One Man's Crusade: Interview with Brandon Shalton of

With patent lawsuits proliferating throughout the adult industry, Bandon Shalton has stepped to the plate to assist in the battles with the launch of his website

One of the standard storylines that makes up the very being that we call Hollywood, is the one where someone who has had enough of something, gathers some troops together in a crusade to fight for a cause. In the end of these motion pictures, the lone person who started the fight ends up winning and becoming a hero. Now, try and imagine this type of story becoming a reality in our society. We have to admit that it really does not happen too often. Why is this? There are really too few “crusaders” left who want to become heroes. We live in a society where nobody wants to be the first to do something risky, where everyone wants to blend in with the crowd and where people will not fight for something unless they are getting some kind of reward out of it. Well, that is how “most” of society works. It seems that our very own online adult industry tends to go a little bit against the grain, and has been harvesting a few “crusaders” lately to fight the threats that have been forced upon adult webmasters.

By now every webmaster in the industry is sick and tired of hearing about a little menace called Acacia. Many of you also know that there is an organization called the IMPA, formed by Homegrown Video, which was designated to try and fight the patent claims. If you are not familiar with this, please refer to this interview that I did with Spike Goldberg of Homegrown. Homegrown was the first crusader against the Acacia patent claim, but recently another man has come out of the woodwork to launch a fight against patents.

Brandon Shalton, an Internet entrepreneur, with an extensive computer background, has seen the Internet develop from its infancy stage to what we see today, which he refers to as “old technology combined with a new look’’. Brandon also was witness to the invasion of the patent claims, which eventually sparked his fire enough to start a website to fight them in August. He created this website, FightThePatent, to help make webmasters aware of what is going on and to educate them on how to bring about change. The website essentially encourages webmasters to find something referred to as Prior Art, which is described as meaning “evidence that a patented idea has already been publicized or used prior to the patent that was filed”. Fight The Patent will investigate any Prior Art leads that you submit to them and will present a summary that can be used in a website’s defense.

Fight The Patent has set its sights on three major patent holders: Acacia, USA Video, and To us, Acacia is old news, but for further clarification, please refer to this article. USA Video is currently suing for patent infringement, claiming that they own the process of downloading video from a web server. The last company, is currently suing CDNOW/BMG, for patent infringement stating that they hold at least two patents that encompass the sale of digital and audio files on the Internet. 

I had the privilege of personally speaking with Brandon Shalton, the man behind, and was able get his predictions for the future as well as find out more about how webmasters can become involved.

Muffy: I want to ask what you see for the future? Do you see webmasters being able to put up a good enough fight to hold off companies such as Acacia, or do you think there is a very tough road ahead?
Brandon: I think that the current companies in litigation are going to put up a good fight. The effort that I have put forth in the past four weeks has been very helpful to their cases. The problem is that their cases could get drawn out for years. Take a look at SightSound vs. CDNOW. Its going on its third year over SightSounds patent claims of owning the downloading of paid audio files from a server.

So yes, this is going to be a long battle, and as I have written on my website, it really is a war, with many battles. Acacia is just one company. is currently tracking 2 other companies that could easily be the targets of patent infringement.

Muffy: How can webmasters get involved? How do they go about finding Prior Art?
Brandon: How can webmasters get involved? I am currently creating a proposal to extend the work that I have done into a new non-profit organization. Details to be released in a couple of weeks.

To get more information on finding Prior Art, people can read FightThePatent. I update this page regularly with prior art leads that I am looking for.

After some offline debate about the pros and cons of publishing the information, it was finally decided that posting the leads was for the greater good, so that others will know what to look for, besides just me. By looking at the specific leads that I am searching for, people can reach back into their memories and their personal network of contacts to help spread the word of what prior art is needed. It may trigger someone’s memory. 

Muffy: One last question: Have you received a good response since launching your site in August?
Brandon: The defense attorneys appreciate the leads that I send to them. Some are good leads and some are leads that they already have. Some are dead ends and some look like possible silver bullets! I have been posting a lot on GFY and YNOT and I think that I am helping to educate and bring awareness. My motivation for these efforts is not to get thanks from webmasters, but because I feel that these patent (abuse) holders are doing a disservice to all of the people who created the technology behind the Internet, and to the millions of webmasters, designers, developers, and innovators who expand technology to provide services to people.

Muffy: Thanks for answering a few questions Brandon, and the best of luck fighting your cause.
If you would like to get involved, please visit the website at FightThePatent.


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