The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization long committed to protecting and fighting for digital rights, is looking for help to save podcasting. Personal Audio LLC has filed a number of lawsuits over the past few months and is asserting a patent on podcasting. The company has also sent letters to some podcasters demanding financial compensation for use of their technology.
The EFF is taking action to challenge Personal Audio’s claim, but are asking for help to do so. According to an EFF release: “To do this, we need to find publications from before October 2, 1996 that disclose similar or identical ideas (this also known as prior art). The best prior art will include publications describing early versions of podcasting or any other kind of episode distribution over the Internet.”
Since podcasting is an integral part of fandom for many and because it is likely that examples of prior art could be drawn from fandom circles, we’re boosting the call. The EFF has a long history of working in the best interests of fans (including their recent work on behalf of fans who lost files as a part of the Megaupload shutdown).
If you know of any examples of prior art in this case, please submit them at the EFF’s Ask Patents page or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read the full EFF blog post for more information.