TROLLING FOR DOLLARS
If I had known obesity would be so common in 2014, I would have filed for patent if I had also known the patent system was so archaic and broken. Imagine heading to McDonalds with your bowling ball for a child and I hand you an envelope at the drive thru claiming that you infringed on my idea. “Hand over your fast food money, ass-munch, because I reserve the right to your son’s cellulite!”
Ok, so here’s the situation, a company based out of Texas (Not Texas Instruments) tried and failed to design a MP3 type player back in the mid 1990’s, opting instead to distribute their content via cassette. So they never successfully created the product or the software to operate it. So instead of getting a patent for a machine that doesn’t work, they were able to get one several years later that reads “A system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence” -http://fundanything.com/patenttroll.
for the purpose of claiming rights to podcasting…say what? Does that include music, news, entertainment and audio books that I download onto my iPod? Does this mean I have to listen to Abbey Road in shuffle mode or backwards? Is Metallica going to yell at me again? (I do love the new album though, Lars.) But how stupid and confusing does this whole thing sound? What If I go to the gym and start doing bicep curls? Does someone own the patent to that workout? I guess I’ll do bench press…nope, can’t do that either. Well now I’m depressed, at least Burger King is open.
I understand that patents were originally designed to protect the inventor, but the whole system, although very outdated when it comes to technology, was designed to have balance. For a brief period, the inventor has protection so that other people can’t make money off the invention, but in exchange, the inventor has to explain how their design works and after the patent expires, the idea returns to the general public, therefore restoring the balance and further encouraging future inventors and entrepreneurs.
Now the idea of a patent troll is that they generally offer no goods or services to the general public, they may call themselves a holding company, but usually they don’t hold any real estate, additional companies, stocks or other additional assets to be sold at a later date, their patent cleverly worded with the sole purpose of extorting other business of their hard earned money. All this passed by a judge who clearly doesn’t understand the technology field and its impact on the general public’s ability to earn a dollar. The patent is too broad and never should have been approved. For example, Coca-Cola can patent their own shade of red to protect the design of their label, but they can’t own red completely. Crayola would flip its s#&t!
Now what you normally hear in the sensationalist news of today is when Apple and Samsung sue one another for design infringements, but you never hear a thing when they settle out of court with a patent troll for an undisclosed amount of money. They feel it’s too much of a distraction so they just shell out theoretically six or seven figures to make these trolls go away.
Let’s get back to the idea of whole idea of podcasting. It’s major upside is that people don’t have to deal with the man, the terrestrial radio, the network TV, the left wing or right wing political agendas. The original “man” was the overtaxing by the British government on American colonies, then it became big business, now its non-practicing entities which are described as “a person or a company who owns or buys patents for the sole purpose of suing companies or in this case an individual they claim to be infringing on their patents. They do not undertake any usage of those patents themselves, rather their sole source of income comes from settlements they receive from threatening lawsuits and/or judgments they receive from actual lawsuits”.
Podcasting is one of the last few free avenues of entertainment and honest news. TV isn’t free, u pay over a hundred dollars per month just to afford Comedy Central and CNN, the other channels are filled with Kim Kardashian’s fat ass. And the cost of fighting patent trolls or non-practicing entities, the same as if you settled out of court, hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the case of Adam Carolla Vs Personal Audio…$1.5 million. How is this fair? What if these trolls win? After they extort profit-making podcasts with undisclosed settlements, they’ll most certainly turn their attention towards anyone with an RSS feed and an opinion. By allowing these extortionists to roam free legally, you are RAPING honest Americans of their entrepreneurial spirit!
And its not like podcasters are outlaws or criminals, they have sponsors, like Amazon, or Legal Zoom, Dollar Shave Club, ProFlowers, Stamps.com and so on. So even though the service to their listeners is free, they are still great for business because the listeners trust the products that are endorsed and end up using some of them. This isn’t “tent city” in LA, where we just set up a makeshift community and pay zero taxes. They’re not homeless people, podcasters work for a living and have hopes and dreams. But if they are paying out to a bunch of fat cat scumbag lawyers, then pack up the microphones and give them to the patent trolls, because they certainly earned them with their cassette player that doesn’t work.
Patent Trolls are less than a bug, they’re parasites. And my official comment to these parasites. Go f&$k yourselves. You will not win. Positive Sarcasm, OUT!
Adam Carolla. "Save Our Podcasts Legal Defense Fund." http://fundanything.com/patenttroll. Adam Carolla, 25 Mar 2014. Web. 25 May 2014. <http://fundanything.com/patenttroll>.
Kirby Ferguson. "Rise of The Patent Troll: Everything is a Remix"
Huge Thank you to Adam Carolla, Kirby Ferguson and many others.