Adam Carolla vs. Patent Trolls, the Government, NPR, Salon, and more!


"Adam Carolla vs. Patent Trolls, the Government, NPR, Salon, and more!" Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Edited by Alexis Garcia. Approximately 16 minutes. 

Original release date was June 17, 2014. The original text is below. 

"There's a lot of people out there whose job it is to be offended for other people," says Adam Carolla, comedian and host of the Adam Carolla Show podcast. "They're like, 'Hey, these are opinions people disagree with!' It's like, 'Hey, United States there, buddy. It's just one big pile of opinions that people disagree with.'"

Reason TV sat down with Carolla in his Glendale warehouse/podcast studio to discuss a lawsuit he's facing from a so-called "patent troll" who claims intellectual ownership over the idea of "a system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence." In other words, the company claims to own the very idea of podcasting, despite never having produced a podcast itself.

Carolla, whose show set a Guinness Book World Record for most downloaded podcast of all time, is a natural target for the patent troll, but Carolla believes that if he goes down, the entire future of podcasting may be at stake. So he's started a "Save Our Podcasts" campaign to fight back.

"We were just sort of number one on their shakedown list, and I'm just assuming they'd just get to everyone who was in the top 1000 on iTunes eventually," says Carolla (1:46). "We sort of felt like, well, it'd be nice for our podcasting brothers not to give them 'X' amount of dollars… When terrorists take hostages, if you start negotiating with them, they just start taking more camera crews. We just figured we'd save the next camera crew. We'll take the duct tape and the zip ties."

Carolla even made a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to discuss patent reform with a Congessional committee. But he left underwhelmed by the experience.

"I got a call about an hour later that said, '[Sen. Patrick] Leahy shot it down,'" says Carolla (4:23). "It gave me renewed hope in the system and how one man could make a difference. Oh wait… it was a total waste of time." 

In addition to fighting off patent trolls, Carolla has also been busy shooting an independent film, working on his  Spike TV show To Catch a Contractor, and recently released his third bestselling book, President Me: The America That's in My Head. He sounded off on several of the topics covered in that book, such as his disgust with Los Angeles ("this town is trashy" – 7:08) and comedians being pressured to issue fake apologies (10:25).

He also calls out online media outlets for constantly engaging in ambush interview techniques, pointing to recent encounters with NPR and Salon as examples (11:45).

"There's not a lot of people who disagree with them who are willing to even talk to them anymore because of the ambush nature of what they do now," he says. "There's sort of nothing in it for the person who's being interviewed by anymore, because all they're going to do is try to make you look like a bigoted, sexist, xenophobic whatever."

The interview concludes with Carolla discussing the various political labels that commentators have attached to him and why he considers himself "mostly libertarian" (14:43).

"You bring up the topic, I'll give you the answer" says Carolla. "For me, if you go, 'Would you like to lower taxes? Yes. Are you OK with guys having a pot plant in their backyard? Yes. Would you like government smaller? Yes.' I think when you're done with many of these questions, you'll probably end up with libertarian."

NEXT: Supreme Court Rules Against Patent Trolls

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  1. OT:

    Here’s a nickle’s worth of free advice: If you have a package that you definitely need to be delivered on a particular day–say, for a wedding or a funeral–then you definitely want to choose the “Hold At Location” option, and go pick the package up yourself. Waiting around all day and hoping you hear the guy knock on your door means that you aren’t really serious about getting that package.

    One other thing: if you’re not tracking the package throughout the day, and end up trying to call the station after the close time in order to get the package that was attempted but not delivered, then you are not truly serious about getting your package.

    1. ^^I should add that the further you live from the station, the less likely you will get your package if you are not proactive about tracking it. If you live two hours from the station, and want the delivery guy to turn around at 17:00 and drive two hours back out to your house because “you really, really need that package”, you won’t be getting your package today. Your best option is to try to negotiate with the driver to meet you halfway.

      1. Your best option, again, is to have the package held at a location–either the home station or at an adjuct facility (UPS store for UPS, FedEx Office for FedEx).

