DISSEMINATING MEDIA CONTENT REPRESENTING EPISODES Issued Patent - PRIOR ART REQUEST

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6

This call for prior art is part of EFF's effort to bust a patent being asserted against podcasting. Read more about the initiative here. Help narrow US patent applications before they become patents HERE

This issued patent relates to a system for distributing serial episodes of media content over the Internet.

BASIC PATENT DATA:

  • Patent Number: US 8,112,504
  • Assignee: Personal Audio, LLC
  • Prior Art Cutoff Date: Prior art must predate October 2, 1996

PATENT SUMMARY:

The patent generally relates to a system whereby a server provides media content to client devices over the Internet. On the server, the provider maintains a “compilation file,” which is essentially a list of available media files. The compilation file generally includes the URL for each available media file in a series and may also include descriptive text. This compilation file may be static, such as a simple web page with links to each available file to which new files are added, or may be customized for a particular user, perhaps only showing them content from feeds to which they have subscribed.

The claim that has been asserted against podcasters to date is Claim 31. This claim is agnostic as to the media type representing “episodes.” It can be images, text, video, or audio. Prior art can involve any media format. Some dependent claims specifically require audio, however, so prior art of that type is especially useful.

Claim 31: Apparatus for disseminating a series of episodes represented by media files via the Internet as said episodes become available, said apparatus comprising:

  • one or more data storage servers,
  • one or more communication interfaces connected to the Internet for receiving requests received from remotely located client devices, and for responding to each given one of said requests by downloading a data file identified by a URL specified by said given one of said requests to the requesting client device,
  • one or more processors coupled to said one or more data storage servers and to said one or more communications interfaces for:

    • storing one or more media files representing each episode as said one or more media files become available, each of said one or more media files being stored at a storage location specified by a unique episode URL;

    • from time to time, as new episodes represented in said series of episodes become available, storing an updated version of a compilation file in one of said one or more data storage servers at a storage location identified by a predetermined URL, said updated version of said compilation file containing attribute data describing currently available episodes in said series of episodes, said attribute data for each given one of said currently available episodes including displayable text describing said given one of said currently available episodes and one or more episode URLs specifying the storage locations of one or more corresponding media files representing said given one of said episodes; and

    • employing one of said one or more communication interfaces to:

      • (a) receive a request from a requesting client device for the updated version of said compilation file located at said predetermined URL;
      • (b) download said updated version of said compilation file to said requesting client device; and
      • (c) thereafter receive and respond to a request from said requesting client device for one or more media files identified by one or more corresponding episode URLs included in the attribute data contained in said updated version of said compilation files.

REPRESENTATIVE PRIOR ART: Examples of prior art include the prior art identified on the face of the patent and Deb Kumar Roy (June 1995), NewsComm: A Hand-Held Interface for Interactive Access to Structured Audio, available at http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/60444/33214083.pdf?sequence=1

QUESTION: Have you seen any additional prior art (published before October 2, 1996) that describes a system like the one in Claim 31?

We are interested in any prior art that describes accessing a series of media files organized as episodes, tracks, installments, or the like, through the use of “compilation” data that (a) available to be downloaded by a client device, and (b) updated to describe the media files that are currently available. We are particularly interested in prior art where this “compilation” data includes both URLs for the individual media files, and some other displayable text describing each available episode/track/installment.

If you do know prior art, please submit evidence of that prior art as an answer below. Please submit only one piece of prior art per answer below. We welcome multiple prior art proposals from the same individual, but please create separate answers for each one so the community can vet each individual piece of prior art independently.

For details about what makes good prior art, please see our FAQ. Once you have submitted prior art, check back soon to see if the Ask Patents community has chosen your prior art as a candidate to submit to the United States Patent & Trademark Office. If you'd like to contribute in another way, please vote or comment on submissions made below. And we welcome you to post your own request for prior art if you know of another questionable patent or patent application. Thanks for participating!

Daniel Nazer

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 116

I have a podcast episode about this here at http://thepatentpodcast.com/how-to-help-invalidate-the-personal-audio-podcast-patent/

PatGreg 2013-06-26T03:46:17.353

Answers

12

Published in 1996

CBC Radio on the Internet: An Experiment in Convergence

Andrew S. Patrick, Alex Black, Thomas E. Whalen

Abstract:
An experimental trial was conducted to determine: (1) if there was any demand for regular radio programming distributed as digital audio files over the Internet, (2) if the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was willing to distribute programming in this format, and (3) what implications such a service would have for the corporation. Both sample and regular radio programs were digitized using computer sound equipment and made available via FTP, Gopher, and World Wide Web. Analysis of the traffic logs and a review of the comments submitted by users showed a very high demand (possibly all that was possible with this trial configuration) and a keen interest in the service. CBC has decided to adopt the trial and start a permanent service on the Internet. The trial identified a number of issues that will have to be addressed for this service, including archival storage, copyright, royalties, production changes, and electronic commerce opportunities.

EDIT: Yes, this paper reports on work we did in 1994 and describes most of the features of the claim. Contact me for details: Andrew@andrewpatrick.ca.

Kevan

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 41

12

USENET is full of examples of prior art as listed. Especially alt.internet.talk-radio.

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!searchin/alt.internet.talk-radio/$20files$20download$20audio|sort:date

Here's a post about some serious downloadable files used for the Internet Multicasting Service!

Copied below is the disseminated FAQ on the Internet from 1995. Probably searching on keywords in this file will get you further back. Google rocks for loading up USENET to google groups. Accessed this file at the above link by me @ 7pm on May 30 2013.

Google link to the Internet Multicasting Service FAQ:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!searchin/alt.internet.talk-radio/$20files$20download$20audio|sort:date/alt.internet.talk-radio/QNg5hDcCtIk/ReHieUvr3QwJ

There's also this posting from March 4, 1995:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!searchin/alt.internet.talk-radio/episodes|sort:date/alt.internet.talk-radio/y1iLj9Jq3Mk/K777QKGpRsQJ

which describes a website where you can get episode lists and download episodes of some popular programs.

Unfortunately the wayback machine only goes back to Dec 1996 at town.hall.org: http://web.archive.org/web/19961223103237/http://town.hall.org/

but they clearly have older radio station programs and episodes on that list.

Looks like some users here have posted their paper, though, that looks pretty good.

Deanne Taylor

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 61

9

Back in 1995 we founded Precept Software (a California corporation) to develop video distribution systems for the internet.

As part of our product we had a "program guide" that aggregated content information - some from SD announcements on the mbone, others from scheduled content, others from recorded content. This presented a web page that a user could access to cause the launch of a video viewer on his/her computer to see that content.

I really don't remember the details; much design and coding of the program guide was done by Valerie Lasker. However, I do have copies of the product software.

I am not sure of the date when the program guide part was done - it was close to the issue date of the patent in question.

However, the SD protocol on the mbone was very much in operation in 1994 and it formed an index of content, although at that time not much content was episodic, although things like IETF meetings could be considered "episodes".

Also, RealAudio was mentioned and this, too, if I remember right had an index that one could browse.

Steve Casner (Packet Design) and Carl Malamud probably have useful information as well.

Simon Hacket (Internode) did an "internet juke box" back in the very early 1990's - well before the patent date - it consisted of an online CD player (with about 100 disks). One could browse the content (i.e. there was an index of the content) and cause selected disks to be played over the mbone.

Karl Auerbach

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 41

8

Broadcast.com comes to mind

Broadcast.com used the RealAudio player to embed into web pages streaming audio. It was used in a variety of different ways to disseminate sound files. According to Wikipedia the original launch date of RealAudio was April, 1995.

Broadcast.com had a large assortment of programs indexed and listed in a number of ways to allow user selection.

A large number of radio shows, including Art Bell (see coasttocoastam.com) would archive many broadcasts of his show there for future replay over the intenet.

psuedon

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 51

2

Yes, but at the time the site was called AudioNet (audionet.com). From the internet wayback machine, here's a copy of the Netcasts page from the site in December 1996. If the archive went further back, you could see something similar. We were archiving, and allowing rebroadcast from unique URL, of all kinds of shows.

Bill Turner 2013-05-31T02:01:02.340

7

Some of these might help.

user3876

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 41

6

What about one of the episodic / serial ASCII / ANSI / art / "Demo Scene" newsletters that were were part of the "BBS" culture?

They frequently included music audio, but even Text was listed above as one of the formats in the patent. Here is a page with links to the monthly installments of ACID, I believe it included visuals and music. Dated 1995:

http://www.acid.org/archives/archives.html

This is a page with URLs to these files, which can be downloaded to a client device (your computer?) dated 1995.

