Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Patent Issued For Podcasting

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the next-a-patent-on-the-eardrum dept.

Patents 150

pickens writes "The EFF is reaching out for help after a company called Volomedia got the Patent Office to grant them exclusive rights to 'a method for providing episodic media' that could threaten the community of podcasters and millions of podcast listeners. 'It's a ridiculously broad patent, covering something that many folks have been doing for many years,' writes Rebecca Jeschke. 'Worse, it could create a whole new layer of ongoing costs for podcasters and their listeners.' To bust this patent, EFF is looking for additional 'prior art' — evidence that the podcasting methods described in the patent were already in use (PDF) before November 19, 2003. 'In particular, we're looking for written descriptions of methods that allow a user to download pre-programmed episodic media like audio files or video files from a remote publisher, with the download occurring after the user subscribes to the episodes, and with the user continuing to automatically receive new episodes.'"

cancel ×

150 comments

Not sure (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173186)

Didn't Leo of TechTV do something like this using RealAudio back in the day?

Re:Not sure (2, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173218)

Are you sure you want this patent handed over to RealAudio?

Re:Not sure (1)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173292)

Prior Art doesn't give someone a patent or the right to patent. If RealAudio was doing this and publicly documented their process, nobody can patent their process, not even them.

Re:Not sure (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173340)

I don't think RealAudio liked what he was saying to do. This was before Podcasts. He basically told some of his listeners that they could "copy" his streaming audio with a software tool so they could listen later on an MP3 player. This might have been around 2001, but my memory is crap.

Re:Not sure (2, Informative)

dotHectate (975458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173338)

According to wikipedia Valve's Steam content delivery system was initially released on Sept 12, 2003. I didn't get it at first so I don't know what functions were available at the time - I seem to remember it being mainly used for updates - but it is definitely used to deliver "episodic" content now, particularly audio and video (interactive and otherwise). I can't imagine that Valve was the first to be doing this either.

Re:Not sure (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174264)

Hello. I have noticed you have made a mention of RealAudio in some way, shape, or form. As a member of teh intarnets, I am required to make at least one "Buffering" joke at the expense of RealMedia, no matter how much this situation has changed in the past ten to fifteen years.

To provide you with some backstory as to this joke, I will mention that I was, in fact, a child of the 80s and 90s. Like most such people, my mind is permanently stuck in that time period, because, as I am certain you are aware, everything was much much better back then. For instance, video games were harder, and thus better, in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, and it is my firm belief that the sole purpose of homebrew with modern consoles is to provide us with another vector of emulators so we can play Chrono Trigger for the eight thousandth time (as we all know, the eight thousandth time is the best), and that there is absolutely no reason why anyone should ever stop playing the Mega Man series non-stop. Also, cartoons were far better in the 90s, especially Transformers (heralded by our Lord and Savior, Optimus Prime, hallowed be his name), and said cartoons were in no possible way cynically-designed marketing ploys to sell cheap plastic toys, which were also awesome and I have them all and refuse to give them up.

As you can see, I enjoy my pathetic attempts to live in the past, as, following my cultural entrenchment there, that is all I have*. Therefore, I refuse to acknowledge any sort of external factors in RealMedia's historic buffering issues. Issues such as, but not limited to, the lack of proliferation of broadband internet access like we have today. Ergo, despite there not being any more problems with RealMedia than with other streaming media formats (in fact, some may say it is now far more reliable than many), it is so buried in my psyche and so desperately held on to as a reminder of a time long past when I was actually cool and popular that I must continue to make said jokes until such time as I die a bitter, broken man, missing out on life itself.

So, without further ado, I will state for the record that Leo may have done this back in the day, but after buffering, we only found out about it now.

Thank you, and good day to you.

*: As an amusingly ironic side note, I will delight in telling people older than I am to "get with the times" in any of a wide variety of ways.

Re:Not sure (2, Funny)

yamfry (1533879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174372)

Hello. I have noticed you have made a mention of RealAudio in some way, shape, or form. As a member of teh intarnets, I am required to make at least one "Buffering" joke at the expen -- [buffering...]

What?

Re:Not sure (3, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175174)

I have mod points, but alas there is no "+1 wait, what?" moderation available.