        1. Inevitably, you’re going to need to run to the store, or pick up your kids from their Montessori School, and that will be the time that the delivery guy shows up.

          1. Piggybacking off your advice, this holds especially true during the holidays. UPS/FedEx hire part-time help and they’re under a huge time crunch. I’ve personally witnessed UPS guys run up to my door with a “Sorry we missed you” sticker and no box in their hands more than once. I actually caught one guy on the way back to the truck because the dogs started barking. He didn’t even get to the door, just stuck the sticker on the front gate.

          2. One other alternative:
            Have it delivered to one of the ‘mail-box stores’. Someone is there to sign for it all day long, so there is no excuse regarding that issue and the charge to receive it is usually minimal.
            Also, ask for the tracking number from the shipper. UPS in particular is very good about providing tracking info on the web site.

  2. A Lawrence (Kansas) paper profiled a “Spunky Wellesley Grad” in 1969. Whatever happened to her, anyway?

    (from Twitter)

    1. Amazing that even 45 years ago people were writing drooling puff pieces about her. I still have never seen what impresses some people so much about her, she just seems like every female “county agency director” that I’ve ever met, and no one is putting any of them up for President.

    2. I’m getting tired of the pyscho-dramatics and self indulgence.

      So Hilary is actually from a Phillip K. Dick universe?

  3. Garrison Keillor is describing a scene where the ladies of the Lutheran Bible Study Club strip naked and bathe in a stream.

  4. Wow, where is everyone? What could keep so many people away from H&R? Are they watching World Cup of the Star Trek starlets?

    1. The Nigeria – Bosnia match was a good excuse to get piss drunk.

      1. But getting piss-drunk is a good reason to comment on H&R. The circle should be closed.

        1. Soooo drunk.

          But it has nothing to do with soccer and everything to do with gin drinks in a mausoleum.

          1. I hope the gin wasn’t filtered through mausoleum ashes.

            1. No, mostly through gin and Campari. It doesn’t help that I’m a lightweight who was day drinking with a friend before that.

  5. I heard “21 Jump Street: the Musical” on “This American Life” today. Was there a character named “Justin” who fell in love with the undercover policegal “Naomi” in the show?

    1. “Presbyterians who advocated for divestment insisted their action was not part of the broader boycott movement.”

      The Presbyterians also insisted that the warm trickle you’re feeling on your leg is a “warm summer shower.”

    2. Not even sanctioning Isreal per se (which by itself is a wholly overdramatic word, given the scenario), but companies whose products Isreal uses. Which is less like pissing on someone’s leg and pretending it’s rain but dribbling lukewarm asparagus water on someone else’s leg and tellingly Isreal it’s piss.

    3. It never ceases to amaze me how hard conservative mainline protestant congregations continue to send a portion of their tithe to support shit like this, gun control, and the whole panoply of progressive causes.

  6. Hey! I got disappeared from a post last night! I don’t think it was trolls, so…..

    I am Mary Stack? OH NOES!!11!

    1. Wait, what? “Trolls”? I mean “skwerlz”. Jesus Christ almighty, I gotta start drinking later, or less, or…nah, fuck it.

      I got banhammered! First time evah! Wooo!

      1. In these dark days I’d sooner bet squirrels more than indiscriminate banhammering, but what had you said?

      2. A lot of stuff vanished yesterday, including articles and whole threads.

        What did you say that made you think you were disappeared?

        1. “good”

          Al! is the most masterful troll ever.

  7. Love Adam Carolla, especially during his early days as “Mr. Birchum” on LAs KROQ radio (when Jimmy Kimmel was the lowly sports guy). Everything he’s done and said since then has only made me respect and admire him more. I’m not gay (NTTAWWT), but if I had to be I wouldn’t mind having Adam as my ‘girlfriend.’ Or, more likely, I’d be HIS ‘girlfriend.’ Either way, it’d be cool. Again, NTTAWWT.