Another good index of various art packs:

http://artscene.textfiles.com/

For example here is the yearly and monthly "packs" from Ice Art. Also included Text, Art and Music, starting in 1992. Either this page existed back then, or there would have been an index page linking to each of the packs:

http://artscene.textfiles.com/ice/icepacks/

More about Artpack and the "Computer Art Scene" if someone has some more time to do some digging: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_art_scene#Underground_status http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Artscene_groups

the BBS scene goes even further back - to the late 1980's. already on the Commodore 64 there were many of them, hosting amongst other things: regularly released scene-magazines (digital, not paper) and the afforementioned graphics and music compilation series and of course "Demos" - demonstrations of coding prowess, which often had sequels. here is a link to the longest running C64-BBS in history "Antidote" (1994 – 5 June 1999, 3 October 2003 -> present) http://www.triad.se/antidote

Gal

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 121

6

Internet CNN Newsroom, for distribution of daily video content, described in IEEE proceedings, May 1995. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=484938&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D484938

CBC Radio on the internet study, Q1 1996, wherein experimental internet data was collected to measure potential demand for "regular radio programming distributed as digital files over the internet" http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/viewArticle/926

Artephius

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 31

5

At Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar http://kalvos.org/ we began offering multiple examples of musical material on our website, organized by composer, in 1994.

Our earliest files were Midi; these probably don't count, but they date to 3/14/94.

The oldest audio file still available on our site is dated 11/9/1995 in TrueSpeech format. Examples in MP2 format were posted on 3/5/96 and RealAudio the next day on 3/6/1996.

(Our earliest full show episodes in RA format were 7/6/97 and mp3 format on 11/1/98.)

Dennis

Dennis Bathory-Kitsz

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

5

It would also seem that any number of List-serv systems for transferring links, newsletters, and serialized media would fit the bill for prior art in this instance. Not to mention the mechanisms for streaming media presented by RealPlayer as early as 1995 would seem to include significant portions of the patent. With weekly shows such as Ask Dr. Science and many others that were syndicated using RealPlayer and other streaming services early on, prior art must exist with one of the early radio shows. I would also point out The Spot (http://www.thespot.com) which according to wikipedia was created in 1995. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spot

user3891

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 41

5

Seems similar to Internet Talk Radio/Geek of the Week (Carl Malamud, 1993, files for each episode with unique URLs). Not sure if this is the original domain, but here is the one I found.

http://town.hall.org/radio/Geek/

Chris

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 31

5

This 1995 work is an automatic system for archiving news broadcasts, searching them by text, and playing them back on demand. It seems to hit most of the claims:

http://mi.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/Projects/vmr/mm95.html

published as "Automatic Content-Based Retrieval of Broadcast News " in Proceedings ACM Multimedia 95, November 5-9, 1995 San Francisco, California

Anonymous

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 21

4

I found this concerning M-Bone : http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/08/business/business-technology-peering-out-a-real-time-window.html

By Peter H. Lewis. Dated February 8, 1995.

This article is primarily about M-Bone and the beginnings of live streaming internet radio. The interesting part of the article is the last paragraph about Internet Multicasting's "Geek of the Week" program. "The program, in which technical experts wax rhapsodic about protocols and bandwidth and other geeky subjects, is still available only as audio files that computer users fetch one by one."

Paul

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 31

4

While not specifically for audio (or podcasting), The PointCast Network was founded in 1992 and launched its beta software Feb 13, 1996. It provided news, sports, weather, etc using 'push' technology to keep the feed fresh and up-to-date. More information can be found at the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PointCast_%28dotcom%29

The PointCast system specifically allowed users to subscribe to channels of information that would then be played back at a later point in time. The data was fetched from different service providers and was fetched via URL's.

[Additional Info for Pointcast and other "push" technologies prior to 1997:] I found this info at http://www.berghel.net/publications/push/push.php - at the bottom of the archived page there is a list of then-current push clients for capturing news, music, and social commentary. Refer to the bottom of the page for a list of the clients and their underlying technologies. Hope this helps.

PB Tom

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 21

4

There were many electronic journals online before 1996 — if any of them had a "latest articles" page that described each article and had a direct download link to a file (eg PDF or PostScript, possibly HTML) for each article, that would seem to fit the description of this claim.

Possible candidates include the Theory and Applications of Categories, which started publishing online in 1995. The Internet Archive has a capture from January 1997.

Alf Eaton

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 121

4

NASA has had the "Astronomy Picture of the Day" site since 1995. The index contains a list of links to articles that is updated as new articles are added.

Renee Marie Jones

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

3

Art Bell's Coast to Coast radio program was available to download from broadcast.com. The files are Real Audio and have unique URLs.

I'm not sure how far back it goes. This link begins in May of 1996

http://web.archive.org/web/19990421011429/http://ww2.broadcast.com/artbell/archive96.html#may96

user3904

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

2

The first thing that comes to mind is 2600's "Off The Hook" which, looking at the archive, dates to 1988. [ http://www.2600.com/offthehook/archive_ra.html ]

j0rg3

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

2

Liquid Audio was formed in 1995/1996 - and their patents bought by Microsoft in 2002 to fight another patent battle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_Audio http://articles.latimes.com/2002/oct/01/business/fi-liquid1

Online audio distribution system.

Chris

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

2

http://www.gutenberg.org/ has been disseminating distinct 'episodes' of specific collections or series of books and other documents in the public domain as they become available since back when the 'Internet' was still 'ARPANET'.

Project Gutenberg began in 1971 when Michael Hart was given an operator's account with $100,000,000 of computer time in it by the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the Materials Research Lab at the University of Illinois. [...] An hour and 47 minutes later, he announced that the greatest value created by computers would not be computing, but would be the storage, retrieval, and searching of what was stored in our libraries. He then proceeded to type in the "Declaration of Independence" and tried to send it to everyone on the networks ... which can only be described today as a not so narrow miss at creating an early version of what was later called the "Internet Virus."

It's not audio, but I hope this is pertinent.

user3926

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

2

Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio began its internet presence in 1995. We were one of the first live streaming internet stations in the world. Real Audio used us as a Beta tester. The following is archives pages from 1997 showing what we then called "on demand audio" which were recorded radio shows uploaded on the site. http://web.archive.org/web/19980201015049/http://www.virtual.co.il/news/news/arutz7/sound/#English For more old pages click here: http://web.archive.org/web/19980315000000*/http://a7.org To contact us today click here: http://www.israelnationalradio.com I remember back in 2005 when we first heard the term "podcasting" and I said, "don't we already do that?" We changed our "on demand audio" links to "podcast" links to match up with the times.

Ben

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Has anyone considered the work done by RTC (Radio Computing Services)?

They delivered talk- and music-based software to radio stations, starting in 1979.

There is a wiki on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Computing_Services

In essence, the same general idea of podcasting which included the automatic delivery of new content via a subscriber service.

They're still in existence today: http://www.rcsworks.com/en/

Jay Walsh

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1

http://www.isi.edu/div7/publication_files/rs-92-293.pdf

This is a link that I found describing an early "audiocast" from 1992

Craig

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

News websites. Eposodic news articles including images. HTML pages are multi-media files & they are downloaded to your machine.

Guest

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

Though this answer lacks specifics, I believe there were rudimentary versions of news outfits in the years prior to 02 Oct 1996. A history of reuters.com or nytimes.com may be a start; the Internet Archive doesn't go back as far as I'd like...R.E. 2013-06-26T15:59:19.900

1

1998 - "AND the article is about podcasting before podcasting was cool or even existed. In fact, few schools in the world were online at the time that these kids and I produced a digital radio show on the World Wide Web." http://stager.tv/blog/?p=577

guest

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

This is after the cutoff.Riking 2013-05-31T06:19:51.623

1

The Internet Underground Music Archive is clear prior art in the terms you describe here

user3877

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

Here's a grab of the site from Oct 22 of 1996. After, but from this it had been up a while and has a copyright 1995 http://web.archive.org/web/19961022175511/http://www.iuma.com/

Jay Barba 2013-06-05T19:10:03.737

I agree that the IUMA is strong evidence that invalidates the patent's claims. I have posted two answers that substantiate the IUMA's prior existence with 3rd-party television broadcasts.R.E. 2013-06-26T16:03:08.740

1

Miller Brewing launched their MGDTapRoom website in 1994 as a monthly lifestyle site. Wayback machine provides an archive back to 1996, but the PastTap button shows previous month by month editions: http://web.archive.org/web/19961111045903/http://www.mgdtaproom.com/mgd-past.html

The old www.reddog.com site launched in 1995 as an episodic journey down Route 66 which include audio, video and animations.

user3886

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Kevin

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Drake

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

WinPlay3 allowed for internet streaming and you could use M3U files saved locally as a "playlist" with direct links to the mp3 files you were going to play.

http://web.archive.org/web/20040818092820/www.rjamorim.com/rrw/winplay3.html http://web.archive.org/web/20080619002511/www.sonicspot.com/winplay/winplay.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinPlay3

user3892

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

http://www.google.com/patents/US5442390

  1. A system for interactively viewing a selected one of a plurality of videos...the video data representing time sequenced image signals and audio signals for play-back on a viewing device, a communications network for transmitting the video data...

Paul K

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

I hate it when my freely-redistributable ideas get patented. Happy to be deposed about how I invented this well before the putative patentee/thief. This CDROM has already been used as prior art to break another stupid patent.

