Wednesday roundup: Carolla settles podcast lawsuit; PBS Hawaii receives $2M grant

By Andrew Lapin

• Podcaster Adam Carolla has agreed to settle a lawsuit with Personal Audio rather than challenge the company’s patent in court. The Texas-based company asserts ownership of the patent technology behind podcasting and had sued Carolla, alleging copyright infringement. Terms of the settlement are confidential, and both parties have agreed to a quiet period until Sept. 30. Personal Audio, which is still scheduled to go to trial against NBC, CBS and Fox over similar claims, admitted last month in a press release that Carolla and other podcasters made less money from the technology than the company initially asserted.

• PBS Hawaii has received a three-year, $2.1 million grant to further develop its student news and digital-media learning program, HIKI NO. The grant from the Stupski Family Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation is intended to help develop courses for middle and high school students statewide, among other programs.

• PBS Digital Studios premiered Tuesday the first three episodes of its first original scripted series, Frankenstein M.D. The AV Club praised producer Pemberley Digital’s series for “successfully balanc[ing] comedy and foreboding while updating the themes of Frankenstein to embrace issues of gender in STEM fields.”

• The New Yorker checked in on proposed legislation that would crack down on unlicensed costumed characters in Times Square. City councilman Daniel Garodnick was interviewed as “an Elmo sauntered by with a smaller, stuffed Elmo pinned to his costume.”

“There’s an Elmo on top of an Elmo,” Garodnick said. “Look at that. I’ve never seen that before. It’s a meta-Elmo!” Differing interpretations of characters like Elmo could complicate imposing of licensing requirements, since, as the New Yorker notes, the law “would apply to virtually anyone wearing both a costume and a mask.”

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