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 Salon.com 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."
Approximately 17 minutes. Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Edited by Alexis Garcia. Camera by Alex Manning, Will Neff, Carlos Gutierrez, and Garcia.
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