[nelson@desk ~]$ ls -l /home/nelson/packet-driver-cdrom
-r-xr-xr-x   1 nelson root           545 Dec 20  1993 00_index.txt
[nelson@desk ~]$ grep -i crynwr.wav /home/nelson/packet-driver-cdrom/drivers/pktd11/manifest.doc
CRYNWR.WAV    .WAV audio file of a native Welsh speaker pronouncing Crynwr.
[nelson@desk ~]$ find packet-driver-cdrom/ -name crynwr.wav
packet-driver-cdrom/drivers/pktd11/crynwr.wav
[nelson@desk ~]$ grep -i crynwr.wav /home/nelson/packet-driver-cdrom/drivers/pktd11/manifest.doc
CRYNWR.WAV    .WAV audio file of a native Welsh speaker pronouncing Crynwr.
[nelson@desk ~]$ ls -l /home/nelson/packet-driver-cdrom/drivers/pktd11/manifest.doc
-r-xr-xr-x  1 nelson root 10687 Nov  9  1993 /home/nelson/packet-driver-cdrom/drivers/pktd11/manifest.doc

Russell Nelson

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1Hmmm.... Yes, Carl's ITR is much better prior art than this, which is "serving up indexed media files" .... not quite the same thing claimed.Russell Nelson 2013-05-31T03:44:06.877

1

RTÉ To Everywhere was a project started in 1994 to distribute news broadcasts from Ireland to ex-pats around the world. Two broadcasts a day were made available via ftp, initially in *.au format, with a week's worth available at any given time. There were mirror sites in the UK, Sweden, the US and Australia.

Further information at http://chien-noir.com/rte.html. Looks like the Sunsite UNC mirror is still up: a snapshot of 29th November 1995: ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/academic/languages/gaelic/Rte/

AMcM

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

The paper from The Journal of the Audio Engineering Society called The Digital Audio Processing Station cited as prior art date back 1986, not 1996.

It is understood that it is most likely a typo. It might also indicates that the examiners did overlook the "prior art" section since it is an obvious mistake.

user3929

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1

For a few decades, Glenn Hauser of Enid, OK, USA, has been distributing World of Radio audio weekly via the 'net. The current audio archive, going back to 2005 is here (oldest episode there is #1282). The show is a review of international broadcasting, primarily shortwave.

As a former DX-er, I remember grabbing real player audio files from his site (pre-RSS) back in the mid '90s. An email to him might produce more definite, pre-1996-10-02 information. Contact info for him is on the main WOR page.

The Wayback Machine's earliest crawl was on 2001-10-22 and that copied page shows downloadable episodes #1096 to #1101, dates 2001-09-12 forward to 2001-10-17, in .rm format.

Good luck.

chattr

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

I worked on this product which consisted of a local database on CDROM and a connected website. The site augmented the CDROM title and allowed the user to search for and download audio clips for music. The application ran on macs and pc's and would request new content from the server. The user could click a button to download and listen to the audio clip.

The music match website itself might be sufficient. User could browser music titles and listen to audio samples.

The link below is from an oct 10th 1996 press release. Obviously, the product was developed and operational well before the 2nd of October.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Billboard+and+Creative+Multimedia+release+music+resource+and+buyer's...-a018753114

This is a quote from the above link showing the online component.

The Billboard Music Guide CD-ROM directly links to Creative Multimedia's entertainment website, MusicMatch (URL: musicmatch.com), where users can search or browse a music database containing 165,000 albums. MusicMatch features an electronic retail component, so users can buy albums and music-related items.

user3943

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1

The website http://www.twatech.org/ began operation on Monday, October 10, 2005 and was dedicated to releasing audio podcasts submitted by the community. The site had a rss feed and tried to release shows each week day. The shownotes included links, and additional information to support the podcast. The site rebranded and continued as hackerpublicradio.org.

Ken Fallon

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

Is "2005" a typo? I believe we need substantial evidence existing prior to 02 Oct 1996 -- preferably years older.R.E. 2013-06-26T16:07:11.507

No, "2005" is not a typo. The first copy of www.twatech.org in the internet archive is from that year. 2005 is indeed too recent to be useful, I guess the OP overlooked the relevant date.JoeG 2013-06-29T18:20:24.860

1

Here are a few other patents that might help. US Patent 5,557,541 was filed in 1994.

I worked for the company in 1997. Company was audiohighway.com. It went out of business. You can look them up on waybackmachine.com.

I think the patents/assets are owned by Sony now. I still have connections to the founder on this start-up who can confirm the patents,etc.

Whatever, hope this helps. If not, sorry

^ 5,557,541: Apparatus for subscription and on-demand audio programming ^ 5,572,442: System for distributing subscription and on-demand audio programming ^ 5,841,979: Enhanced delivery of audio data ^ 6,549,942: Enhanced delivery of audio data for portable playback; and 5,914,941: Portable information storage/playback apparatus having a data interface.

Mojosf

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

On the Amiga from 1985 there were the Fish Disks, a series of disks that contained shareware:

http://fish.back2roots.org/#FishDisks

These disks were published in a series and distributed over Bulletin Boards. There was a version called Frozen Fish specifically for publishing to BBS.

http://fish.back2roots.org/#FrozenFish

These disks contained many types of media, included animations and music.

Ged Byrne

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

How about magazines on tape for the blind and visually impaired?

"The National Talking Express is a monthly stereo tape magazine for the blind and visually impaired. It was launched in 1979 and was the first tape magazine in the UK to go stereo. It has a national and international membership."

http://blindreaders.info/audiobks.html

Brit

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1This example doesn't have servers, files, communication interfaces, URLs, client devices, downloading, etc. so it is not very relevant.George White 2013-06-04T21:17:02.950

1

"The Spot" was an episodic online "soap opera" that featured text entries, photos and videos. It launched in the summer of 1995.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spot

Rick

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Since this is media-type-agnostic, could this claim be applied to webcomics? It specifies episodes... I'm thinking of the long-running episodic strip 'Kevin and Kell' (http://www.kevinandkell.com), launched September 3 1995.

user3969

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

[Agree with usenet as prior art for distributing information.]

The patent is very specific; most current systems (like iTunes) don't I think use "a [single "index" -Ed] file placed in a predetermined download file directory assigned a [predetermined -Ed] filename..."

"The file 145 is placed in a predetermined FTP download file directory and assigned a filename known to the player 103. At a time determined by player 103 monitoring the time of day clock 106, a dial up connection is established via the service provider 121 and the Internet to the FTP server 125 and the download compilation 145 is transferred to the program data store 107 in the player 103."

clevan

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

As a computer science and information systems major, I find this patent laughable. This "invention" basically describes the protocols for requesting and delivering -ANY- files stored on the Internet that occur in sequence or "episodic" format, including blogs, podcasts, software updates, driver updates and security updates. I would consider broaden your "prior art" search into those areas as well. If that applies, and I think it does, then your "prior art" extends all the way back to ARPAnet and the original dialup BBS networks that hosted episodic news articles.

As to specific art, I am aware of a specific example of this concept that is available that predates the patent - the "Cambridge Digital Interactive Television Trial", one of the first video-on-demand (VOD) efforts, dates back to September of 1994. This predates the claimant's patent by more than two years and was the subject of a published press release on March 30th, 1995 (text of release accessed from http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/docs/Acorn/PR/Cambridge_Consumers_move_into_21st_Century_with_interactive_TV.txt ). I suspect this shoots the claimant's patent out of the proverbial waters on the grounds of both obviousness and non-originality.

Tabren James

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Check out Carl Malamud. He seems to be worthy of some interest. Keywords to search are Carl Malamud, Internet Multicasting Service. Hope this helps guys!

"Internet radio was pioneered by Carl Malamud. In 1993, Malamud launched "Internet Talk Radio" which was the "first computer-radio talk show, each week interviewing a computer expert.".[3][4] The first Internet concert was broadcast on June 24, 1993 by the band Severe Tire Damage[5][6]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_radio#US_royalty_controversy

arl Malamud (born 1959) is a technologist, author, and public domain advocate, known for his foundation public.resource.org. He was the founder of the Internet Multicasting Service. During his time with this group, he was responsible for creating the first Internet radio station,[1] for putting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database on-line,[2] and for creating the Internet 1996 World Exposition.[3] Malamud is the author of eight books, including Exploring the Internet and A World's Fair.[4][5] He was a visiting professor at the MIT Media Laboratory and was the former chairman of the Internet Software Consortium. He also was the co-founder of Invisible Worlds, was a fellow at the Center for American Progress, and was a board member of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.[6][7]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Malamud

1993, The Computer Chronicles, The Internet.

http://youtu.be/HyZAbr7Xwrs -> 17:00 forward

Daniel White

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

May 15, 1992

Communications architecture and buffer for distributing information services

US 5341474

http://www.google.com/patents/US5341474

A store-and-forward architecture which stores and distributes information programs to subscribers includes: information warehouses which archive information programs and dispense information programs in segments to central offices in bursts; central offices which manage subscriber's requests for service and buffer segments of information programs for delivery to subscribers in real-time under the subscriber's interactive control; and customer premises equipment.

user3993

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Article titled "Birth of BMAG," published Spring 1994 in BMUG newsletter, which I have in my possession.

