This Week In Techdirt History: September 24th – 30th

from the copycopycopyright dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2012, the fallout from the farce that was the Megaupload raid — made worse by the revelation that the New Zealand government used illegal wiretaps in the case — the public was starting to realize more about the disasters of copyright overreach. There was no shortage of examples, from copyright trolls and aggressive rights collectives around the world, to terribly onerous laws on the verge of passing in countries like Panama, to insane statements like that of a former Register of Copyrights who thought new technologies should seek prior approval from the government, to absurdities like an author being punished for torrenting his own book.

Ten Years Ago

They wouldn’t have had any lack of examples this week in 2007, either — though at least there was some pushback from various corners, like the growing number of judges smacking down the RIAA’s file sharing lawsuits (you know, the ones that almost certainly accomplished nothing, and one of which was for the first time on its way to be heard by a jury. You might remember it: the defendant was someone by the name of Jammie Thomas…)

And just for fun: it was surprising and amusing to see a headline about “fake news” all the way back in 2007, though the context was, as you might imagine, very different from today.

Fifteen Years Ago

The main flashpoint of the copyright fight this week in 2002 was still the insane Hollywood hacking bill, which was the subject of fierce debate. While the bill’s sponsor defended it with empty statements that belied either ignorance or indifference, Congress was inviting only Hollywood representatives to come whine about piracy and support the bill. Dan Gillmor invited Jack Valenti to share his (unconvincing) side of the story regarding the MPAA’s heavy-handed actions, while Gary Shapiro of the CEA was clearly and carefully making more nuanced arguments wherever possible — but of course, the opposition had the potent weapon of recruiting celebrities to the cause.

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