Who owns the patent on podcasting?

James Logan believes the internet owes him a lot of money. He says he invented the podcast, owns the patent, and wants podcasters to pay up. Critics call him a patent troll. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

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The podcast has become an integral part of today's media ... but who invented the podcast? American Jim Logan says he holds the patent and he's suing a list of companies for compensation. But his critics say he's a Patent Troll.

"Hi! I'm small business owner Adam Carolla. I'm standing in this studio. I built this studio. Actually we all kind of built this studio. Because you guys supported me in this podcast. Unfortunately there are guys called patent trolls. They buy up patents and they use them to get money from businesses. Guess what? We are going to circle the wagons band together and come out throwing punches."

Adam Carolla, from his podcast "The Adam Carolla Show"

Adam Carolla says his show is the most downloaded podcast in the world. The target of the punches he wants to throw is Personal Audio LLC -- a company that claims it owns the patent for podcasting. It is suing Adam Carolla along with the Discovery Channel, NBC, CBS, and Fox, and a small Internet radio company called TogiNet.

As part of our series Eye on The Media, we're looking at this case and its potential implications for podcasting.


  • Daniel Nazer is part of the team fighting this patent case. He is a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an American civil liberties group. Daniel Nazer was in San Francisco.

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An early CBC experiment of delivering radio programming on the internet was launched in December of 1993 and included samples of CBC Radio programs including Quirks & Quarks, an episode of the radio variety show Basic Black, sample segments from Sunday Morning, Christmas stories read by Fireside Al, and Ideas of Canada, a documentary about Canada.


Have thoughts you want to share on podcasting?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Josh Bloch.

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