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Published on Nov 5, 2013
Podcasters like Adam Carolla thought they were entering into fairly safe territory when they started their shows online. There are no censors to offend, and no commercial interruption, unless you want there to be. But who would have expected that it was the very act of talking on the internet that would attract a massive lawsuit? A two bit con artist named James Logan, and his styrofoam front of a company, Personal Audio, have gone about shaking down podcasters for cash, or else face a protracted legal fight.
The strategy is called patent trolling, and it works by getting a flimsy or vague patent filing and then using it to sue actual companies. If it works, the patent troll gets a big pay day. If it doesn't work, all they've lost is the cost of a court filing because their lawyers only get paid when they win, and companies rarely countersue. James Logan's biggest payday came when he got Apple to cough up $8 million dollars for some crap Apple couldn't be bothered to argue over. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is challenging Personal Audio's patents, saying they are full of shiz, have nothing to do with podcasting or playlists, and James Logan is full of it.
Unfortunately, Apple and four other tech companies, RIM, Sony, Ericsson and Microsoft, have already figured out there's big profit to be made in spurious patent suits. Apple's been profiting from a completely BS patent on object oriented programming for years. Now the five companies have formed a super-troll, named Rockstar Consortium US LP. Rockstar's goal is to brutalize Google and take the competitiveness out of the smartphone market, or something. Will such a large and litigious patent trolling behemoth be too large an enemy for the EFF to take on? Lets hope not.
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