Re:Not sure (1)

aoteoroa (596031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174424)

Around 1999, 2000 we used to do an online radio show called MacShowLive. Every wednesday night we put together a show discussing new hardware, software and all things Mac related....it would stream live as the show was going on, and we archived each show so that people could download it later.... We long since stopped the show but I still have the hard drive from our BSD server, with all the shows archived.....That should probably count as prior art.

Re:Not sure (0, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174992)

How is "podcasting" any different than "shoutcasting"? I was doing shoutcasts back in the last century!

Re:Not sure (2, Informative)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175364)

Recorded vs live. CD vs radio. Finite file vs infinite stream. Podcast vs shoutcast.

Re:Not sure (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176564)

There is no such thing as a podcast. It's an mp3 file, that's all. It could be a wav or rm or any other format, but some dick thought they were clever by giving an established fact a new name, and as usual it's apple centric.

Re:Not sure (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176608)

How is "podcasting" any different than "shoutcasting"? I was doing shoutcasts back in the last century!

Podcasting is some retarded name for somebody posting normal old files online for downloading, and giving an RSS feed for software and mp3 players to play nice with the content.

Shoutcasting is an ongoing stream.. just plainly internet radio that continuously streams.

The reason I hate the distinction is that people make up fancy trendy names for what's little more than downloading files with a nice organization. Stop tying to patent how the internet works!

My patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173320)

I'd like to patent first posting. Does anyone have prior art?

Re:My patent (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173418)

I believe the GNAA does

Re:My patent (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173886)

jimbobborg, apparently.

Not exactly related to the patent (3, Informative)

Brazilian Geek (25299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173322)

But weren't there a few guys, back in 1999 that used to have a pretty neat weekly show. Back then I don't think they were called podcasts but I do remember that the shows were really fun.

Anyway, I found a link to it on Wikipedia but I'm sure there are more links around.

It was called Geeks in Space [wikipedia.org] , or something like that, and the site's admins that used to make the show was called flashdot, dashdot, slashdort or something like that.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (3, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173646)

Was gonna say the same thing!

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/07/15/1325256 [slashdot.org]

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175374)

Look at all those user accounts with ID's below 100,000... :o

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175484)

What? You got a problem with us geezers? Get off of my lawn, y'darned kid!

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

Scared Rabbit (1526125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175706)

I wonder what my UID would have been if I'd signed up when I first started coming here instead of lurking for 6 or 7 years first heh.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176240)

I don't think I waited that long to register but I know it had been a few years at least. I may have also had another account that I have since forgotten, not sure.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175884)

Yeah, I never will understand these youngsters...

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173680)

I did something like that in 2002 for an economics project in high school. Only had three "episodes" and you could download them as mp3s.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174642)

I did something like that in 2002 for an economics project in high school. Only had three "episodes" and you could download them as mp3s.

People had to download them? Then you're not prior art. Check the claim. This is more like RSS.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175342)

Because clearly nobody has ever before thought of using RSS to indicate available updates to content?!?

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175622)

Because clearly nobody has ever before thought of using RSS to indicate available updates to content?!?

WTF are you talking about? Please try to follow the thread of the discussion: Grandparent: "I made podcasts, therefore I'm prior art."
Me: "No, people had to download yours manually. This is automatic. It's more like RSS."
You: "Nobody thought of RSS before?!?! WHARRGARBL!!"

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (2, Informative)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173800)

Similarly, Red vs. Blue has been around since early 2003. They didn't call 'em podcasts, but same deal.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174440)

I don't think they fit this part:

and with the user continuing to automatically receive new episodes.

In order to get a patent repealed, I believe the prior art needs to cover the entire thing. I don't recall automatically receiving episodes back when I was a subscriber (I think it was actually called "sponsor", but whatever). I had to go to the website every release day and check if a new episode was available.

I could be misunderstanding, though, and by automatically they just mean the content is available automatically to subscribers, not that you would automatically receive it. Also, I do not know the context of "subscribers" here. When referring to magazines and newspapers, "subscribers" receive the content via whatever the delivery method (mail or paper route, normally). When referring to podcasts, a subscriber just adds the RSS or Atom feed to their podcatcher, which then actively checks for new content and retrieves it. The data is not pushed to you, it is pulled by you and that difference could be significant.

