Friday, March 16, 2007

EFF knocks down bogus Clear Channel patent

Clear Channel has cornered the market on the nation’s radio stations, but it won’t be able to extend that domination to digital recordings for live concerts. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has stripped Clear Channel of a patent it had held on a system for creating digital recordings for live performances.

The move was announced last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which staged a campaign to overturn the patent. Clear Channel claimed the patent gave it a monopoly on all-in-one, digital post-concert recordings, and the company threatened to sue anyone that made such recordings, according to EFF.

EFF’s investigation of the case turned up a really interesting fact: apparently a company called Telex had developed similar software more than a year before Clear Channel filed its patent. Here’s a link to a press release and the decision from the patent office.

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