The article describes an electronically published magazine called BMAG, with multiple issues, the first of which was published in 1993. Issues would be uploaded to the BMUG BBS, users could view the list of magazine issues in the file listing, and users could download the ones they chose.

ridiculous_fish

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 111

1

Chaosradio is available online monthly since January 1996 (in German).

Here is the Archive: http://chaosradio.ccc.de/chaosradio.html

Daniel

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

WFMU Radio was offering MP3s and sound bites of their radio programs from very early on... but the way back machine only has it starting in 1997: http://web.archive.org/web/19970629060648/http://www.wfmu.org/sounds.html

Andrea

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

Documentation of the starting date would be useful: "Prior art must predate October 2, 1996". As you stated, the wayback machine page is only from 1997.Ron J. 2013-06-12T14:42:07.157

1

The radio comedy group Firesign Theatere did a "Great Internet Broadcast" in May 1996. http://www.radiofreeoz.com/?s=1996

Additionally, according to Wikipedia, in 1996 Firesign Theatere member Peter Bergman "began placing radio-show-like comedy sound bites on his own Internet-based comedy radio station, www.rfo.net. 'The show will be the Internet's funny bone,' Bergman said." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Firesign_Theatre#Other_projects

Unfortunately, the Wikipedia link to the article confirming this is dead. But it later became the Radio Free Oz podcast.

Caitlin Lamb

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

I feel a bit silly for adding anything since most of what I've found has already been mentioned. However since I can't uplink, which is also silly because how can you build support if people just finding this can't vote for things they think are relevant, I figured I'd add my 2 cents.

I think that Carl Malamud's Internet Talk Radio, that other's have mentioned, is the most applicable, since it started in 1993 and was episodic in that he interviewed Computer Experts each week, meaning the content was similar. Additionally, as cited in Wikipedia, the content had to be downloaded to listen to it. I didn't see the following site mentioned. It's an effort to "rescue" the content from Internet Talk Radio. http://museum.media.org/radio/ Here is the Wikipedia article about "Internet Talk Radio". While there are no citations an experienced lawyer could likely find more legitimate info about this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_talk_radio

Even Wikipedia's "History of Podcasting" cites earlier references to people doing "podcasting" prior to Personal Audio's patent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_podcasting

In addition to that I do wonder if an argument could be made that if the Patent office issued patents later that were similar in description and scope, that that in itself would make the patent invalid, or at least not arguable in court. I came across the following patents, issued later, that basically describe the same type of device. If they were issued, one could argue that Personal Audio's patent was not unique. http://www.google.com/patents/US7933171 http://www.google.com/patents/US5481509 http://www.patentlens.net/patentlens/patents.html?patnums=US_8090130&returnTo=quick.html

While I couldn't find a patent for the Personal Jukebox, developed by Compaq back in 1999, someone with more skill in Patent searches might find something. While it doesn't pre-date this patent, the fact that the US Patent Office gave a patent for something like this, after the Personal Audio patent, might be arguable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Jukebox http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/01/19/how_hp_invented_the_market/

Things become even more interesting when you look at Personal Audio specifically. I'm no patent attorney but according to a Patent search while this patent technically goes back to 1996, the documentation says it wasn't filed until March of 2009 and wasn't even published until Feb 2012. Again, I don't know the ins and outs of Patent Law but as a layman...sure I can say I came up with something on a certain date, but if I don't file for that idea until almost 13 years later...My Loss! www.google.com/patents/US8112504

On top of those details, Personal Audio filed a separate Patent for pretty much the exact same thing. Again I'm not a patent attorney, just a user, so if my interpretation is off...I apologize. But then it seems like these Patent Trolls interpret things in their own way too. It's "priority date", which I'm guessing is the date of conception is almost two years later the same as the filing date. But it's Publish Date is almost a year before the Publish date of the Patent that is being used to sue podcasters. https://www.google.com/patents/EP2290972A2

So Personal Audio could essentially sue itself for Patent infringement, at least based on my interpretation.

On top of all of that...Personal Audio doesn't even claim to have a Patent on Podcasting until 2/7/2012, as evidenced in their own Press Release. So it's not like they were contacting Podcasters prior to that saying... "You might infringe on this patent when it's finally published, but we did say we invented it back in 1996 and Submitted it in 2009. But...be careful, just in case." http://personalaudio.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-12-30-Podcasting-Patent-Issued-Press-Release1.pdf

The Patent System definitely needs and overhaul. I personally have thought, should I patent this idea and become a patent troll when someone else actually makes or work, or pay someone to make it work. IMHO, unless the technology has been demonstrated in at least a very minimal way, it should not be approved by the Patent Office. Something to think about...at one point Marijuana Growers were patenting their "variety" of marijuana plant. Then someone noticed and was like...Whoa! Those were all invalidated.

Everything said here... https://defendinnovation.org/ Pretty much says it all. Number 4 in particular. If I can prove that my code isn't exactly the same as someone else's code, then I'm not infringing. And if there is no code from the Patent owner...Oh well. Having worked for a software company, I know we come up with the code for a certain function. We don't go through all the patent records and try to make some abstract idea work. No one has time for that.

user4047

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 21

1

Published 01-01-1996 by the Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal: Dissemination of Digitzed Music on the Internet: A Challenge to the Copyright Act http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1197&context=chtlj

Beginning on page 106:

C. The Technology of Digital Dissemination In Use

This section examines two independent on-line services that specialize in providing computer users with digitized music: The Independent Underground Music Archive and the Cerberus Celestial Jukebox. Although both of these services make only authorized use of the music they disseminate, the methods they use, and the success they have achieved, foreshadow the potential for copyright infringement on the Internet. Their success also illustrates the potential positive aspects of digital dissemination if copyrighted works can be protected on-line.

  1. The Internet Underground Music Archive

In November 1993, two computer science majors at University of California at Santa Cruz founded the Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA). The two students took $20,000 in personal savings and set up the free, on-line digitized music dissemination system, which allows unknown bands to have their music heard around the world via the Intemet. In addition to placing digitized demo tapes of the bands on-line, the IUMA allows the artists to place graphics and text on the Internet. The system also provides access to statistics showing how many times a band's material has been downloaded.6 1 The IUMA, which allows computer users to access the music on-line free-of-charge, relies on donations from the participating bands to keep the service going.

Archive.org has a collection of files from IUMA. Example link: http://archive.org/details/iuma-straight_roots

user4065

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Agree with an above poster, this collection is very interesting: http://museum.media.org/radio/

The collection is rooted in broadcasts which are identified as being streamed on the Internet, but, it is logical that many of these would have also provided downloads.

Followed a link on that page here: http://town.hall.org/radio/HellsBells/

This "press release" from Thu, 23 Sep 1993, shows that this is an 8 part series, and lists the name of a downloadable audio file: http://seclists.org/interesting-people/1993/Sep/98

The Internet Wayback Machine confirms these were available for download from the page at the first link during and/or before 1999, would be great to figure out if that page had changed since 1996: http://web.archive.org/web/19990219121409/http://town.hall.org/radio/HellsBells/

Trey

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

Another confirmation of the 9/23/93 Email: http://markmail.org/thread/jay3iyllxqsdu36m

Trey 2013-06-20T18:46:40.097

Greg McVicar is listed as the producer of the program: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Gregg-McVicar/5527838 He appears to be still active in the audio field, will send him an email for information on possible early podcasts: http://www.radiocamp.com/RadioCamp/Contact.html

Trey 2013-06-20T18:48:10.463

I contacted Greg, and he seems like the type of engaged/enthusiastic person who would be involved in groundbreaking media. I am trying to connect him with the EFF and a few of the other involved parties so they can pow-wow about the nature of Hells Bells. (So, unless you are close to the EFF, or an involved podcast, I might suggest letting Greg do what he does until the EFF drops him a line...don't want him to get too many emails if possible.) Thanks.Trey 2013-06-20T23:36:28.243

Found the below here (txt download: http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/archives/back.issues/1993.volume.13/vol13.iss651-700) explaining how the Internet Multicasting Service was used: "We run a "radio" station, publishing sound files which you listen to on your personal computer."

Trey 2013-06-20T23:55:00.133

1

To add to PB Tom's great answer: Wired published an article on push technologies in March of '97. They profiled PointCast, Castanet, and Freeloader, all of which were attempting to distribute rich media to end-users. It may be worth looking at IP assigned and licensed to those entities (USPTO assignment database: http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/?db=pat).

The original article can be found here. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.03/ff_push_pr.html

Chris Durst

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

The University of Cambridge (UK) HIPERNET (HIgh PERformance NETworked multimedia for distributed language training) experiment appears to hit most if not all of the claims.

