This Week In Techdirt History: May 15th – 21st


from the time’s-arrow dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2017, the NSA was pushing for a smooth renewal of Section 702 while more details were revealed about the process, and more info was emerging on the agency’s abuse of other programs. Meanwhile, we looked at the FCC’s efforts to make net neutrality supporters seem unreasonable, even though it was clear that most people support net neutrality. Of course, the agency wouldn’t listen to the commenters and ultimately voted to begin dismantling the rules. This was also the week that the MP3 began to exit patent protection, leading a lot of news outlets to fall for a silly trick by the patent holder (which terminated its licensing program without mentioning why) and start eulogizing about how “the MP3 is dead”.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2012, the fearmongering about cybersecurity to push CISPA seemed to be working pretty well on the public. ICE and the DOJ were tying themselves in knots trying to argue for domain forfeiture in the Rojadirecta case, TV network executives were contemplating the argument that skipping commercials is illegal, and some courts seemed to be acting as though SOPA had passed. This was also the week that we learned the FBI was looking into a little technology with an uncertain future called Bitcoin.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2007 there was much chatter about MySpace, with the Defense Department saying it and YouTube were eating up too much bandwidth, and state politicians continuing meaningless grandstanding against it and forcing the company to explain how the law works to state prosecutors. An appeals court made an important copyright ruling in the Perfect 10 case, saying Google’s thumbnails were fair use, and a bunch of copyright companies got together to form The Copyright Alliance. This was also the week of an important ruling that created one of the noteworthy limits on Section 230 protections.

Filed Under: history, look back



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