The Electronic Frontier Foundation has stepped up to represent a small, independent online language teacher who has been threatened with a lawsuit by a British publisher that claims the teacher is infringing an American patent issued back in 2000 for a particular audio-based teaching technique.
What’s the secret sauce? Amazingly, the use of a pause button to temporarily stop the lesson.
The Barcelona-based teacher, Mihalis Eleftheriou, runs a website known as “Language Transfer,” where he offers free online courses in French, Turkish, Greek, and many other languages. The site has no advertising, and he told Ars recently that about 400 people per month donate a collective $1,800 to help defray ongoing costs.