This Week In Techdirt History

from the looking-back dept

For this week’s look back in Techdirt history, we once again find some surprises in how much the world has changed… and in how little the world has changed.

Five Years Ago:

Five years ago — even before US Cyber Command had been created and given to the NSA — its predecessor, Air Force Cyber Command was already active, and we were already warning that it was a mistake to put the military in charge of “cyberdefense” because they’d almost certainly turn it into a “cyberoffense.” Yeah, turns out that wasn’t very difficult to predict, though I don’t think we thought it would go as far as it had.

We were also wondering if the Pirate Bay’s legal loss in Sweden might lead to members of the Pirate Party actually getting elected to the EU Parliament — and they did (two of ’em)! I got to give a keynote speech at an event mainly sponsored by the RIAA and I got out of there alive. Warner Music idiotically issued a copyright takedown on a presentation by Larry Lessig and Nicolas Sarkozy, in the middle of pushing for stricter copyright laws in France, had to pay up for its own infringement.

Five years ago, the Supreme Court was resisting live streaming its cases — something that’s still true today. So a more innovation-friendly, early adopter, Rep. John Culberson tried to show the Justices how easy it is. They apparently didn’t get the lesson because we’re no closer to live streaming.

Ten Years Ago

Comcast was trying to buy a giant company — though that time it was Disney, which failed (though they got NBCUniversal a few years later, obviously). Speaking of Comcast, the company was claiming unlimited service, but people were discovering that (shocker!) they were lying. And speaking of broadband, President Bush was promising “universal broadband” but pushing a plan that would just make broadband more expensive (guess what happened?).

Congress was (of course) looking to ratchet up copyright law to allow the FBI to file civil suits on behalf of Hollywood and to make it illegal to bring any device that record a video into a theater. The MPAA was busy pushing a propaganda plan for elementary school kids.

Of course there was plenty of good things going on as well. Ten years ago, David Bowie was already encouraging. Meanwhile, we were finally getting past the idea that self-publishing was a bad thing.

Fifteen Years Ago:

Search engines (this was just around the time Google was about to get started…) were trying to cope with an ever expanding internet. A 13-year-old kid bid over $1 million he didn’t have for products on eBay. That didn’t end well. And… the hot thing in Silicon Valley was figuring out new ways to give away free PCs.

That’s it for this week.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

‘I got to give a keynote speech at an event mainly sponsored by the RIAA and I got out of their alive.’

So, going off of troll logic of ‘If you speak/present at an event sponsored and/or paid for by a group/company that means you work for them’, does this mean you’ve been working for the RIAA this whole time?

Those silly people, by their own logic you’ve been on their side this whole time and they just didn’t realize it.

vancedecker (profile) says:

In other words...

…despite all of your crying and yelling, you accomplished NOTHING.

The companies still got exactly what they wanted.

The reason is simple. There are no tangible consequences to companies who seek to destroy the rights of others, therefore they are free to continue trying over and over again, until you get tired and they get what they want.

Anonymous Coward says:

The problem with moral panic

The problem with moral panic is panicky people do irrational things. It’s always better to take care of things quietly and with great care for UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES before going down a path. How many destroyed lives, dead bodies, hateful acts, destroyed careers, and massive embarrassment must we suffer before we realize that going around making others lives worse will just make us all worse people? There will always be outrage if you get caught going too far. It almost doesn’t even matter what happens to me now.

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