Month: July 2009

These jerks claim to have invented the technology behind podcasting:

VoloMedia: VoloMedia’s podcasting patent. The announcement claims that VoloMedia invented the technology behind what everyone now calls Podcasting, and had filed for a patent in Nov, 2003. But this was more than 2 1/2 years after UserLand had released both client and server software that did Podcasting. The feature was then called “enclosures” and/or “Payloads for RSS”, but the technology is exactly the same as that in wide use today.

Dave Winer and Adam Curry co-invented the technology. Conversations about it started in 2000, and I worked as a developer at UserLand through the whole period during which Dave and Adam bootstrapped Podcasting, starting in June of 2000, so I witnessed first-hand all of the Podcasting-related developments at UserLand, and had even talked to Adam Curry on the phone a number of times. (Adam — where’s that case of beer you owe me, man?)

Did VoloMedia really invent Podcasting? We and many others know better:

Dave Winer on Scripting News: Did VoloMedia invent Podcasting?
Dave Winer on TheTwoWayWeb: Payloads for RSS – Jan, 2001
Jake Savin – Change notes for Radio UserLand 7.0.1, released in May, 2001. (Search the page for the word “enclosure” — that’s the Podcasting feature.)

There’s a pretty detailed History of Podcasting on Wikipedia. Some may dispute the details, but it’s very clear about crediting Dave and Adam with the idea for using RSS for what VoloMedia calls “Episodic Media”, and it’s also clear that Radio UserLand had an implementation in early 2001, which you can verify via the Radio UserLand 7.0.1 change notes listed above. (There’s source code too, with comments, diffs, dates, and all the goods.) The Wikipedia article gives Tristan Lewis credit for the core idea — in October of 2000.

So much for VoloMedia’s claims to its invention. Yet more proof that the USPTO doesn’t have the faintest clue when it comes to technology patents. Obama: Put someone on the case already! The Patent Office is broken!

And when it comes to VoloMedia, I have only one thing to say: “F those F’in’ people.”

PS: ReadWriteWeb has coverage: Company Receives Patent For Podcasting.

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