EFF There are lots of patents out there claiming basic Internet functionalities or business practices, but some of them occasionally hit a nerve. That’s what happened with the so-called “podcasting patent,” a patent on “episodic content” owned by a company called Personal Audio LLC. That company says that inventor Jim Logan’s cassettes-by-mail business, which flopped in 1998, entitles him to a payment from every modern podcaster. Logan also has a patent on organizing playlists, which he has used to sue MP3 makers—including Samsung, which recently paid an undisclosed amount. Personal Audio has lodged cash demands against podcasters big and small.

The company sued CBS, NBC, Fox, and the HowStuffWorks podcast, and has threatened others. That led the Electronic Frontier Foundation to denounce the patent earlier this year.

If it could raise $30,000, EFF promised to file a petition attacking the patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office.     

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