IANAL, etc.

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174610)

I could be misunderstanding, though, and by automatically they just mean the content is available automatically to subscribers, not that you would automatically receive it.

Nope, you were right the first time: automatically downloading updated episodic media associated with the channel dedicated to the episodic media to a computing device associated with the user in accordance with the subscription request upon availability of the updated episodic media, the automatic download occurring without further user interaction...

Re:Not exactly related to the patent (1, Redundant)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175266)

I did one back in 1999 when I had the Springfield Fragfest, a Quake site. I think I still have the MP3s of my daughter doing Quake Christmas carols I wrote for the Christmas show that year, "I saw Mommie Fragging Santa Claus" and "Rudolph the Four Legged Stroggie".

I did shoutcasts about every other week, with rock and roll music blatantly infringing RIAA copyrights that was put in the context so that the meanings were changed, making them about Quake. I also infringed copyright with mashups of various stuff (which should have been fair use, IMO it was but I'd probably have lost any lawsuits). The favorite of those I did was a sample from Star Trek "We are the borg. You will be assimilated. Resistancs is futile." With South Park's Mr. Hankey replying, "Well, let me get my toothbrush!"

Man but it was fun doing that site. It got so I had more fun with the site than with the game. But there is most certainly prior art; I was doing some of the prior art.

Would MS Windows Update Qualify? (1)

ideonexus (1257332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175918)

This may be a stupid question, but I'm wondering why Windows automatic updates wouldn't qualify:
  1. You subscribe to it.
  2. It's a media that is downloaded to the computer.
  3. It's automatic.
  4. It tells you how large the update is and allows you to customize what updates you accept.

And it's been around since Windows 98. Yes, the patent deals with audio and video files, but files are files in the eyes of the patent office (at least in the silly way they are justifying these algorithm/process patents for computers). I know it can't be this simple, but I'm having trouble figuring out why this wouldn't qualify as a 'prior art'.

Patently stupid. (1, Offtopic)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173350)

I think most people have taped a show from the radio on a cassette tape back in the day to listen to on a walkman when they did not have built in FM tuners.... I feel so old now.

This is one of those patents that is almost like "I now patent the act of scheduling"

This story has made me depressed.

Re:Patently stupid. (2, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175164)

Yeah, but they did it on the internet. That, as you know, makes it entirely novel and fully patentable!

Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173352)

How about Marimba Inc's "castanet" ?

Re:Prior art? (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176578)

Or what about: AvantGo [wikipedia.org]

"Method" patents (5, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173402)

The patent should be invalidated because business methods should not be patentable. There's plenty of prior art for the individual pieces (making files available for download to subscribers is as old as the BBS, and email notifications when new files are available are not newer), but the patentee will claim "we are the first to put all these ideas together". Of course what they did would have been obvious to anyone trying to solve the problem, but even that's not the point. The real issue is with what they are trying to patent. Would the PTO (or the CFFC) accept a patent on the same business method, except that users send requests on postcards, the audio will be burned to CDs and mailed by post, and the subscription lists will be maintained in paper folders? If not, then the PTO should explain why sending files by post is not patentable, but sending them by internet is.

Re:"Method" patents (1)

Sethumme (1313479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174210)

That is precisely how I feel. Why is a series of everyday, physical activities seen as so intuitively not special, but when those same activities are translated into an electronic representation, the process becomes unique? Sure, I can accept copyrighting the particular code used to implement said functionality, but a patent on the process itself makes an arbitrary division between one's actions in the real world and one's actions in the digital world. There are so many examples of business method patents granted by the USPTO that describe the electronic version of business models that have been in practice for centuries. And unlike copyrights, if the "invention" that a patent is applied for isn't new and inventive, it must not be granted.

Take this podcast case: ever heard of a magazine subscription? Book/DVD of the month subscriptions? Honestly, I would like someone to explain to me why this bad patent doesn't cover something like e-mail newsletters.

Data is data. It shouldn't matter if the data is in the form of written language, auditory language or sounds, or static or dynamic visual pieces. It also shouldn't matter if you get the data by spoken conversation, radio waves, or binary streams. If a business method patent isn't limited to a single, explicit representation, but rather it is abstracted to cover any possible infrastructure system it sits on (i.e., TCP/IP), then real life should count as prior art. It's outrageous.

