A friend of mine makes his living by running adult websites. Yes, “porn”. The way it works is he signs up with sponsors who have large websites that provide photos, streaming video and audio, etc. When someone signs up for the sponsor’s service, my friend gets a commission. He sent me a link about Acacia Technology Group, a company that owns the patents “that cover the transmission and receipt of digital audio and digital video content, more commonly known as audio-on-demand, video-on-demand, and audio/video streaming.” They are going after people who run adult websites to force them to pay for a license to use theur technology, or to take them to court.
Okay, you mightn’t care about adult websites; but it seems to me that Acacia’s patents can cover all streaming audio or video on the internet. Let’s say I shoot some footage of me flying a helicopter, and I put it up on my website. It appears that I might be subject to a lawsuit for using streaming audio/video technology without a license.
In my example, I would be providing content (my helicopter movie) from a free site (no charge to visit my pages). I can’t see them going after every person with a homepage to try to squeeze money out of them, but if I read this right then they would be within their rights to do it.
Will this be the end of videos and music on the internet?
[sub]I’d post the link that my friend sent to me – there is no “porn” on it – but it does contain an ad that shows a naked breast. If a mod sees this and gives the okay, I’ll post it. Otherwise, the site is Xbiz and I assume you can do a search on it to find the article.[/sub]