Assignment 8: When Patents Attack! (This American Life)

English: Logo from the radio program This Amer...

Logo from This American Life, via

Assignment (edited):

Please listen to the following radio show, produced by WBEZ Chicago‘s and Public Radio International’s This American Life, on the topic of software patents, and answer the questions below in your weekly post. This assignment is ready to complete, all edits are final. (part one is optional, and can be heard at

In addition to using the template to help you to make a great response, also please note your understanding of copyright, creative commons, patents, public domain, the TEACH act, the DMCA, and open source licensing methods.

  1. Were the interviewers performing an illegal act since they were interviewing the patent holder for a podcast?
  2. Why did the patent holders not have a definitive number for licensing the patent?
  3. Why are patent lawsuits on the rise?
  4. Is Nathan Myhrvold a “Patent Troll”? What is a Patent Troll, in the common understanding?
  5. Why are the offices of Software Rights Archive, Bullet Proof Technology of Texas, Jellyfish Technology of Texas and others empty?
  6. What was Peter Detkin‘s inspiration for the coining of the phrase “Patent Troll” as a fitting metaphor?
  7. Do you believe that Chris Crawford does not know what an apostrophe s means?
  8. Why is Nick Desaulniers worried about starting a new business saving lives?
  9. How might patents (and their trolls) negatively affect your ability to innovate in your work?



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