This American Life

Episode 462: When Patents Hit the Podcast

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25 min 47 sec
 
Were these the first podcasts? i i

hide captionWere these the first podcasts?

Caitlin Kenney/NPR
Were these the first podcasts?

Were these the first podcasts?

Caitlin Kenney/NPR

Back in the nineties, Jim Logan started a company called Personal Audio. The concept was simple — people could pick out magazine articles they liked on the internet, and his company would send them a cassette tape of those articles being read out loud. The cassette tapes didn't catch on like Jim hoped, but he had bigger dreams for the idea behind them.

He dreamed that one day you wouldn't need a cassette player, you would just be able to hear smart people talking about whatever subject you wanted, and that audio would be magically downloaded to a device of your choice. He says he dreamed of podcasting as we know it today.

Now Jim Logan did not create the technology to podcast. He himself is not a modern-day podcaster. But he did get a patent on that big dream of downloading personalized audio, and he claims to have the patent on podcasting.

On today's show, he says all the people out there podcasting today, owe him money.

For more, check out Alex Blumberg and Laura Sydell's story on This American Life: When Patents Attack...Part Two!

Note: This episode originally aired in May of 2013.

Music: OK Go's "A Good Idea At The Time" & Louis Armstrong's "I Get Ideas" Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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