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Submission + - Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Patent Troll 1

tor528 writes: Patent troll Personal Audio has sued top podcasters including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks, claiming that they own the patent for delivery of episodic content over the Internet. Adam Carolla is fighting back and has started a Fund Anything campaign to cover legal fees. From the Fund Anything campaign page: "If Adam Carolla loses this battle, then every other Podcast will be quickly shut down. Why? Because Patent Trolls like Personal Audio would use a victory over Carolla as leverage to extort money from every other Podcast.. As you probably know, Podcasts are inherently small, owner-operated businesses that do not have the financial resources to fight off this type of an assault. Therefore, Podcasts as we know them today would cease to exist."

James Logan of Personal Audio answered Slashdotters' questions in June 2013.
Links to the patent in question can be found on Personal Audio's website.
The EFF filed a challenge against Personal Audio's podcasting patent in October 2013.

Comment Re:more, not less. (Score 1) 284

Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but in 20 years, maybe a smaller percentage of users will be ignorant (old folks die off, etc) and nobody will ever buy from spam. This would remove the incentive to spam, and spam would stop. I'm not saying people would be less gullible, just that there would be fewer ignorant people.

Submission + - University of Washington to identify infringers

tor528 writes: "I received the following letter from the Vice Provost for Student Life at my school:

Dear Student:

        I am writing to inform you of a development that could become a serious issue
for some of our students — the law governing downloading and sharing of music and
video from the internet. Under copyright law, it is illegal to download or share
copyrighted materials such as music or movies without the permission of the
copyright owner. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in recent
years has taken an aggressive approach to stopping this illegal downloading and
file sharing. This has put many students at the nation's colleges and
universities at some legal risk. I write first to caution you against illegally
downloading or sharing files. Your actions when you do so are traceable and
could result in a significant financial penalty to you. Second, I want to inform
you about a new process the RIAA has initiated and the University's role in this

        The RIAA is now sending colleges and universities a letter for each instance
they find of a student illegally downloading material from the internet and
requesting the university to identify the individual student and forward the
letter to him or her. The letter, called an "Early Settlement Letter" notifies
the student that he or she has 20 days to settle with the RIAA by going to a
designated website, entering identifying information, and paying a set amount,
usually between $3,000 and $5,000, but sometimes considerably more. If the
recipient chooses not to settle, the RIAA will file a lawsuit and the offer to
settle for the amount stipulated is no longer an option.

        The University has been notified by the RIAA that we will be receiving a number
of these early settlement letters. After careful consideration, we have decided
to forward the letters to the alleged copyright violators. We do so primarily
because we believe students should have the opportunity to avail themselves of
the settlement option if they so choose. Not forwarding the RIAA letter to
students could result in their being served with a lawsuit, with no chance to
settle it beforehand.

        The University is unable to provide legal services to students who have
violated copyright law through illegal downloading or sharing. If you receive a
letter from the RIAA, we encourage you to engage a personal attorney. If you
have questions, please let us know.

        We know how tempting it is to download music or movies and share files with
your friends. But you need to know that it is illegal to do so and that the
consequences can be severe. Please inform yourself of the requirements of the
law and please obey it. Otherwise, it may prove costly for you and your family.

Sincerely yours,

Eric S. Godfrey
Vice Provost for Student Life

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