    1. Whoa, on retrospect that came out totally wrong. Damn, wish there was an ‘edit’ button so I could clarify my point…Lol…

    2. You know when two gay guys get together, neither one of them is technically the girl, right?

      1. No, I don’t think so. My sister is gay, and she is totally the ‘man’ in her romantic relationship. Even in same-sex relationships, people tend to fall into ‘traditional’ sex role. Might not be PC to profess that, but I don’t give a fuck because I’m totally drunk right now…

    1. Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing? Personally, I long for the day I can sit at home, smoke weed, drink whisky and masturbate. Why must you Libertarians harsh my buzz? Shame on you!

  8. Okay, patenting podcasts IS total BS. That is not appropriate for IP.

    1. Not even patenting podcasts. Patenting the concept of podcasts. That’s like patenting the idea of querying, or RESTful APIs.

      1. “A system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence”, provided that’s the entirety of their patent claim, is so vague that it could apply to any kind of serialized content. TV shows, book series, movie series, anything other than one-offs.

    2. Outside of trademark, plagiarism, and a limited license on creative works of < 5 years IP is total bullshit and a scam that relies on state violence to enforce.

      Violation of the fist two is fraud and I’m willing to go no further than custom on the third.

  9. So did Arpaio get crushed into cinder last night or what?

    1. Did he? Too bad because I support him in spirit–but he tends to push the issues far beyond what most people are capable of accepting. Unfortunate…

      1. There are many far worse sheriffs. I don’t live in Maricopa County but Arpaio is dead to me over his enforcement of game-fowl competition prohibition.

  10. You guys are so boring! I bust my ass moving stuff all day & this is my Saturday night entertainment? POOR SHOW.

    1. Hope your move went well; I do it rarely and HATE it since it seems to take forever to find what you’re looking for again.
      I’d do a soft-shoe for you, but I twisted me knee earlier.

      1. What I’ve done so far has gone okay. Just exhausting.

        1. kibby|6.21.14 @ 11:35PM|#
          “What I’ve done so far has gone okay. Just exhausting.”

          Dunno where you are; some places tend to have multi-story buildings and quite a few are walk-ups. That tends to separate the friends from the acquaintances.
          And if you play the piano, it’s amazing how many friends are out of town that weekend.

          1. The bonus of Arizona is that everything is pretty low to the ground, which helps. I only took my dad & that was more for the drive back which I was way too tired to do.

            1. Sounds like you made the move; wishing you well for the sorting and storing.
              Pain though it may be, it *will* work out.

    2. Damn you and your ‘moving stuff’ privilege! I loathe your existence and dream of the day you receive your well-deserved comeuppance! There…is that what you were hoping for?

      1. Meh. It was okay.

    3. No sympathy. We’ve moved 4 times in 5 years, and we may be facing yet another one this summer. We still haven’t finished unpacking from our move to Chicago.

  11. Skyrim is now $4.99 on Steam.

    Now is your time to become a gamer, Sevo. And part of the PC Master Race, to boot.

    1. You’re assuming that everyone has a computer capable of running ‘Skyrim.’ Typical Libertarian privileged…

      1. Incorrect. I am assuming everyone has the money to buy such a computer.

        (which wouldn’t be particularly expensive, anyway)

        1. Sorry, I was pretending to be a ‘proggie,’ but sarcasm doesn’t some across well in text. You provided a great tip, and I appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend!

          1. I picked up on the sarcasm; I was responding in kind by pretending to have only a superficial quibble with your statement.

  12. My evening…

    Remember the beginning of the movie Legend? Where Lili was in the forest and all the pollen was gently floating through the air? That’s what it was like where I was fishing tonight. Cottonwood pollen floating in the evening sunshine. Not another human in sight. Caught a couple dozen trout on a dry fly. Drank a couple of beers on the ride home.

    God, I love where I live!

    1. Frank,
      I found fishing more enjoyable in the abstract than in the practice.
      Ever wrench on a ‘stock car’ at a bullring on a Saturday evening? I enjoyed that; you still got the skeeters. And the beer.

      1. Nope, never been a “car guy”, but whatever blows your skirt up.

        IMHO, the secret to happiness…

        Live where you play.