According to this page:
http://www.langcen.cam.ac.uk/develop/res_dev.php?c=10
the experiment was run in Michaelmas term 1995 (about a year before the cutoff for invalidating this patent). Selected quotes:

The HIPERNET project had the twin goals of developing an integrated networked multimedia system for distributed language training across the University departments and colleges, and assessing the performance of the multimedia network and the suitability of the training application throught the effective use of the system by representative users from the University.
...
With servers and ATM switching equipment based at the Language Centre workstations were installed in Lab 3 of the Centre as well as at Churchill College and in the Language Unit of the Engineering Department, by using previously unused fibre on the Granta Backbone.
...
Student user trials were held during Michaelmas term 1995. Users had access to the BBC multimedia course French Means Business by Anny King, with an associated multimedia dictionary. Video and audio clips were available to the users...

So this project:

  • Enabled on-demand retrieval of audio clips by clients across a network from a server
  • Was about a year before the cutoff
  • Was presumably episodic as the audio clips related to installments of a language course (I have not been able to check this last point so far)

Here is a January 1996 report about the project: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/newsletter/1996/jan/update.html

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

1

From November 96 (but with strong reason to believe it was up for several months beforehand, see discussion below), the "Front Porch Forum" news page on KUOW 94.9 Public Radio:
http://web.archive.org/web/19961109024722/http://www.kuow.org/fporchf/fpfleads.htm
appears to match all claims in the patent. Furthermore it does so in a way identical to modern podcasting. It contains for some of the news stories:

  • Episodic audio files (news reports) in RealAudio format
  • URLs (the links to the RA files, displayed as an "RA" gif image to the right of the story summary)
  • The page appears to have been periodically updated to contain links to the latest reports
  • Additional displayable text describes each report. In fact, that text also links to a complete transcript of the audio file.

What about dates? The page is from Nov 96, one month after the cutoff, so it seems reasonable to assume it could have been up for at least a month prior to being captured by archive.org.

More precisely, the transcript for the news story "Front Porch Forum Poll Results" (a story with an RA file attached on Front Porch Forum):
http://web.archive.org/web/19961109025135/http://www.kuow.org/news/poll2.htm
is dated 4/26/96. This does not prove that the system of URLs/links to RA files, RA files, and accompanying text was published before Oct 1996 but it makes it seem considerably more likely. Perhaps the station could confirm?

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

1

This 1994 news report by the UK's Independent newspaper describes exhibits by Compton's New Media and Prodigy at the 1994 CES Show which match some or all of the patent claims well before the patent date:

http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/gadgets-tech/computers-hollywood-joins-the-interactive-revolution-steve-homer-reports-from-chicago-on-the-future-of-home-entertainment-1410888.html

Compton's New Media:

Compton's New Media recently announced it was working with Intel on a device that would allow users to access CD-roms over a cable television system. The initial offering will allow users to access 150 titles at normal CD-rom speeds. This means that after purchasing a simple device which links the cable television outlet to the back of your computer, you would be able to nip into the study and play a CD-rom game and then, if little Hannah wanted to know when Mozart was born, you could just nip into an encyclopedia disc and find out. Cookery, language and many other types of disc could be stored on the system.

Another development on display could even develop into a video service for the personal computer. A company called Sigma Designs has come up with a card you can put inside your computer that will allow television-like pictures to be read from CD-rom discs. Store a couple of movies on Compton's service and you have videos-on-demand for your computer. However, that is only available if you have a cable operator delivering the service.

Prodigy:

But another US company, Prodigy, is offering an information service available to any computer user in the US with a telephone line and a modem. Using a modem you can get access to the latest news and various other services. It is extremely easy to use.

At the end of last year Prodigy introduced pictures on the service. At the Consumer Electronics Show, it launched a new facility. You can now dial in and listen to news reports. At present the service is basic and you have to download a file and then play it back. However, it was still quite impressive to be at the show and listen to a breathless commentator announce that Stefan Edberg had just been knocked out of Wimbledon.

In particular, the Prodigy system:

  • Enabled download of episodic audio files from a central server by a remote client
  • Presumably had descriptions accompanying the audio files
  • It was not internet-based so would not have had URLs

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

1

From Oct 18th 1996 (but with persuasive evidence the service had been running for at least the 16 days prior to that in order to predate this patent), the Hollywood.com interactive video website was an online index of downloadable episodic multimedia content with accompanying textual information which provides an exact match for all claims in the patent:

  • Episodic multimedia content (movie clips) was available for download (in .hqx, .mov and .avi formats). Episodic as the index of available clips was periodically updated.
  • Additional text on the download page described the content of the download: the clips for each movie were categorized under subheadings and additional links lead to pages containing movie stills and notes
  • URLs for the individual movie files were included via the links which point to the movie files

Service homepage from Oct 19th 1996:
http://web.archive.org/web/19961018082912/http://www.hollywood.com/

Clicking the "Video" link in the top right leads to the "Video clips" page from Nov 22nd 1996:
http://web.archive.org/web/19961122231534/http://hollywood.com/movies/video.html

Most of the movie pages have not been archived but a few have. The below two examples were archived Oct 18th 1996 but feature a 1995 copyright statement: "Copyright © 1995 Hollywood Online Inc."

Evidence for predating the patent:

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

1

The focus of my investigation was in part inspired by Greg Gronholm's information at http://thepatentpodcast.com/the-new-podcast-patent-being-asserted-by-personal-audio/ . I was focusing on Claim 31 of US Patent 8,112,504; I believe that the evidence below undermines this claim and speaks to the invalidity of the patent.

Mr. Gronholm also has a podcast episode laying out an invalidity discussion of this patent at http://thepatentpodcast.com/how-to-help-invalidate-the-personal-audio-podcast-patent/ .

In my searching, I found that the television program "Computer Chronicles" has a 1995 episode about the Internet [2, 3]. In it, there is a window into relevant pre-"Podcast Patent" Internet functionality:

  • Circa 1995, at least, there was the "Internet Underground Music Archive" (IUMA)[4]. The aforementioned 'Chronicles' episode displays an IUMA webpage, including what appears to be audio/media content that would qualify as "serialized" or "episodic"[5]. (YouTube video, 6'5"-6'10".) The specific webpage ("data file") displayed was a specific URL that was updated with additional [media] content. This "data file" was requested by the client device -- by way of the PC user's Internet browser. Each "episode" depicted includes a brief text description, and is represented by a unique URL embedded in the HTML source. Refreshing the page or navigating to the page at a later time is a means of "employing one of said one or more communication interfaces to:

"(a) receive a request from a requesting client device for the updated version of said compilation file located at said predetermined URL;

"(b) download said updated version of said compilation file to said requesting client device; and

"(c) thereafter receive and respond to a request from said requesting client device for one or more media files identified by one or more corresponding episode URLs included in the attribute data contained in said updated version of said compilation files"

The above (a), (b), and (c) all characterize Internet browser behavior that preceded the temporal/chronological basis of US Patent 8,112,504, and therefore speaks to the patent's invalidity.

A representative, relevant portion of the IUMA is preserved with the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine": http://web.archive.org/web/19961219061839/http://www.iuma.com/IUMA-2.0/olas/new/ .

This particular episode of Computer Chronicles also depicts a playlist (4'34") [7].

For printing convenience, here are the explicit links for the citations above:

1: http://archive.org/details/computerchronicles

2: http://archive.org/details/CC1232_internet

3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XluovrUA6Bk

4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XluovrUA6Bk#t=365s

5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XluovrUA6Bk#t=370s

6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XluovrUA6Bk#t=1615s

7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XluovrUA6Bk#t=273s

R.E.

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

The world's very first website at CERN, by the inventors of the web, included a downloadable sound file from at latest 1992. (As well as being a partial example of prior art, as a particularly historic website this could serve as a useful talking point for those debating the patent). The site was recently reconstructed by CERN, as reported at http://first-website.web.cern.ch/blog/first-url-active-once-more The article states the copy of the site they used is from 1992, although earlier copies may exist.

Here's the page containing the sound file:
http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/WhatIs.html
and the sound file was located at:
http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/Talks/YesWeCan.snd
The file itself has not been uploaded as part of the site reconstruction, however a working copy is mirrored at http://w3.infologie.co/WWW/Talks/YesWeCan.snd
The index at http://w3.infologie.co/WWW/Talks/ shows a datestamp of 1994-Mar-15 for the mirrored copy. The file contains an English male voice (Tim Berners Lee?) saying "Yes, we can even make the text talk about itself".

So this first-ever website hits some but not all of the patent claims:

  • Downloadable audio content from a server
  • A URL pointing to the audio content
  • Extra text describing the content: "HyperMedia is a term used for hypertext which is not constrained to be text: it can include graphics, video and sound , for example."

However, it was not episodic.

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

1

From 1994-1997 former and (then) future California Governor Jerry Brown was hosting a weekly radio program called "We The People". I was involved with the show and distributing it in RealAudio format online at the beginning of October, 1996. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine cuts off show listings at February 1997 but I have copies of the first broadcasts.

