from the don't-panic dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2010, the ACTA saga continued. We noted how the text cleverly upgraded non-commercial filesharing to criminal infringement, while Senator Wyden asked the Congressional Research Service to look into how much ACTA would impact US law (and KEI stepped up to highlight some of the inevitable conflicts themselves). The BSA was falsely claiming that the treaty had already been signed by 37 countries (real tally: zero) while Brazil joined the chorus of nations that were condemning ACTA altogether. As for the US, we simply asked the question of whether it was at all realistic to except US officials to ditch the agreement.
Copyright settlement shakedown operations were continuing their triumphant rise in America, to the point that they even came into conflict when Media Copyright Group and US Copyright Group had a trademark dispute, leading us to notice that these firms actually copy each other a lot. On the flipside, we saw a former music industry executive stand up in favor of lower prices, and were especially shocked to find the RIAA sort-of endorsing an opt-in copyright system.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2005, Apple unveiled its first video-capable iPod, and we brought up how it had been the recording industry’s obsession with DRM that made Apple so powerful — unsurprisingly with all sorts of expensive proprietary content (somewhat surprisingly in partnership with Disney). And rather than being able to put content on it from your DVR, Dish thought it would be helpful to release its own line of portable video players for that purpose.
Meanwhile, the world was coming to terms with the fact that CAN-SPAM had been a failure at stopping spam online, succeeding only in pushing it off-shore and letting the scammers keep scamming — but for some reason that didn’t stop people from wanting to try the exact same tactic with spyware.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2000, we got a look at how the dot-com bubble burst extended beyond Silicon Valley and was impacting Europe (where London was the technology capital) as well — though Intel’s CEO was baffled by a lot of the panic and some people suggested it might be a great time to buy ecommerce stocks. Meanwhile, the internet continued to clash with traditional businesses in new ways: franchises were hitting all sorts of obstacles, online bill paying was failing to catch on, the funeral industry was moving online in a big way, companies were realizing that their offline ad sales team and sell online ads too, and one online bank was getting ready to open brick-and-mortar locations. And of course, failed startup Boo.com discovered a new revenue stream by publishing a book about their failure.
Thirty-Six Years Ago
I know we’ve got plenty of fans amongst our readership, so it seems worth noting: October 12th was the anniversary of the publication of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which sold 250,000 copies in its first three months.