This Week In Techdirt History: August 28th – September 3rd

from the relevant dept

Five Years Ago

Today, we’re just going to focus on one thing that happened this week in 2011, since it bears relation to the discussion raging around our Copying Is Not Theft t-shirt and, specifically, the “threats” we regularly receive that people are going to copy it or other Techdirt content to teach us some kind of lesson. As we’ve always stated in response, we’re totally fine with people copying our material as we consider it all to be public domain — and there are really only two caveats. The first is that we don’t approve of copiers claiming to be affiliated with us when they’re not, and the second is even more serious: we definitely don’t approve of other people trying to exert control over our public domain content by claiming their own copyright on it. And that’s exactly what happened this week in 2011 when Gregory Evans of LIGATT Security copied a Techdirt post in one of his “books” that was actually just a compilation of articles. As we said at the time, we (unlike almost everyone else he copied) are fine with our articles being used in a book without permission — but we were not fine with the fact that he also included a prominent copyright notice for all content in the book. Copying is one thing; copyfraud is another.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2006, as the iPod-loving world was still coming to terms with the horrors of the Foxconn factory, the company was busy trying to destroy the lives of the bloggers who exposed conditions there — only to back down when faced with a global storm of terrible publicity. The RIAA, meanwhile, was following the MPAA’s lead and trying to fill schools with pro-copyright propaganda “education” (not to mention continuing to insist that it should be allowed to rifle through people’s hard drives). And when you can’t get the people to agree with you, just fake it — like the recording industry did in Canada with a questionable survey showing that apparently Canadians were desperate to pay bigger copyright levies on blank CDs.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2001, music companies were still struggling to get consumers interested in buying downloadable music, and the real insight and projections came from looking at how college kids were reacting to new digital entertainment offerings. But at least the industry got happy news when the Copyright Office declared that there’s pretty much nothing wrong with the DMCA (uh, sure…). Ebooks were also failing to take off, and at least part of the cause was onerous anti-piracy techniques that rendered them less appealing. Of course, while the copyright industries were still struggling with the internet as some sort of new and confusing phenomenon, to the public it was already becoming just another mundane part of life.

One-Hundred And Seventy-One Years Ago

The oldest continually published monthly magazine in the US, and a long-time source for coverage on technology and innovation, is Scientific American — and it was on August 28th, 1845 that it published its very first issue:

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: August 28th – September 3rd”

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

We all try! But the truth is we’re a very, very small team and we usually have quite a lot of projects on the go, and the result is that sometimes we’re semi-absent from the comments despite our best efforts. If there’s ever anything really important in the comments that we appear to be missing or ignoring, please do ping us on Twitter or by email!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Ah good times...

Reading through the comment section of the copyfraud link, always worth a laugh to see asserted ‘pro-copyright/creator’ individuals throwing in with copyfraud.

Hardly the first time I’ve seen that sort of thing happen in the comment sections, but always worth a laugh when the true colors come through and the real priorities are exposed as anything but the ‘pro-creators’ that they like to present as a front.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

We Need A Shorter Name Than “Internet”

Just like nobody says “telephone” or “automobile” any more, the word “internet” will inevitably get shortened at some point.

What will be the shorter version? How about “net”? Or just use the adjective “online”?

While we’re at it, why is there no abbreviation for “abbreviation”? I suggest “brev” …

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