We have written in the past about patents in the entertainment field, such as one received by the entertainer Michael Jackson for a shoe for his moonwalking. Patents in the entertainment field can also be directed to devices related to musical instruments, such as tuners or supports, or even new ways of recording. But as the Internet and mobile devices have become more prolific, uses of the Internet and mobile devices lend themselves to new entertainment-related ideas and implementations. Generally, these ideas and implementations have been related to music artists, but these technological developments lend themselves to improvements for fans as well.
Recently, a patent was granted for a method of creating a playlist. U.S. Patent No. 8,930,354 was granted to James Lewin for a method being deployed by FreqSho LLC, a company Mr. Lewin founded to develop and ultimately commercialize the FreqSho® music discovery and entertainment service he created. One feature of the FreqSho® service allows users to find video and audio content for particular music artists, at least some of whom have recordings available on the Internet, and organize this content into playlists. The content ranges from professional recordings to various types of fan recordings of public performances by the artist. As videos and music tracks are posted to the Internet by the artists or by their fans, some of this content becomes available to all fans via FreqSho® playlists.
FreqSho® actually generates two distinct types of playlists. The first type is a master playlist that results from FreqSho’s algorithms searching, gathering, and curating artist-relevant content into artist-specific channels. The second type is a user®-customized playlist that enables fans to browse the pool of curated content in the master playlists and select the most desirable videos and audio tracks for ongoing playback. The patent is directed to the system and method whereby FreqSho® automatically re-populates and continually updates the master playlists with alternate videos (or audio files) based on newly-available content, artist preferences, and/or fan input. For example, once FreqSho® creates a master playlist for an artist, certain fan-shot videos might be replaced by higher-quality versions of the same performance, as preferred by the artist. Additionally, this method allows for rights-holders to remove certain videos from circulation and for FreqSho® to update playlists accordingly. This approach of updating master playlists based on, for example, the preference of another and/or fan input, did not previously exist and met the test of novelty. Users can receive a message indicating the rights holders’ preferences, so they may seek options to replace any recently “unavailable” music videos.
The patent describes the method for the process FreqSho® applies to a variety of entertainment content (like videos, music, photographic images, editorial information, and social media). Such an approach is beneficial to fans, in that they have access to a constantly-updated source of compelling content, as well as industry stakeholders (artists, management, record labels, promoters, etc.), who gain greater control over what content their fans see and hear.
Guest author, Barry Lewin, is a patent attorney with Gottlieb, Rackman, and Reisman, P.C., working in its New York office.
The Sports, Arts and Entertainment Group at Garvey Schubert Barer provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.