This Week In Techdirt History: April 3rd – 9th
from the phone-the-past dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2011, we saw a variety of attempts to define whole new forms of copyright infringement (and to fight back against them). The UK advertising agency was going after a CD jukebox maker for advertising that it is capable of making copies; a Greek site linking to legal videos from rightsholders was sued for infringement; it wasn’t clear if Amazon would end up buying music licenses it shouldn’t need; the MPAA unsurprisingly sued a streaming site that used connected DVD players; and an Italian court said Yahoo was liable for people finding infringing movies via its search.
But the big copyright battlefield was the COICA bill, which was drawing opposition from across the political spectrum (and that was being ignored by Senator Patrick Leahy). The House held preliminary hearings on piracy, but it devolved into a parade of strawmen and a “why can’t Google just fix this?” party.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2006, Microsoft was making some bold claims about software piracy and defending the supposed need for proprietary security measures, while the software industry as a whole was trying to mislead China on the economics of piracy. The RIAA, which misses no opportunity to be a bully, was telling an MIT student he should drop out of school to pay a hefty infringement fine, while Streamcast was going to court to try to clear up some legal questions about filesharing — and we wondered if a country like Antigua could take on the US using free music.
This was also the week that Apple broke down one of the biggest divides in computing by deciding to support Windows on Apple computers.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2001 it was the waning days of Napster, and some were comparing the P2P revolution with the early days of radio, though others were trying to paint a picture that P2P was dead. MLB was making its foray into payed audio streams of games and hitting some technical hiccups, while some people were realizing that charging for the streams was silly. An early trailblazer in something many schools have since done, MIT made all its course materials available online, while another trail was also being blazed in the world of online pizza ordering. And we all looked to the future of then-fresh Verizon, still referred to as Baby Bell by many.
Forty-Three Years Ago
It would take a long time after this notable date for mobile phones to become the ubiquitous devices they are today, but it was on April 3rd, 1973 that Motorola researcher Martin Cooper made the first phone call with a handheld mobile phone. The device in question weighed 1.1kg and offered 30 minutes of talk time on a ten-hour charge.