Ding Dong the ‘Podcast Patent’ is dead!

Empty Set is a business made up of many little bits and pieces, all geared toward making cool stuff for cool people. Firstly we’re a content creation company. But we also sell merchandise, put on an annual fan-appreciation event, have an audio production studio for hire, and put out a weekly podcast.

The podcast is an integral part of our business for several reasons:

  1. It’s how Scott got his start in the business of bookselling, instead of just book writing. When he first podcast the original EARTHCORE he had four other completed books ready to go into the marketplace.
  2. It’s a revenue generator. We make some money from advertising on the weekly, free podcast.
  3. Scott is guided by his dad’s philosophy to “dance with the one that brought you.” Since his original fanbase were podcast fans, keeping the podcast going while the audio genre grew up around it was important to us.

All of this is why we breathed a sigh of relief and did a whole bunch of “Heck yeah!” fist pumps back in August when the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a 2015 ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that said Personal Audio’s “podcasting patent” wasn’t valid. This effectively ended Personal Audio’s patent trolling and saved podcasting for the masses.

This is certainly a win for the little guys like us who would never be able to adequately defend against a patent troll looking to be paid royalties. Especially not after over a decade of mostly weekly podcast episodes. And it’s thanks in large part to the tenacious and dedicated crew at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Empty Set are avid fans and supporters of the EFF, and you should be too. Their self proclaimed job is to “defend your civil liberties in a digital world” and they continue that fight every single day.

So, at long last, podcasting is safe.


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