Re:"Method" patents (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175286)

Would the PTO (or the CFFC) accept a patent on the same business method, except that users send requests on postcards, the audio will be burned to CDs and mailed by post, and the subscription lists will be maintained in paper folders?

If it was novel and nonobvious then yes, they would. You seem to be confusing subject matter with obviousness. You say that business methods should not be patentable, but then complain about the obviousness of a patent on a software method. Business method patents != software patents. Business method patents are looking like they are going to hammered by the Supreme Court, but I don't expect them to kill software patents. And patentable subject matter != obviousness. The question of patentable subject matter is "Should we refuse the applicant a patent even if this is the most brilliant, innovative, beneficial idea ever in the history of mankind." Let's say you come up with a business method that will end all hunger and poverty in the world. Bilski says you can't get a patent on it unless you tie it to a particular machine or transform matter, regardless of how innovative or nonobvious it is. The method you described, on the other hand, does transform matter (for example, you burn CDs, seal envelopes, etc.). So there's no question that it's patentable subject matter. The question is, is it obvious? They'd probably cite those obnoxious CD clubs against you, but you maybe could squeeze something out in the details.

Red vs Blue (2, Interesting)

Kaleidoscopio (1271290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173404)

I wonder if it counts since it is:

Episodic content............. Check
Web Posted................... Check
Already Up in 1993.......... Check

Just my 1 cent of useless info...

Re:Red vs Blue (2, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173778)

Already Up in 1993.......... Check

Red vs. Blue, the Machinima based on Halo, was up in 1993? Really? Quite a feat since Halo wasn't released for another 10 years or so. Or are you referring to some earlier Red vs. Blue that was overshadowed?

What's actually been patented? (2, Informative)

EvilJoker (192907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173424)

This sounds more like a patent on RSS feeds- online episodic media goes way back (Big media had webisodes in 2000, with amateur stuff going back much further) but the patent seems to refer to subscriptions and automatic downloading.

Wikipedia (4, Informative)

Minupla (62455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173440)

Wikipedia has a whole section of prior art in their history section of the podcasting article here [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175290)

specifically:

Timeline

        * September 2000 - The first system that enabled the selection, automatic downloading and storage of serial episodic audio content on PCs and portable devices was launched by September 2000 [2] from another early MP3 player manufacturer, i2Go. To supply content for its portable mp3 players, i2Go, makers of the eGo player, introduced a digital audio news and entertainment service called MyAudio2Go.com that enabled users to download episodic news, sports, entertainment, weather, and music in audio format for listening on a PC, the eGo portable audio player, or other MP3 players. The i2GoMediaManager and the eGo file transfer application could be programmed to automatically download the latest episodic content available from user selected content types to a PC or portable device as desired. The service lasted over a year, but succumbed when the i2Go company ran out of capital during the dotcom crash and folded.

        * October 2000 - The concept of using enclosures in RSS Feeds was proposed in October 2000 in a draft by Tristan Louis,[5] The idea was implemented (in a somewhat different form) by Dave Winer, a software developer and an author of the RSS format. Winer had received other customer requests for audioblogging features and had discussed the enclosure concept (also in October 2000), with Adam Curry,[6] a user of Userland's Manila and Radio blogging and RSS aggregator software. Winer included the new functionality in RSS 0.92,[7] by defining a new element[8] called "enclosure",[9] which would simply pass the address of a media aggregator.

Mortality.net show Feb 2002 (2, Interesting)

lrsach01 (181713) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173492)

Mortality.net Radio was posting episodes back in February 2002. The kicker is how it applies to the patent. It satisfies Claim 1A, but none of the others like subscription, auto-downloading, or showing if there is space remaining for the download (except how that is already covered in operating systems and/or web browsers).

Radio and TV episodes by mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173548)

What's the difference?

Some people I know pay a fee and get episodes on tape, cd, beta, vhs, dvd...mailed to them every month.

It is a business method, not patentable.

