This Week In Techdirt History: February 26th – March 4th

from the reminiscence dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2012, we saw a somewhat parallel pair of bogus takedowns followed by apologies. First, there was the infamous Rumblefish incident in which a YouTube copyright claim was issued over birds singing in the background of a video, leading the CEO to explain the series of errors that lead to the mistake while missing most of the core point. The other incident targeted us here at Techdirt: one of our key posts about SOPA/PIPA was stripped from Google after a bogus DMCA takedown notice, garnering multiple apologies.

Also this week in 2012, the Aereo lawsuit finally began, and two pieces of memorable viral content were introduced: The Oatmeal’s comic about the difficulty of legally obtaining Game Of Thrones and the fantastic Polish essay We, The Web Kids about the anti-ACTA generation (if you haven’t read it in a while, read it again).

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2007, Mike was at the Tech Policy Summit, where Howard Berman was blaming the pharmaceutical industry for holding back patent reform and the patent panel couldn’t come up with any real solutions for the system. Overall, the event seemed to suffer from a lack of tech in the tech/policy balance. Meanwhile, following the Oscars, the Motion Picture Academy made the inexplicable decision to pull all videos of the ceremony off the web with the bizarre reasoning of wanting to whet the appetite for the next year’s awards.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2002, the W3C was engaged in a critical fight over how to handle patented technologies in web standards, mirroring today’s fight over EME in the nature of the problem (but not, so far, in the nature of the solution). CNN was musing about the future of charging for news online while the New York Times was deeming blogs a fad. Jack Valenti was arguing with Lawrence Lessig over copy protection schemes, a Senator was bashing Intel over the same thing, and the music industry was predictably blaming its problems on downloaders.

Perhaps most notably, it was this week in 2002 that the EFF and various law schools launched ChillingEffects, the irreplaceable resource now known as Lumen.

Two-Hundred And Twenty-Six Years Ago

Long ago in the history of communication technology, there was a revolution that often goes under-discussed: the semaphore line. Though some designs exist from as early as the 17th century, it was on March 2nd, 1791 that one of the first practical experiments happened: at the height of the French Revolution, the Chappe brothers used a system based on colored panels, clocks and telescopes to transmit a message nearly 10 miles from Brulon to Parce.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: February 26th – March 4th”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I would just add that the American Bank Bill of 1791 was also passed on this same date, by the great American Patriot Alexander Hamilton. From generation to generation, the Hamilton gene pool (shared by this author) has been meticulously documented by the Hamilton Society, even to this day. We are a formidable force for good. I would like to believe, as many Americans still do, that the ideals and dreams of the original signatories of the American Constitution still ring true today, in our free and open society, with a voice for everyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

If you are asking whether this gene pool began with Alexander Hamilton, a signatory to the US Constitution, yes. Born a bastard son in the British West Indies, he rose to prominence under President Washington first as a soldier, and then as the US Secretary of the Treasury. He created the US federal banking system, which I was always impressed with. He was very well spoken and a serious writer of political opinion and philosophy, but perhaps plagued by too much pride. He was killed in a duel over character slights, and is a reminder to all Americans not to bring our disagreements with our pisotols to the field of battle, but instead to bring our disputes to forums of open discussion among our peers, or in a court of law if all else fails. We never need to do any violence to each other. A bitter lesson in the case of Alexander Hamilton, a great American.

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, but not shot in a matter of honor in the course of what was once a more acceptable solution. Which rather falls in line with the point, i think. Even if we could strive further to be better than we are as a whole. So let it continue to be unacceptable to be pierced by some bit of metal or other to resolve cases of trolling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is that 15 Years ago or last month?

It seems that in the last month, each of the items from 15 years ago has been talked about. It’s the same’ol same’ol:

– web standards (w3c including DRM)
– charging for news online (EU / Google news snippets)
– blogs a fad (closing comments to “help” conversation)
– copy protection schemes (Denuvo broken in 5 days)
– music industry was predictably blaming its problems on downloaders (uuuhh..Yea… EVERY day this is brought up)

Oh how times never change.

See you in another 15.

Mic drop

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