This Week In Techdirt History: July 3rd – 9th
from the tubes-and-monkeys dept
Five Years Ago
The fight over PROTECT IP was heating up this week in 2011, with law professors joining the ranks of those opposed to the bill while Hollywood ramped up its smear campaign against Senator Ron Wyden, and Senator Jerry Moran removed himself as a co-sponsor of the bill. Of course, this wasn’t the only bad bill being considered — there was also the anti-streaming bill, which caught the attention of video game streamers and was met with a mass of YouTube video protests. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry was busy moving ahead of the law by signing the major US ISPs onto a “five strikes” plan for copyright infringement. Those who received strikes would have to pay to contest them, and it looked like the industry had backdoored in the disconnection powers it so desired.
But the most memorable thing to happen this week in 2011 was, of course, the unveiling of the famous (and fascinating/contentious from a copyright perspective) monkey selfie.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2006, the RIAA was busy suing sites around the globe, with the latest target being Allofmp3.com in the UK. We were skeptical of this approach, but the Associated Press certainly seemed to have bought the scare stories about global piracy in full. The RIAA was also failing on the home front, with university students seeing right through its terrible “free” music service. Hollywood was busy taking down the free promotion it got from its fans, and after a German magazine noted that you can technically pirate a movie by simply screencapping every frame, we wondered how long it would take for the MPAA to try to ban the Print Screen button.
There was a big, memorable moment this week in 2006 too: Senator Ted Stevens offered his infamous “series of tubes” explanation for the nature of the internet.
Fifteen Years Ago
Last week, we noted that Amazon introduced a free shipping program for the first time. This week in 2001, Barnes & Noble followed suit, and managed to do so without raising any prices on Monday. But then, on Friday… Amazon ended its free shipping program, calling it an experiment. Such was the dance of the early online retailers.
We saw the early rumblings of a legal response to the problems of cyber-bullying, and early takes on how to deal with (or possibly flat-out ban) the use of cellphones while driving. We even saw the earliest of baby steps down the long road to Uber with Ireland experimenting with the ability to get cabs by texting. And in a move that may not have seemed revolutionary at the time, but was actually a first step towards opening up lots of enlightening data, Google unveiled its “Zeitgeist” product for exploring the most popular searches and trends.
Twenty-Six Years Ago
Techdirt has been around for a long time, but the folks at the EFF still have a few years on us: it was on July 6th, 1990 that the EFF was founded by John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor after both faced inquiries by law enforcement agents who were clueless about technology. Happy birthday, EFF!