This Week In Techdirt History: June 4th – 10th

from the recollections dept

Five Years Ago

Early this week in 2012, as the world continued to get its head around the recently-leaked details of the Stuxnet worm, we wondered why the usually-leak-averse White House didn’t seem to be hassling anyone over these huge revelations, leading us to ask whether Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning would face the same charges if he had shared info with the New York Times instead of Wikileaks. Of course, by the end of the week, the winds seemed to be turning a little bit, with reports of an FBI investigation and calls for a hearing from Sen. Feinstein.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2007, Google was struggling to make publishers realize that its book search could be their friend by helping them make co-branded versions of the search for their own websites. Publishers, meanwhile, were pulling absurd stunts like stealing Google laptops at trade shows in order to air their misguided displeasure. Up here in Canada, following extensive and bizarre shaming from the industry over an apparent movie camcording problem, politicians introduced a new anti-camdording bill. And as the world awaited the approaching and much-hyped release of the iPhone, a number of other devices started getting labelled (both correctly and incorrectly) as competitors.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2002, the Church of Scientology was locked in a battle with Google over search results, the BSA teamed up with Egypt to issue a Fatwa on piracy, and Microsoft told Hollywood to get over itself and put content online. The buzz around newfangled “blogs” reached a fever pitch (and this is, I think, the first week where we started solely referring to them as blogs and never mentioning “weblogs”) so of course one big question was: can you make money with them? Another big question was whether or not they count as “journalism”, and apparently Berkeley’s opinion was yes.

Sixty-Eight Years Ago

Comparisons to George Orwell’s Ninteen Eighty-Four are not exactly uncommon in today’s political and social climate, and while I personally remember finding its senior counterpart Brave New World to be the more resonant and insightful dystopia (it’s been a while since I’ve read either), it seems worth noting that it was on June 8th, 1949 that Orwell’s masterpiece was first published.

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