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This Week In Techdirt History: March 12th – 18th

from the old-stories dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2012, politicians were still reeling from recent public opposition. Don’t get SOPA’d had become the new mantra in DC, while the European Commission was blaming ACTA’s failure on social media and starting to worry about its upcoming copyright directive. Rep. Lamar Smith was unperturbed though, which is why people were working to fund a “Don’t Mess With The Internet” billboard in his district.

Also this week in 2012: Mojang and Bethesda settled their dispute over the Scrolls trademark, Megaupload was negotiating with the government to let users retrieve their files from the service, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica ended an era by discontinuing its print edition.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2007, Viacom followed up on its mass YouTube takedowns with a now-infamous billion-dollar lawsuit — just as some of those who had their videos taken down were suing Viacom. Meanwhile, Hollywood was trying to export DRM around the globe even as the EU Commissioner was making veiled threats about stopping DRM on music. While one Microsoft executive was admitting the company benefits from piracy, the video game industry was joining the BSA, RIAA, MPAA et al in spreading bogus piracy stats. And we were pleasantly surprised to discover at least one person in congress who understood mixtapes and mashups.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2002, plenty of things were on the horizon. Augmented reality was making early waves (very early, obviously), people were warning about mobile phone viruses, news broadcasters had only just really started using green-screen sets instead of fancy newsrooms, and plagiarism-detection software was just starting to get the attention of universities. While Canada was trying to pass its levy on blank storage media (which still plagues its blank CDs to this day), webcasters and record labels were actually on the same side fighting against high internet radio royalties (if you can believe it). Meanwhile, the legal saga of “sucks” sites played out another chapter in the courts.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: March 12th – 18th”

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Roger Strong (profile) says:

Canadian levee on blank storage media

However, even worse, would be the taxes on MP3 players and other devices that include a lot of storage. The pricing comes out to $21/gigabyte, so any Canadians should expect to pay an extra $100 for their iPod, or another $400(!) for one of those 20 gig portable jukebox players.

And that would only be on day one. The tariff would add $2688 to my current phone. And $172,032 to my 8TB NAS drive.

The tax on the tariff alone would be more than the value of the devices. (Tariffs and taxes are often taxed by other taxes.)

Given that storage capacities had already been skyrocketing for decades, it’s a safe bet that this was the intention.

Aaron Walkhouse (profile) says:


Levee: [lev-ee]

1. an embankment designed to prevent the flooding of a river.
2. Geology. natural levee.
3. Agriculture. one of the small continuous ridges surrounding fields that are to be irrigated.
4. History/Historical. a landing place for ships; quay.

verb (used with object), leveed, leveeing.
5. to furnish with a levee: to levee a treacherous stream.


Levy: [lev-ee]

1. an imposing or collecting, as of a tax, by authority or force.
2. the amount owed or collected.
3. the conscription of troops.
4. the troops conscripted.

verb (used with object), levied, levying.
5. to impose (a tax): to levy a duty on imports.
6. to conscript (troops).
7. to start or wage (war).

verb (used without object), levied, levying.
8. to seize or attach property by judicial order.

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