This Week In Techdirt History: June 7th – 13th
from the digital-antiques dept
Five Years Ago
There was a whole lot of copyright news this week in 2010. The organizers of a Bulgarian chess tournament were suing over a copyright on chess moves, copyright was holding back research, and a top public school was seeking to copyright and sell its curriculum. Armenia decided it needed incredibly strict copyright laws while the IFPI was complaining that Canada’s new copyright laws weren’t strict enough, and a Spanish court (not the first) found file-sharing to be legal. One US court smacked down a lawyer for bad faith pursuit of copyright infringement, while another was expressing skepticism over US Copyright Group’s lumping together of cases (while many of the targets claimed innocence).
We considered a key question about whether the RIAA’s lawsuits had been a “success” while some took a closer look at the association’s rise and fall (debunking the idea that it was all about Napster), and Thom Yorke was pinning the lifespan of record labels in the months, not years. Also in need of debunking was the claim that unauthorized handheld games cost the economy tens of billions, not to mention Authors Guild president Scott Turow’s freakout about book piracy. Amidst all this, we asked a simple question: is intellectual property immoral?
Ten Years Ago
Five years earlier, press in the UK was happily parroting the recording industry’s spin on everything while the country’s new creative minister was trying to increase the copyright term for pop songs lest Elvis hit the public domain. Apple’s iTunes store was taking on the file-sharing networks (though it wasn’t clear to what extent) and people were beginning to notice the curious copyright questions surrounding wedding photography.
The Apple-Intel rumours finally graduated to an official announcement (and some wondered if Apple might sue CNET over the early leak). Journalists at the WSJ got a taste of working without email when their system went down, and AOL finally dipped its toes into the web with a free email service and portal. Firefox was gaining ground in the browser wars, United became the first domestic airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi, and the FCC bumped up the deadline for TV broadcasts to go digital.
Also this week in 2005, Congress was moving forward with a patent reform bill that was mostly bad with a little good thrown in, while we highlighted an economic analysis of why patents are inefficient in emerging markets.
Fifteen Years Ago
All eyes were on the dot-com world this week in 2000. With a sudden emphasis on actually making money ruining a lot of people’s fun, startups were furiously racing to profitability while still advertising on every surface they could find (the latest: shopping bags). But not everything works out — sometimes acquisitions fail, and sometimes dot-coms collapse and are tough to liquidate.
A judge handed down the first ruling that Microsoft must be broken up this week in 2000, while IBM was trying to revive its PC business. CBS, meanwhile, laid off a quarter of its internet staff.The UK government was losing track of its laptops and struggling to understand what meta-tags were.
The first major mobile phone worm appeared in the wild, leading antivirus companies to immediately start peddling protection (not that they ever blow anything out of proportion or anything like that). More and more men were seeking wives online, while at least one internet dater found himself victim of a carjacking scheme.
Thirty-Eight Years Ago
I know many Techdirt readers have fond memories of the Apple II, one of the first truly successful personal computers. Well, it was on June 10th, 1977 that the very first Apple II computers went on sale. The machine’s number one hook was its color graphics, which were practically unheard of at its price-point and attracted a lot of consumer attention.