This Week In Techdirt History

from the the-end-of-innocence dept

Time for another look back through Techdirt history…

Five Years Ago:

Probably the biggest news item to kick off this week in 2009 was the News Corp. phone hacking scandal: the Guardian published its expose, and while it was clearly a big deal, I don’t think anyone knew just how huge it would become. With some less nefarious but highly sloppy journalism, a syndicated PC World article claimed that using the Pirate Bay costs $27.

In the legal world, a New Jersey judge said bloggers aren’t journalists, a European judge said IP addresses aren’t personally identifiable information, and Judge Alex Kozinski was cleared of charges trumped up against him.

Recently, Tesla Motors made waves by essentially opening up all its patents — but five years ago, Toyota was still slowing the growth of hybrid vehicles by maintaining a nasty patent thicket around core technology. This was a week that even the Pope questioned intellectual property.

Ten Years Ago:

This week in 2004, we got gifted with plenty of bogus piracy stats from both the BSA and the MPAA. The latter’s paranoia was ever-mounting, and it had just announced plans to lock Academy screener DVDs to special DVD players.

Mobile phone paranoia was following a similar course, with studies claiming they lead to teenage sex and violence. Meanwhile, one company tried to stay ahead of the curve by patenting the Star Trek communicator.

Also in 2004, the idea of “web applications” was still fairly new, and some were pointing to still-young Gmail as proof that they can work.

Fifteen Years Ago:

Ten years before the aforementioned phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch was explaining that he will never understand the internet, but he’ll still invest in it. And before the tech-charged campaigns of today, US politicians were also testing the digital waters. The average person was just discovering that email can change the dynamics of romance, and psychiatrists were noticing that the internet had started playing a role in a lot of psychotic delusions. HDTV was new and still rather confusing, thanks to competing manufacturers, and DVRs were so new that we were still calling them PVRs.

386 & 225 Years Ago:

We’ve got a double this week, dealing with the long history of freedom, rights and ultimately the US constitution. Firstly, on June 7th, 1628, King Charles I of England assented to the Petition of Right — an early constitutional document that is just as historically important as the Magna Carta, and from which grew the principles that would lead to the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh amendments in America. Then, 161 years and one day later on June 8th, 1789, James Madison proposed the amendments that would go on to become the Bill of Rights.

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