Ert Dredge

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1

Oxford University: The Computer Journal
Article: HYPERTEXT - Moving Towards Large Volumes
Published: Volume 32 Issue 6 December 1989
Author: I. RITCHIE
url: http://comjnl.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/6.toc


Excerpts:
In 1945 Bush wrote an article, called As we may Think, which was published in the magazine Atlantic Monthly in which he argued that: 'Our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate in their purposes'. Bush proposed a machine called 'the Memex', which he described as 'a device in which an individual stores his books, records and communications, and which is mechanised so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility'.

Our ineptitude in getting at the record is largely caused by the artificiality of systems. When data of any sort are placed in storage, they are filed alphabetically or numerically, and information is found (when it is) by tracing it down from subclass to subclass. It can only be in one place, unless duplicates are used; one has to have rules as to which path will locate it, and the rules are cumbersome. Having found one item, moreover, one has to emerge from the system and re-enter on a new path.

The Human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain.

Bush's foresight from the 1940s makes dramatic reading in the 1980s when so much of his prediction is being delivered.

The most effective work in developing and implementing the concepts described by Bush during the 1950s and 1960s was led at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) by Doug Engelbart. The NLS (oN Line System), developed by the Augmented Human Intellect Research Centre at SRI, allowed users to create electronic documents based on connected concepts, to build hierarchies of infor- mation and to collaborate with others on the joint development of documentation. This work was also responsible for the development of many of the features which we now recognise as standard in modern personal computer systems: notably text processing and electronic mail

...

It is clear that these are only the first generation of hypertext products and that many others will be launched in the coming few years.

One of the most active areas of development of hypertext will be to build in the capabilities to manage other information sources including Video and Audio material; the resulting technology has already been called Hypermedia.

It is interesting to note that Bush's Memex included provision for voice storage and recovery and that Engelbart's NLS project experimented with integrated video images.

Both the GUIDE and HyperCard products are now being used actively to create applications which will run Video and Audio sequences and can call on other software packages for functions such as animation, database access and expert system diagnosis.

COMMERCIAL HYPERTEXT Adoption of hypertext technology outside of the research laboratory has been quite limited until relatively recently. In the last two years, however, there has been an explosive growth in commercial hypertext projects.

The IRIS team are now evaluating enhancements of the web concept, which they call filters, which allow the user to display hypertext links by characteristics such as author, date, authorisation level etc.

codeslinger

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 51

0

This LA Times article from July 8th, 1996 looks promising. It first describes "TheDJ Player", a Windows 95 app that lets you select from 20,000 songs, listen to them on demand, and optionally purchase a CD.

It also makes mention to lalive.com which has a browsable archive of past live concerts that it streamed. The oldest snapshot archive.org is in early 2007, but the above article mentions it's past archive playback service existing at that time.

whamma

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 101

0

This is perhaps oversimplified, but a playlist is just a list, yes? And if you manually update that list on the server side, and manual refresh on the client side, isn't that essentially what running a playlist is, except without automation?

In other words, there is nothing that I see in the claim that has anything to do with automation. It only suggests that a file is maintained and changed, and that then the file is requested, and when there are changes, a subsequent request would reflect those changes.

By that definition, then, a simple list that is updated would fulfill this definition, without any automation. The claimants original company was, in fact, not automated, but instead was hand assembled and delivered list of content on tape - the opposite of automation.

Since the < list > tag was included in the 1993 HTML spec, would not then its mere existence preclude this particular patent from being valid?

In order for there to be something patentable, you'd have to automate that obvious and already included function. Without automation, you simply have the Internet and HTML as it was originally designed.

Am I wrong with this argument?

Eliot Hochberg

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

There seems to a variety of potentially useful records here: [ http://museum.media.org/radio/ ]

j0rg3

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

Try getting in touch with whoever produced Sci-Fi Channel's Seeing Ear Theatre: http://timespast.ning.com/profiles/blogs/sci-fi-channel-s-seeing-ear-theater http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=19883

I believe they were first publishing in 1997, but they most likely got the idea from somewhere else and started work before then.

Joan

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

Wouldn't Carl Malamud's Internet Talk Radio be considered the earliest form of podcasting? Or would podcasting not be just an extension of Malamud's system?

Wesley Henderson

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

While I don't have any specific instances of prior art I do have a suggestion. For this particular instance you might want to look at educational institutions. Many of these were using the internet way before the mass influx, as it were, and I am sure there would be quite a few examples of prior art a la podcasting or something similar.

I'll ask around some of the engineering/IT instructors to see if they have anything they can point to and post again if I find anything.

user3889

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

It seems like the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) might be a good prior art example against this patent on files being transferred between computers over the internet. The date of the below document is Oct 1985. This FTP process that was created almost 10 years before this soon to be disputed podcasting patent had features and technical functions that are almost identical to how podcasting works. The basics are ordered files being either manually or automatically being transferred over the internet between computer type devices with storage capabilities.

See link below.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc959

The objectives of FTP are 1) to promote sharing of files (computer programs and/or data), 2) to encourage indirect or implicit (via programs) use of remote computers, 3) to shield a user from variations in file storage systems among hosts, and 4) to transfer data reliably and efficiently. FTP, though usable directly by a user at a terminal, is designed mainly for use by programs.

Definition of a "File":

An ordered set of computer data (including programs), of arbitrary length, uniquely identified by a pathname.

record

A sequential file may be structured as a number of contiguous parts called records. Record structures are supported by FTP but a file need not have record structure.

server-DTP

The data transfer process, in its normal "active" state, establishes the data connection with the "listening" data port. It sets up parameters for transfer and storage, and transfers data on command from its PI. The DTP can be placed in a "passive" state to listen for, rather than initiate a connection on the data port.

server-FTP process

A process or set of processes which perform the function of file transfer in cooperation with a user-FTP process and, possibly, another server. The functions consist of a protocol interpreter (PI) and a data transfer process (DTP).

Rob Greenlee

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

1

Hi, and welcome to Stack Exchange. I noticed that you had a signature in your post; these are unnecessary on Stack Exchange due to the "usercard" at the bottom right of your post. Check out the faq for more information.

Riking 2013-05-31T06:23:33.767

0

In 1900, the U.S. Patent Office granted Tesla patents 645,576 and 649,621, the fundamental design of the Tesla coils, on March 20 and May 15. The invention of these coils led directly to the invention of radio. Through the 1950's regularly scheduled shows or broadcasts were made available to listeners via episodic programs.

The encapsulation of this scheduled audio program within a computer system is "obvious to those skilled in the art."

Further, scheduled fetching of files and creating an index of those files over the internet was present within every web based search engine including AltaVista, HotBot & Lycos.

graiz

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

Wouldn't Gopher count? It would be a page with links to content, I'm sure you could find a Gopher page (were they called pages?) with links to audio files (were they called links?)

Or for that matter, just a web page could semantically match the patent language.

After all, its the page (or gopher page) is an index with URLs that can be "downloaded to a client device" (your computer).

Gal

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 121

0

A quick Google search revealed that MP3 as a file format was patented in Germany in 1989, and the US in Nov 1996. http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/MPThree.htm This is interesting only because of what it was developed for, namely Digital Audio Broadcasting specifically over phone lines.

Although the DAB standard was used primarily for digital radio broadcasting in Europe, a direct and easy link from digital radio broadcasting technology to internet technology could be made given the stated purpose of MP3s by its developer to, "quality transmit of [digital] audio over phone lines," since most internet connections were phone line based at the time.

Oh well, it isn't much, but good luck, Ben

Ben

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

How about software tutorials that contained video. Eg "new feature in _" although this may or my not not have called back to a server. Or any type of automated software update system that gives users the choice to update or not. It seems that this is more general which may make specific file type "obvious".

Bill Fullerton

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

I am uncertain if this covers the criteria you're looking for, but Penn Jillette's old show comes to mind, and fits the requested dates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penn_Radio

user3921

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

Radio station automation and traffic management is essentially the same thing, except the 'player' is the transmitter. The nature of the interface and storage is essentially the same. See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audicom, from 1989, with a screen display that looks familiar to any of the early-generation desktop music players. It has the added prior-art bonus of using lossily-compressed data files.

David Brower

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 101

0

In 1986 Jeff Harrow of Digital Equipment Corporation started the beginning of "the rapidly changing face of computing", a series of technology reports that would become one of the first if not the first multi media webcast. I don't remember exactly when he started making audio files of these web casts available for download but I am pretty sure it was prior to 1992. I used to listen to them when I worked at Digital Equipment Corp in the early 1990's. See question 2 at : http://crnano.org/interview.harrow.htm.

Kevin Graham

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

What about the M3U format? I think that serves as the compilation file, and supported URLs. Fraunhofer's first MP3 player used it. I don't know of a specific case of it being hosted and used in the method described but the folks there, or at winamp may have the concise examples you need.

