Is Apple Trying To Patent Podcasting?

Nov 27th, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, iPods & Portable Media Players, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcasting Law

Apple has applied for several patents relating to podcasting:

via MacNN

No Responses to “Is Apple Trying To Patent Podcasting?”

  1. Murphy says:

    Oh, for Pete’s sake … I would assert the answer is a resounding “NO!”

    And I think your headline is deliberately inflammatory, and will serve only to draw traffic here and put knots in the panties of knee-jerk Apple haters.

    Apple may be trying to patent exactly how podcasts are handled by iTunes (and perhaps by iPods), but the “control of podcasting” train left the station a loooong time ago.

    I believe other podcast aggregators and other devices (few though they may be) have made it impossible for Apple to stuff podcasting into an Apple-controlled bottle.

  2. James W. Anderson says:

    That is true, Apple can’t patent podcasting because all the tools were invented BEFORE it was added as a feature to iTunes, in fact, since podcasting is based largely on RSS feeds, they can’t patent it at all.

    What they are only able to do is patent what they do themselves in iTunes. If they try to do anything else to podcasting they will be opening themselves up to serious legal action, which in itself would threaten the whole iTunes service in the end.

  3. Jughead says:

    People in the podcasting community should take Apple’s patent applications very seriously. The sole purpose of a patent is to effectively obtain ownership of intellectual property. In this case, Apple is trying to patent methods that we search for and locate podcasts on mobile devices and (presumably)iTunes. My question is, should any entity have ownership of the way consumers subscribe to a podcast? And also, how will these patents impact the subscription processes for other directories outside of iTunes? In what ways could this effect the direction of the podcast industry?

    Apple has already tested the waters regarding copyright infringement related to the word pod and even podcast itself. That issue still remains gray. This may be a secondary front by Apple to gain (at least partial) control of the way the mass of new consumers will discover podcasts.

    In case people haven’t noticed searching and “discovery” of podcasts by consumers is becoming a growing problem as the number of podcasts grows exponentially. Apple and iTunes have been wonderful to spur the growth of podcasting by recognizing the power of the medium and dedicating a section of iTunes to it.

    However, as the music and film industry is discovering, is Apple’s “walled garden” really a bed of roses? I think not. I believe Apple has recognized the potential of podcasting and has begun to aggressively create landmines for other search directories in the form of these patent applications. With the additions of iTV and the iPhone happening in 07, I think Apple is basically trying to completely monopolize the media delivery business. From Apple’s perspective you would have think that this is the best time to gain ownership of as much of the burgeoning podcast economy as possible and capitalize on iTunes clear frontrunner position in podcast search.

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