Personal Audio LLC says that podcasters everywhere need to pay royalties on an idea it generated from its failed “Magazines on Tape” business.


Personal Audio LLC has recently become one of the more well-known “patent trolls” due to its broad claims to owning basic podcasting technology.

The company has filed lawsuits in East Texas, claiming that its patents on “episodic content” technology, which stem from founder Jim Logan’s failed “Magazines on Tape” business, entitle it to royalties from podcasters large and small.
That got the company special attention from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which crowdfunded a challenge to the Personal Audio patents. EFF asked donors to help raise $30,000 to file an “inter partes review” at the US Patent and Trademark Office. That goal was quickly surpassed, and EFF ultimately received about $80,000 from more than 1,300 donors upset about the “podcasting patent.”
In January, Personal Audio sent a subpoena to EFF, demanding the full list of donor names. It believes some of those names are connected to companies it has sued in Texas. Those include NBC, CBS, and Fox, as well as the HowStuffWorks podcast (Discovery Channel), Ace Broadcasting (which produces Adam Carolla’s podcast), and a smaller Internet radio company called TogiNet.

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