Jeff Brand

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

Binary Revolution (http://www.binrev.com/forums/index.php/files/category/3-binary-revolution-radio/) ran from July 8, 2003 to Feb 01 2010 03:02 PM. As well as streaming live, their shows live but also released their shows as a mp3 file for download after the show. The shows were released with show notes.

The shows and textfiles are archived here http://audio.textfiles.com/shows/binrev/

Ken Fallon

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

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The Linux Link Tech Show (http://tllts.org/) have been releasing shows since September 24, 2003 and have been releasing their chat logs from IRC along with the shows that contain links to images and other media.

Ken Fallon

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

LugRadio was a Linux news show that began podcasting in 26 Feb 2004, and stopped regular releases on 19th July 2008. (http://lugradio.org/episodes/#episode1)

Their shows contained segments that often had recurring themes and all their shows had detailed show notes containing links.

Ken Fallon

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

Serial and non-serial release from Ray Bradbury in various audio formats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Bradbury_bibliography#Audio_releases dated as early as 1958

Zach Rhoads

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

I purchased tapes of a Daily Radio Segment "The Daily Feed" in 1993, 1994, 1995 & 1996. These were tapes with recorded episodes in sequential order. Year end tapes were available since at least 1986. http://www.dailyfeed.com/

Kenneth Stump

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

The invention flexi-discs may have some bearing on this case. They are periodic-media disseminated via magazines as either supplemental or showcase material: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexi_disc

Michael M.

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

The internet exists because servers supply media to clients across a network. That was the original intention of DARPA, and Sir GB Lee when the internet was created. Their work far predates any claims made in the patent assertion above.

maxw3st

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1I don't think they were focused on prerecorded media episodes. To be useful as prior art something needs to have all or many of the "limitations" of a claim laid out explicitly or inherently.George White 2013-06-04T21:22:38.283

0

In "The Real Frank Zappa Book" chapter 19, Frank proposed a system for the delivery of music, digitally, over phone or cable lines, to the home, for storage on consumer devices, INCLUDING SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES, content to be determined via electronic catalog, which sounds substantially identical to the patent described here. (Google books preview link)

This is found on pp 337 - 340 of the hardcover, which was published in 1989 (and Frank's dedication, presumably the last thing written, is dated August 23, 1988 06:39:37). At that early date, I'd call that both novel and non-obvious.

Gary Tyrrell

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

I've been using a site called wayback machine (http://archive.org/web/web.php). Unfortunately it only goes back to November 6, 1996 for this site

http://web.archive.org/web/19961102145105/http://www.dojo.ie/

But at that point it already had over 300 music samples to download.

If your looking for the guy who started it, here's his linked in page. He says he started it in 1994.

http://ie.linkedin.com/in/radiobriangreene

Jay Barba

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

Also, using wayback machine, I was able to go to a website I made in 1999 called music monkey. It was a snapshot at that time of music links on the internet. There may be links to other sites in here that predate Oct 1996.

http://web.archive.org/web/19981201223802/http://www.musicmonkey.com/

Jay Barba

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

I'm pretty sure my grandmother, who was blind, used a service like this in the early 90's - but the only thing I could find was this company: http://www.blindskills.com/2012_Spring_Sample1.html

They might know of other organizations for the blind who provided audio services.

Jill C

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

Volokh, Eugene Cheap speech and what it will do; Emerging Media Technology and the First Amendment. Yale Law Journal ISSN: 0044-0094 May 1, 1995 Pg. 1805-1850 Vol. 104 No. N7

The Section on Music & The Electronic Music Dabase - Dealing W/ Information Overload - Custom Mix Cable Radio describes something very similar to the podcasts I listen to where music is curated along a specific genre line & placed on the web for consumption. It suggests downloading it to your computer & burning to a disc.

Adam Bennington

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

Braun, Jenifer. "What a tangled Web they weave." The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey). September 22, 1996 Sunday

Describes episodic web soap operas. The format is not specifically audio content, but includes episodic audio content.

Adam Bennington

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

Beauchamp, Lane. "Get spanqued!; It may be the Net's first daily talk show. Whatever, its hosts promise a bit of fun" Kansas City Star July 6, 1996 SECTION: FYI; Pg E5;

"Spanq! - the version with the "q" - makes its debut Monday on the Web and is being touted as the first daily talk show created exclusively for the Internet. It will be a cleverly packaged, three-minute audio update on what's new or interesting on the Web."

Very similar to a lot of tech podcasts today. But it wasn't archived. Only available for streaming that day.

Adam Bennington

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 11

0

Krugozor was doing something like this

http://nnm.ru/blogs/rosseforp/krugozor_51982/

Todd

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

Thanks for your answer. The style of this site is to post answers that are self contained enough for readers to get the the point without needing to follow a link. Particularly in the case of a link to a site in a language other than English it would be great if you edit your answer to let us know what you see as the significance of the site you are linking to.George White 2013-06-09T06:44:02.417

0

Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) could be argued to be episodic in nature, as publishers would distribute patches and updates via the internet, often adding new content.

One of the earliest examples of an MMOG is Meridian 59, which was publishing updates via the internet as early as 1995, according to their official website.

Nate Quinn

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

There is a paper published by Robert Jensen in the July/August 1993 edition of Academe Magazine entitled "The Technology of the Future is Already Here" which describes professors being able to reach students all over the world with audiovisual presentations among other things. The paper specifically mentions the internet as a means.

Jonathan Rottet

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

They're not audio, but webcomics seem to fit the bill otherwise. Webcomics typically have individual pages for each comic as well as an archive page.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webcomic#Early_webcomics

http://www.tcj.com/the-history-of-webcomics/

Some examples of webcomics series started before 1996 are

Argon Zark http://www.zark.com/front/about.html

Where The Buffalo Roam http://www.shadowculture.com/wtbr/site.html

Dr. Fun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Fun

T.H.E. Fox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.H.E._Fox

Blogging also seems to me to be an example of prior art:

http://nymag.com/news/media/15971/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

One of the first bloggers appears to have been Justin Hall who started his blog in 1994 http://links.net/re/

Nerdcore Steve

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

From at least June 13, 1996, the Oyez Supreme Court multimedia archive provides an exact match for the patent claims. The project was originally hosted at Northwestern University. April 2nd 1997 is the earliest archived page:
http://web.archive.org/web/19970402082452/http://oyez.at.nwu.edu/oyez.html
However, this CNET report from June 1996:
http://news.cnet.com/CDA-rejected-in-landmark-ruling---page-5/2009-1023_3-214448-5.html
indicates that the Oyez project had been operating as an indexed archive of downloadable episodic audio content since at least mid 1996:

An archive of RealAudio files of Supreme Court oral arguments and opinions can be heard at Northwestern University's Academic Technologies Department.

The project still exists but is now hosted at Chicago-Kent University: http://www.oyez.org/about

The project as it was in the version archived in April 1997 (which appears to be consistent with the CNET description in June 1996) matches the claims in the patent in the following ways:

  • Downloadable RealAudio files (of US Supreme Court oral arguments) are indexed by date.
  • The content was episodic: as new Supreme Court cases were heard, new RA files were added to the index.
  • The content contained URLs pointing to the audio content (as an RA graphical logo and an "Oral Arguments" text link)
  • Each audio file had accompanying text describing its content (a text description of the Supreme Court case)

An example of the above system can be seen at this April 1997 archived page:
http://web.archive.org/web/19970402083126/http://oyez.at.nwu.edu/cases/94-926/

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

0

As a non-lawyer who knows little about patents, I'll risk putting my two cents in here. What's the difference between a system that creates a "compilation list" on a server and streams music in digital data form out to clients, and an enterprise print queue that streams digital data in the form of print jobs out to client printers scattered around an organization?

Ira M. Salwen

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

Remember the jukebox system they used to have in diners in the 50s and 60s? There was a client terminal at each booth and a server that held the records. When people would enter their selection in the booth, it would be stored at the central jukebox, er, the music server, and the selections would be played throughout the diner in the order they were entered. Sounds like a playlist to me! Maybe Seeburg or one of the other jukebox manufacturers has an actual patent on this that might serve to vitiate this patent claim.

Ira M. Salwen

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

If you want to go WAY BACK then John Giorno's Dial A Poem, 1969 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dial-A-Poem. The first of the 'dial up for spoken word/poetry' - the subscription being the phone number, the delivery mechanism the line, the device is the phone. As a delivery system it seems FAR closer to podcasting than sending tapes in the mail!

Tim

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

Welcome to Ask Patents. One of the conventions of this site is to not have signatures, so I am editing your post to remove it. You can put that type of information in your profile.George White 2013-07-04T18:35:26.573

0

I am certainly not an attorney, but two examples of possible defenses come to mind, which might bear investigating:

This is a Wikipedia link to some of the earliest webcasting efforts, all prior to 1996: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_radio

Additionally, you might want to seek out Danni Ashe, owner of the website danni.com. Although adult in nature, they streamed original content, and I believe people could also go through archival content. She has been on the web since 1995.

