tunabomber writes "IEEE Spectrum has an in-depth article about the rise of Acacia Research Corporation and its plan for enforcing its patent on 'Digital Media Technology' (which seems to lay claim to any technology that transmits audio or video digitally for entertainment purposes). You may recall that there was a story on Slashdot over a year ago about Acacia's threats and subsequent lawsuits against some small adult entertainment companies regarding their violation of the patent. There was also an Ask Slashdot posted a while back by the owner of one of these companies who had received a letter from Acacia Research demanding that they pay licensing fees. Both Slashdot stories asked how long it would be until Acacia went after the big media companies. Well, they finally did last week. It appears that Acacia just had to get enough companies (Disney and Virgin Radio, among others) to pay licensing fees before they could afford a legal adventure against the big guys. DirectTV, Comcast, Echostar, and Charter Communications are some of the defendents. Let the fireworks begin!"