company, Personal Audio, and that one of the audio patents he owns covers podcasting.
Logan describes his vision, which he came up with in the ‘90s, as an audio device that could “interact with the Internet and your preferences to pull down, to your personal player, all the personal stuff you wanted to listen to,” he told NPR. “Podcasts are how the world has gotten around to implementing those ideas.” The way Logan implemented them, for the record, was with cassette tapes of people reading magazine and newspaper articles out loud.
Logan has sent letters to several podcasters, accusing them of violating his patent. These include comedian Marc Maron, who runs the popular podcast WTF, and Jesse Thorn of Bullseye. And in some cases, Logan has gone beyond letters. He has sued CBS, NBC and The Adam Carolla Show.
Yesterday, the Obama administration called for reform of the way the legal system handles patents with a series of legislative proposals and executive orders. According to NPR, President Obama specifically asked for more protection for “end-users of products containing patented technology”—people like Maron, who just interviews celebrities in his garage, and isn’t using the patent to make a new product.
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