Reading the patent, it seems to be a patent for a player, and not applicable to most podcasts, as podcasts do have a "fast-forward" feature, but it is not accurate in relation to skipping "announcements" (commercials), as highlighted in the patent description. As a podcaster who receives no monetary compensation for my efforts, but does it for the love of entertaining a small audience, I wish you the best going forward, and thank you for fighting the good fight. Sincerely, Rick Bailey-Host www.stfushow.com

Rick Bailey

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

Welcome to Ask Patents. I am looking forward to your future posts. One of the conventions we try to stick to on Ask Patents and the other Stack Exchange sites is to not use closing signatures.George White 2013-07-04T06:17:46.930

0

If memory serves Mad Magazine 40 years ago included small vinyl record in some issues of their magazine. May want to contact giz wiz twit network Eddie debartolo.

EDIT: June 1973

Mad Magazine Presents: Gall in the Family Fare

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iowCW6s7HMc

It came as Flexi-Disc 7 in. soft vinyl as a part of the magazine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_(magazine)#Recordings

It's subscription, and it's episodic in nature (it's a magazine on LP, and in 1996, CD)

Kasey chang

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

Thanks for contributing to Ask Patents. Those records might seem relevant from the title of the post and the patent application but it is the claims for which prior art is being sought. The claims require a data storage server, communications interfaces, storage locations pointed to by URLs and downloading. Some cool records in magazines were episodic and were media but there were no data storage servers, downloading etc.George White 2013-07-04T06:08:52.397

0

An aside in a 1986 Usenet post to net.music.synth about "Audio Data Reduction Techniques" covers many of the claims in the patent:

Applications for compressed audio on nonmechanical media certainly exist (e.g. in toys), and I would not be surprised to learn that music distributors soon might download compressed audio to digital jukeboxes.

So this 1986 comment suggests:

  • Audio stored on central servers (implied)
  • The audio is compressed
  • The audio is episodic (given the term "music distributors" and the fact the proposal is about jukeboxes)

However the proposal does not mention URLs, or additional descriptive text.

See https://groups.google.com/d/msg/net.music.synth/2FJEnQNF3bY/vEvkQK9gPQQJ

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

0

A 1991 posting to newsgroup misc.handicap on "audio readers" states:

This same newspaper is starting an online service where anyone could call the newspaper's computer and download whatever they would like to read.

The system described therefore covers downloading episodic audio content from a remote server. (Given the early date, presumably via direct modem connection to the remote server). Without further information on the system, it is not possible to say how the audio content was indexed and whether it had accompanying text.

See https://groups.google.com/d/msg/misc.handicap/NKjlMLsUsZQ/XJCDoSIx0EcJ

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

0

A May 1995 announcement in newsgroup rec.music.celtic on "Mulligans Bar Amsterdam music list" provides an exact match to the patent claims from more than a year before filing:

Mulligans Irish Music Bar in Amsterdam is now on the Net with their monthly music list.

< URL:http://www.nikhefk.nikhef.nl/~keeshu/mulligans/mulmonth.html>

From this page you can download audio samples (AIFC) of several of the perfoming musicians/groups.

So:

  • Audio content was downloadable from a remote server
  • A system of URLs on that server indexed said content
  • Accompanying descriptive text about the bands was provided
  • The page was a "monthly music list" describing each month's performers, so the audio content was episodic

See https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.celtic/H6g22fnMNKo

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

0

The BBC was providing a transcription service (also an early example of ecommerce) via FTP in September 1994 (http://support.bbc.co.uk/support/history.html). Presumably this provided a list of files, updated regularly, which users could download.

Elliot Smith

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

0

The official Johnny Mnemonic movie website from at the latest 2nd May 1995 completely matches all claims in the patent from well over a year before the filing date. It was episodic (content changed daily).

Here is a Usenet post on 2nd May 1995 noting its launch:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.arts.movies.people/AYtUb_APqiE

Ran across a new WWW page exclusively for Keanu Reeves' upcoming movie Johnny Mnemonic.. You can download audio/video/still clips from the movie.. They change clips everyday.. .Kinda cool.. you can also download some sort of Virtual Reality type thing just like in the movie.

The earliest copy in the Internet archive is from June 1997:

Archive.org has even archived some of the movie and audio clips, for example:
http://web.archive.org/web/19970616235811/http://www.spe.sony.com/Pictures/SonyMovies/movs/clip5.MOV

As well as the statement about episodicity in the usenet post, the site itself made it explicit by stating:

Keep tuning in to see and hear the clips of the day. Collect the whole set of exclusive Johnny media.

JoeG

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 283

0

Have you looked into Microsoft TV, WebTV for Windows, and/or the earlier "Microsoft Guide" project? The dates I have for Microsoft TV and WebTV for Windows are 1998, and you're looking for something before October 1996, but the 1998 date is approximate. "Microsoft Guide" was earlier than that, but I don't know how public it was.

I briefly wrote about these in relation to an earlier EFF request relating to podcasting, episodes, etc. in US 7,568,213, as an example of uncovering software prior art through reverse engineering of software binaries:

http://www.softwarelitigationconsulting.com/articles/open-to-inspection-using-reverse-engineering-to-uncover-software-prior-art-part-2/

"... As an example, take a patent claim with the following limitations: media channel, predefined episodes, subscribing, downloading updates, checking available space, and deleting earlier episodes; the patent claims priority to applications filed in Nov. 2003.[16]

"A search was conducted across a limited set of Microsoft products for combinations of text including the following terms: episode, channel, subscribe, update, and download. Results were found in a Windows 98 program named tvx.exe and in two modules it references, named commmstv.dll and msepg.ocx. These 1998 files refer to “Microsoft TV Services” and “WebTV for Windows”. The tvx.exe file contains embedded SQL source code for manipulating a SQL database of television data. Further searching among Microsoft products, including a 1998 Microsoft “Platform SDK” (software development kit), yielded publically-available source-code files related to a TV project from the early 1990s named “Microsoft Guide”, an EPG (Electronic Program Guide) with support for episodes, channels, subscriptions, and so on.

"[16] This example was selected, more or less at random, from US Patent 7,568,213, which has been reported as a “patent for podcasting” ..."

Andrew Schulman

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 21

0

Digital Generation, Inc. (aka DG, later DG FastChannel, and now Extreme Reach by acquisition) was founded in 1991. Beginning in the early 1990's, DG used the internet for the distribution of radio commercials and other content (music releases and possibly episodic radio shows) to stations across the United States through a network of up loaders (recording studios and content creators), DG servers, and downloaders (radio & TV stations, and other end users). The DG business model included notification by FAX and/or email of new content for download, tracking of the upload/download process, and at some point in time online access to notices/catalogs/histories/content. In some instances, content was automatically delivered (pushed) by internet download to terminals installed at radio stations. In other instances, stations manually downloaded (pulled) newly available files or retrieved older content from DG servers after losing it or flushing it out the on site terminal.

I used the early DG system in 1993 as an uploader and have used it continuously through it's current evolution into Extreme Reach. Followup with early founders of DG may reveal information about their possible consideration of patents and prior art.

John McDaniel

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

-1

Cu-SeeMe (1993) was a multi-media video conferencing system that provided one-to-many, a several-to-several, or a several-to-many conference depending on user needs and hardware capabilities. Here's the Cu-SeeMe Cookbook:

http://www.cadvision.com/blanchas/education/cu-seeme/cuseeme.txt

Eugene

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

-1

From http://www.joybubblesthemovie.com/synopsis.html:

During the last thirteen years of his life, before passing away from congestive heart failure in the summer of 2007, Joybubbles hosted a radio program called 'Stories and Stuff,' on his answering machine. He updated the show weekly, and made the recording available to anyone who called the number +1 206-FEELING. Joybubbles loved to tell stories about his imaginary friends, telephones, eternal childhood, and sensual pleasures he enjoyed, like the smell of chlorinated swimming pools, eating gooey angel food cake, and listening to the sound of venetian blinds fluttering in the wind.

http://audio.textfiles.com/shows/storiesandstuff/

http://www.radiolab.org/2012/feb/20/long-distance/

Ann

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

-1

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Chapter 9 (p. 55 of the 1984 reprint):

he would plug his foolscap-sized newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth... he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him

This likely fits within their definition and was originally published in 1968. While this example does not incorporate the concept of audio or moving video media, it is an example of media and the automatically updated list of current episodes/articles.

Seanekpg

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

-2

I do not have an actual example, but when my Grandfather became blind in the early 90s, a disability group gave him recordings of specific articles, magazines and books at his request. I am unsure of the actual organization, we live in Minnesota, but that should definitely show the obviousness of this patent. I'm sure they were doing this for some time before even the 90s to assist blind people throughout the country.

ericberry

Posted 2013-05-30T17:29:17.447

Reputation: 1

1This question is asking for prior art, which needs to be a document with a verifiable publication date. Anecdotal evidence isn't helpful. And your example doesn't address the aspect of a communicating over a network with URLs for individual episodes.stharward 2013-06-08T00:31:17.900