Two years ago, radio giant Clear Channel bought a patent describing a method for making instant recordings of live concerts for sale. Clear Channel quickly began bullying any bands that offered post-concert sales of recordings into using its technology (and paying for the privilege, of course). Soon afterwards, the EFF put together a list of patents that needed to be busted, with second place going to this Clear Channel patent. Apparently, it takes a bit of time to go from saying a patent should be shot to actually lining up and firing, because it took until this week to finally ask the patent office to re-examine the Clear Channel patent. The EFF submitted some prior art, showing similar technology in place a year prior to the patent filing. Of course, you could also make the case that the basic concept of recording a concert and then offering it for sale really shouldn't be patentable at all -- but the patent office doesn't seem to care about things like that.
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