Pre-programmed episodic media (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173584)

methods that allow a user to download pre-programmed episodic media like audio files or video files from a remote publisher, with the download occurring after the user subscribes to the episodes, and with the user continuing to automatically receive new episodes

Well, starting in 1977 users who wanted to watch a pre-programmed episodic audio/video stream called "Inside the NFL" could subscribe to the cable TV HBO/Showtime channel, and after subscribing would continue to automatically receive new episodes. Does that count?

Re:Pre-programmed episodic media (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173836)

If that doesn't knock this stupid patent on the head, nothing will. Posting to grant karma bonus, since I have no mod points.

Mailing Lists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173640)

I'm willing to bet that there are some internet mailing lists that sent audio files to their members back in the 1990s at least. Not sure if that's different since mailing lists typically "push" the data to an intermediary for download (ie, the POP server that the user actually downloads the mail from).

Heinlein's View (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173642)

From The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein (1956):
      There wasn't anything really new in it; it was just the way that I put it together. The "spark of genius" required by our laws lay in getting a good patent lawyer.

Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (3, Informative)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173666)

1. A method for providing episodic media, the method comprising:
- providing a user with access to a channel dedicated to episodic media, wherein the episodic media provided over the channel is pre-defined into one or more episodes by a remote publisher of the episodic media;
- receiving a subscription request to the channel dedicated to the episodic media from the user;
- automatically downloading updated episodic media associated with the channel dedicated to the episodic media to a computing device associated with the user in accordance with the subscription request upon availability of the updated episodic media, the automatic download occurring without further user interaction; and
- providing the user with: an indication of a maximum available channel depth, the channel depth indicating a size of episodic media yet to be downloaded from the channel and size of episodic media already downloaded from the channel, the channel depth being specified in playtime or storage resources, and the ability to modify the channel depth by deleting selected episodic media content, thereby overriding the previously configured channel depth.

Re:Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173808)

Claim 4 is just a generic garbage collector with the scope similar to how HTTP conditional GETs work.

Re:Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174894)

Claim 4 includes all the elements of both of claims 3 and 1. It doesn't stand alone.

Re:Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (1)

anegg (1390659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174306)

Oh, you mean like subscribing to a cable channel like ESPN, then "time-shifting" a favorite program/game using a VCR (remember those)? That meets most of the conditions (channel depth was how much unrecorded tape was left on the cassette).

Re:Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (2, Interesting)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174408)

TiVo meets all those conditions.

Re:Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (2, Interesting)

xigxag (167441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174608)

It seems to me that this is describing a subset of push technology [wikipedia.org] , such as PointCast back in the day, and even those "channels [wikipedia.org] " you used to be able to subscribe to in Windows 95. PointCast predates this patent app by a number of years.

Re:Claim 1, not that anyone will read it (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175470)

1. A method for providing episodic media, the method comprising:

Thank-you for fulfilling and important step in the rigidly scripted /. patent-story method patent:

1) Editors post patent-related story with false headline and misleading summary

2) Commentors who know nothing about patent law and who have not read the claims respond with outrage

3) Someone posts the actual claims, thereby demonstrating the headline is false and the summary misleading.

4) Outrage continues unabated, although sometimes its target shifts to the supposed trivialiality of the actual claims.

5) I post a message like this, which no one reads.

6) Discussion peters out, having changed nothing, and educated no one about the nature of patents or about the nature of /. patent stories, which always have false headlines, misleading summaries, and rigidly follow this script.

TV (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173674)

You mean like cable television?

Re:TV (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173980)

You mean like cable television?

More specifically, Tivo...

Art Bell (1)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173784)

Hate to admit to it, but Art Bell use to do this with his radio show back in the 90s. I remember getting RA streams running on my Amiga 1200. It was so awesome.

Art Bell 1996 Podcasts (1)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174072)

http://web.archive.org/web/19961219235234/www.artbell.com/art/audio.html [archive.org]
Found some stuff from 1996. Art Bell from AM radio fame use to put his shows and parts of his shows up on the internet where you could download or stream them.

I think at some point you had to pay for some of the "podcasts". Though I never did.

But if this wasn't podcasting I don't know what is.

Tired of this crap... (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173786)

Anyone else tired of this patent crap?

Patent on "Being tired of this patent crap" (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173990)

Cease and desist your complaining, I have the patent on "Being tired of this patent crap".