    2. Flint Creek rocks.

  13. Holy fuck. There was a breakout of waterborne Legionnaire’s disease in a Pittsburgh VA hospital. The hospital apparently treated 8 patients for the disease before they informed the CDC that there was an outbreak, waited four months to tell anyone about the outbreak, and never informed the veterans about what disease they had.

    A week before Rettig, VA Pittsburgh identified another veteran, Richard O’Malley, with the same pneumonia-like disease ? something he says VA officials never revealed to him, even though internal documents obtained by the Tribune-Review show they believed he might have been sickened by the University Drive facility’s water.

    Allegheny County Health Department workers tested the water in Caskey’s and other veterans’ homes “to investigate all possible Legionella exposures,” the VA’s Ray said.

    They never found the bacteria there, according to a January 2013 message to employees signed by Terry Gerigk Wolf, the hospital director who was recently suspended.

    But the VA did find it in its own water. Dozens of tests from 2007 through 2012 ? most of them using just faucet swabs rather than larger, CDC-recommended one-liter water samples ? showed significant amounts of the bacteria throughout the hospital’s water lines, records obtained by the Trib showed. The CDC last year declined the Trib’s offer to look at those records.

    1. & this is what progressives want everyone’s health care to be?

      1. Themselves exempted, of course. They get the best that taxpayer money can buy. Also, a pony for their special little snowflake daughter who will grow up to be a feminist warrior.

      2. Yes, ms kibby, this is the prog version of the future. Us old farts won’t see the worst of it.

        I have a bunch of nieces and nephews your age and it’s exactly what progs have in store. As at least my two closest nieces are unabashedly libs it is sad. But I admit that at their age I thought the collective was a viable option. 30 years of dealing with bureaucracy has convinced me othewise, I imagine reality will set in at some point in your generation’s live’s. I hope it won’t be too late. The free shit brigade that buys D votes seems unstoppable at this point. Hope I’m wrong and people like you can mold a great future for your generation.I really wish you well, you seem like a young person that would be fun to discuss issues with…your peers not so much. Best wishes in any case, people with your resourcefulness tend to do well.

      3. Yes. Yes it is.

    2. Irish|6.21.14 @ 11:47PM|#
      “Holy fuck. There was a breakout of waterborne Legionnaire’s disease in a Pittsburgh VA hospital.”

      Pretty sure that hospitals are where you go to get sick. Unless they’re brand new, they are home for all the wee beasties that anyone carried when they walked in the door, so I’m not really surprised that someone(s) got something(s) from the crevices and seams of an old building.
      But like the Lerner mess, it’s the hiding it that is both despicable and will be excused since it’s run by those paragons of virtue, gov’t employees!

    3. I think I may be distantly related to that Rettig dude. I’ll have to ask my grandma to ramble on about the family tree for a couple hours so I can find out.

      1. You’re around later than usual.

        1. I picked up a throat bug and it’s making it difficult to sleep. Super annoying.

          1. That’ll teach you to “use a condom”.

            1. He’s used to being the penatrative partner. This is virgin territory for him.

              Learn from Michael Douglas before it’s too late

  14. The biggest concern has not been addressed…. that is a orc not a troll.

  15. Thats jsut not making a lot of sense to me dude.


    There’s much more to it than that. Adam Curry (one of the 2 people who figured out that RSS could be used for distribution of more than web pages), has a very different take on the patent “troll,” who actually came up with the patent (not just a broker). Apple settled with them. The “troll” is suing for a very specific way of distributing podcasts, not all podcasts.

    Make sure you get the facts straight before you give space to someone who just wants someone else to pay for his defense.

    1. Nobody was up in arms about the one-click patent



      1. A lot of his argument hinges on the fact that Personal Audio filed for the patent itself, but whether Personal Audio is a troll does not hinge on that.

      2. It sued Apple with a different patent.

      3. The fact that Apple found it more financially expedient to settle than to fight doesn’t necessarily say anything about the legal, much less moral, legitimacy of PA’s claims.

      4. Claim 31 of the patent, quoted in the linked article, does not appear, to my untrained eye, restricted to sites that use an interactive playlist, as claimed in the discussion to which you linked.

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