This Week In Techdirt History: April 10th – 16th
from the through-the-ages dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2011, even as the Defense Department was dragging its heels in fixing the security hole that lead to the Wikileaks disclosure, the government was torturing Chelsea Manning (then Bradley) and courting criticism from a wide array of legal scholars and even mainstream media reporters. Meanwhile ICE, for its part, was trying to claim it wasn’t detaining a Wikileaks supporter by redefining detainment.
Facebook was facing attempts to take credit for its success, both from unknown randoms and the infamous Winklevoss twins who were told to give it up already but apparently weren’t satisfied with $160 million.
We also had an interesting hypothetical discussion about who owns the copyright on a tattoo, followed up by a related real-world example of the issues around getting a tattoo of a copyrighted design — but little did we know that only a week later, the Mike Tyson/Hangover 2 face tattoo copyright fight would kick off.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2006, the film and TV world was in the midst of crashing into the digital world. DVR pioneer TiVo was experimenting with advertising while television networks were moaning about Cablevision’s own DVR plans; Disney was throwing too much weight behind its ill-fated MovieBeam offering but in the bigger picture was starting (or at least trying) to lead the way, especially with ABC launching ad-supported online versions of its shows. Fox was approaching things slightly differently, focusing on its affiliates where other networks were bypassing them. And as some noted, telcos could truly revolutionize TV but faced some serious obstacles to doing so. At least it was all a much more compelling intersection of entertainment and technology than yet another attempt to add smells to films.
Fifteen Years Ago
Five years before that in 2001, NBC was shuttering an earlier effort at moving online: the NBCi entertainment web portal, which failed for a host of reasons. TiVo was still fresh and competing with Microsoft’s Ultimate TV, and both were being plugged by Joe Montana — and it was already clear to many that DVRs would change television forever. As for movies, their forays online were all about promotional websites, some of which were starting to get at least a little bit interesting. And there was even another story from another example of that perennial project to give us the smell-o-vision nobody asked for, with DigiScents throwing in the towel.
But the biggest technology frontier was still wireless, which appeared to be suffering from hype fatigue amongst the public. One company was pitching its fancy new video messaging as the killer wireless app, but it would be a long time before SnapChat came along and made that assertion sound less stupid. Other ideas of the time fell at various places on the “doomed” spectrum, from another post-VRML attempt at the 3D web to a far-ahead-of-its-time web-enabled smart air conditioner.
Three-Hundred And Six Years Ago
You all know it: The Statute Of Anne, grandpappy of all copyright law. It was on April 10th, 1710 that it came into effect, and that day also served as the publication cutoff point for different durations of copyright protection.