I have the application form right here, and the stamped envelope to send it off.. hmm, I seem to have forgotten to mail it. My apologies, carry on with your rant about being "tired of this patent crap".

Re:Patent on "Being tired of this patent ..." (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174346)

However, I have created a new way to be tired of patents. By replacing degradable biological byproducts with miscellaneous debris from the auto industry, I have patented being tired of Patent Junk. And I get a car analogy too!

Re:Tired of this crap... (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174316)

Yes, how do we stop it?

Re:Tired of this crap... (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174338)

Anyone else tired of this patent crap?

I'm pretty sure the EFF is tired of this crap, hence the request for prior art. I suppose though, that you're pointing to the fact that the patent is even considered, let alone issued.

Re:Tired of this crap... (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174850)

Yes. Who isn't tired of it besides the rich lawyers and trolls? I'm waiting on a real plan to abolish software patents entirely. All I've seen is griping and complaining, but no plan of action. Nothing that says "Here mail this to your representative so we can put patents in the grave." I think we should have an 'Ask Slashdot' on how we should best tackle this problem.

Year 2000 (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173840)

http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/2000/ego.html [mp3newswire.net]

* Test Drive of The i2Go eGo with IBM MicroDrive.
by Richard Menta 9/01/00

*snip*

More Options

*snip*

Want more options? I2Go MP3Agent, the software that comes with the player, has text-to-speech capabilities designed to translate the morning email into MP3 files to listen to on the commute in. This culd be a lifesaver to busy dot-com employees who get backlogged with a hundred messages.

MyAudio2Go.com

One of the best options available from the folks at i2Go is a website they created called MyAudio2Go.com. On this site you can download daily news stories in MP3 format. You can select articles covering the top news stories, sports, business and finance, even recaps of a dozen or so television shows like ER. We loved this site and the best news is you don't need an i2Go to download and play these files. Check this site out!

*snip*

Final Score A-

Copyright 2000 MP3 Newswire. All rights reserved.

10/2003 Napster Rerelease Almost Qualifies (1)

ideonexus (1257332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173874)

Ironically enough, it appears that the post-lawsuit relaunch of Napster almost hit the mark in October of 2003:

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_42/b3854093_mz063.htm [businessweek.com]

It has a subscription option, and you can download content, but the problem is that the subscribed content is "streaming" and not automatically downloaded to the client computer. I'll be following this story as this patent would invalidate my Miro player.

I wish just one of these frivilous "process patents," which the high courts have ruled acceptable because they modify the physical components of a computer (ie. hard drive), would go to the Supreme Court, as the recent comments from its members signal they think the patents are ridiculous as well and would probably invalidate them.

FidoNet (1)

Tsar (536185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173946)

FidoNet [wikipedia.org] has been in operation since 1984 and has always supported attachment of arbitrary files. I'd suppose that the first issue of the FidoNews newsletter [fidonews.info] , dated 1 December of that year, probably constituted the first episodic media transmitted to subscribers on that system. I don't know which issue was first to include a WAV or GIF file, but the capability was there from the beginning.

Re:FidoNet (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174616)

We had entire file distribution networks in Fidonet back in the day. All manner of media was available, episodic, and on demand. When subscribers0 connected they got everything that had been added to their subscriptions since the last time they connected. There were catagories available for nearly every type of file that could be zipped and sent as a subscription.

Heck, I remember noticing that the 'Southern Star' (one of the big distribution hubs) was available over the internet back in the early 90s, so you can't even make the argument that substituting "internet" for "fidonet" makes it more patentable.

I patent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174220)

I patent... hmm, let me think, what is still patentable.... BEING STUPID! Yes, I patent being stupid! C'mon, 90% of the USA, start paying me up!

The Harrow Technology Report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174328)

I remember downloading the Technology Report from Jeffrey Harrow (or whatever it was called at the time) once a week back in the 1990's. We didn't call it podcasting then, but it was available in audio format (mp3 and before), and you could call them episodes. You could have it emailed to you or there were many automated solutions. There was a unique URL for each episode and a 'latest' URL that would always point to the latest episode. I first subscribed when he was with Digital. Later, he 'casted from Compaq and the last time I listened, he was at theharrowgroup.com

"Podcasts" have existed for many decades... (2, Insightful)

nero4wolfe (671100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174366)

I'd think you could go back much earlier. Syndicated radio, back in the 1930's, was done by individual radio stations subscribing to a show; e.g. a "podcast". "Downloads" were done by the syndicator making copies of records and mailing them to the subscribers. I see zero difference between that and current podcasts where the "syndicator" puts audio/video files on a computer network so that subscribers can download them.

