Anorak News | Company says it invented podcasting before podcasting was possible

Company says it invented podcasting before podcasting was possible

by | 28th, February 2013

CAN you claim to have invented something that technology enabled you to do? Did the first person to pilot a car invent driving? Sure you made the world’s first pencil, but he drew with it. That makes the artist the inventor, right? This is, of course, bonkers, but in the USA such things are debated in courts of law.

This month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it is to take on the genius who invented podcasting. Texas-based outfit Personal Audio LLC is suing a few big-name podcasts for breach of patent.

Dave Winer is someone who did have a hand in the creation of podcasting. He tweeted:

“How could a patent issued in 2012 cover podcasting, a technology that’s been around since 2001?”

You can read the Patent dated February 7 2012 here. Personal Audio say on their website:

The 1996 Personal Audio player incorporated a novel mechanism for automatically identifying and retrieving media files representing episodes in a series as those episodes became available. This mechanism was later widely adopted as the industry-standard technique called “podcasting.” The Personal Audio server stored a compilation file that described individual media files which represented episodes in a sequence. The compilation file was stored at a predetermined URL known to the Personal Audio player and was updated as new episodes became available. The client player could then fetch the current version of the compilation file from time to time when connected to the Internet, and download new episodes identified in the compilation file so that they could be played immediately on request, even when the client player was disconnected from the Internet.

But podcasting is what happens when you have a MP3 player and the ability to downloaded shows. How can that be owned?

Arstechnica once reported on the company that wanted to sue anyone who used scanners to, erm, scan documents. You see, they’d invented scanning. Sure, you could do it with a scanner and a computer, but they thought of it first. Look, they have a certificate. No pay up, or else…


Posted: 28th, February 2013 | In: Technology Comment | TrackBack | Permalink