Magazine Subscription (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174384)

Why is this not prior art? It is episotic media. It is pushed to a user once they subscribe using the mail service and is wapped in a publication ( the channel).

Re:Magazine Subscription (1)

Mendokusei (916318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174994)

It's not prior art because it doesn't come anywhere close to reading on the actual language of the independent claim.

Newsgroups? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174436)

Does this patent cover newsgroups? I think that would be prior art.

Pointcast: anyone remembers? (1)

GuerreroDelInterfaz (922857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174478)

Well, that. Before podcasts, there was Pointcast.

It failed but it was basically that, news podcasts without the iPod.

--
El Guerrero del Interfaz

Shoutcast (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174686)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHOUTcast [wikipedia.org] Originally released in 1999. It could serve audio files in a streaming sense. Also, some plugins for WinAmp would allow you to download each individual files since all shoutcast involved was streaming mp3s across HTTP one after another. Later, video began to show up.

Re:Shoutcast (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174718)

I distinctly remembered several TV-via-shoutcast stations as well as some radio ones. I listened to the HHG2TG radio play via one of those. If that isn't episodic, I don't know what is.

So:

-Released before 2003
-Allowed episodic media to be downloaded automatically and in order
-Subscriptions often involved whitelisting your IP with the main server for infinite streaming at a small cost.

Re:Shoutcast (2, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175008)

Streaming is irrelevant. The patent is about downloading and managing subscriptions to audio files. It covers fetching new files when they're updated and making room on local storage by deleting older files.

Come to think of it, the best prior art for this is Usenet. Audio newsgroups contained audio files that were subscribed to by the user and news server software would make room for new files by deleting the old.

Yep, I think that'd about do it.

Also, the RSS standards history [userland.com] can probably point to some earlier implementations of client-side file management if you follow it down the rabbit hole far enough.

Re:Shoutcast (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175556)

If you read my comment again, I mention the fact that WinAmp is actively downloading the file as you're listening to it. Some plugins let you keep the file afterwards.

Not saying the Usenet idea isn't also applicable, however.

Re:Shoutcast (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175606)

I made my post [slashdot.org] before I saw yours. Yeah, Usenet is pretty much prior art.

Read my post which tries to directly address each claim. Namely, you need an 'episodic content' aspect, which, luckily, illegal television newsgroups provide.

netscape and the ftp synchronizer (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176122)

netscape when they released communicator 5 gave me a version and i know that software is much older

you setup what YOU are subscribed to download WHEN and if it changes

Of course, the patent must be read... (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174846)

There's prior art for podcast-like distribution of audio shows dating back to 1993. [wikipedia.org] However, the patent has to be read, and each claim compared to previous efforts. Simply demonstrating that people used the Internet for audio show distribution prior to 2003 does nothing.

see indymedia radio projects.... (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174898)

See indymedia radio projects circa 2000. For example reports by Linda Thurston. Moving along...

Please help me understand (2, Interesting)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174904)

I would like someone who is informed about the patent process to clarify for me, and by extension the /. community, an aspect of the patent process that I do not understand and seems to be a point of confusion among readers here:

If a patent is (wrongly) awarded for a technology that has been covered by prior art, even if the prior art has not previously been patented, what is the legal status of the patent and the prior art? Can the patent be a threat to prior art (could previously existing podcasting/RSS technology be threatened by legal challenges)? Would a challenge by the patent holder risk invalidating the patent when the defendant produced evidence of prior art? In the event of a legal battle where the patent was found to be invalid due to prior art, who would be responsible for legal costs?

Re:Please help me understand (2, Informative)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175260)

I am not a laywer (INAL)

A patent has to be novel and new at the time it is submitted.

The inventor "needs" to ensure that the invention is not in use currently or in the past

Then it is written up and sent to the patent office. They can at that point start marking items using the invention Pat Pending (might not be required any more)

The patent office looks for prior art as well but only gets money if they approve it. So they are motiveated to do so.

Once approved the patent holder can sue anyone using the invention. They get to choose where to sue (usually west Texas as they have a history of favoring patent holders)

If you can prove prior art when being sued the patent is invalidated.

This is over simplified and thus has some errors. Patent troll companies have also played games with the system by filing a very general patent establishing a date and then resubmitting the patent later with updates.

So no you can not discover that no one has patented the wheel, get a patent on it and own the world. (ps someone did patent the wheel as a joke IIRC)

PTO gets paid (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176534)

the USPTO doesn't just get paid if the patent is approved, they are paid for nearly every document that is filed with the office. For example:
an extension of time after a rejection, office gets paid
Applicant files an information disclosure statement, office gets paid
notice of appeal, office gets paid
request for continuation, office gets paid

and so on and so forth

software auto update is prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30175096)

Not a lawyer, but isnt software update of things like AOL client or acrobat reader from the 90s prior art? they automatically checked for updates and downloaded them with no user interferiance beond launching the app, the same way itunes does with podcasts

I remember specifically in the mid 1990s, AOL pushed a client update that as I recall downloaded automatically when you logged in that added a pictures feature, and a new .WAV file, "youve got pictures!"

well, youve got prior art

Windows update? (1)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175332)

perhaps this counts. if the fixed periodic nature is a problem, just be a little lazy when putting things on the servers. ;-)

Art Bell - Coast to Coast (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175550)

Art Bell was podcasting in 1998. Even by then there were several years of archives so the starting date was probably closer to 1995. http://archive.coasttocoastam.com/gen/podcast.html [coasttocoastam.com]

I have an idea. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30175554)

How about usenet?

It even uses the term 'subscription' and even has episodic content, in the form of actual TV episodes. All we have to demonstrate that there were 'channels' dedicatied to specific content...like alt.binaries.multimedia.firefly, for an example of a 2002 group.

Specific, episodic content that you subscribe to and your client (For example, NewsBin) can download automatically.

Yes, that behavior would be illegal, but that doesn't stop it from being prior art.

That alone seems to fit claim 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the patent. And I have a Usenet client that can do 7, but someone needs to find one with that feature from 2003.

3 and 6 could happen based on what directory you download into. (3 if that directory is automatically synced, and 6 if that directory is chared.)

Claim 8 appears to be...compression? Yum, those episode files were compressed. Usually using rar. (For no apparent gain, as you can't compress video files much that way, but, hey, I'm sure at least one of those files ended up at least a tiny fraction smaller.)

Chaim 9...we need someone to find a Usenet client that let you watch while you download, which could be easily used to download only part of an episode. (OTOH, we don't need to really worry about this claim. If they're left with a patent on automatically 'partially downloading podcasts based on space', whatever.)

Allgames.com started podcasting back in 1996 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30175560)

Allgames.com started podcasting back in 1996

VCR Plus+ ?? (1)

Rubinstien (6077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176042)

VCR Plus+ is essentially the same thing, in effect, and predates it by a couple of years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_recorder_scheduling_code

Patent the process of getting silly pattents. (1)

TravisHein (981987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176070)

I wonder when will someone just patent the procedure for patenting obvious concepts. How awesome would that be, could cash in on all of these types, and then we won't have to spend our time commenting on these silly patents [for existing] concepts.

no different from VCR timer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30176300)

Iv'e been doing that since they invented VCRs with a timed record feature. About twenty years now (except now I use a DVR).

push! (1)

zentigger (203922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30176424)

The whole idea of "push" media spawned back around 1995 with Pointcast, Marimba, BackWeb and others. It was The Next Big Thing(TM) and it was going to change the way we used the internet. Of course at the time most people were still using 28.8K dialup at home and didn't want to wait for an hour while all your new content downloaded as soon as you connected.

Most of this was much more general than just pushing podcasts, but the whole idea of subscribing to a "channel" that updates you and automatically downloads when new content is available is what push media was all about. I could go on, but Wired Magazine headlined this in their March '97 [wired.com] issue, or just google [google.ca] it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...